First Graduate students attend colleges and universities around the country. Schools vary widely in location (from San Diego to Boston) and type (from private schools to religious schools to community colleges).
Supporting complex human beings requires a focus on emotional, physical, social and financial health, so our work with First Graduate college students is holistic. We listen to our students. By listening, we develop a sophisticated understanding of the student, which allows us to motivate and inspire our students. We have found that deep, trusting relationships dissolve the barriers to student success. We connect our students with each other; they are often each other’s best allies. We also connect our students to professionals in their field. Our coaching focuses on four broad areas: academic success, career development, financial health, and social & emotional well-being.
We are committed to preparing our students for meaningful careers and to become leaders in their field and in their community. We also provide support for students who choose to pursue graduate school. We help students explore career possibilities as well as coach them on resumes and mock interviews.
We are committed to helping students secure the maximum amount of state and federal grant aid and scholarships to fund their education. We continue financial aid advising with our students each year they are in school, following the high school team’s work.
Campus visits allow staff to get an authentic sense of how our students are transitioning to college life. The sole objective of these visits is to connect with our students at their homes away from home. The visits allow our staff to help students connect to campus resources, maintain and create new ties with key university administrators, such as admissions, financial aid and career centers.
During winter and summer breaks, First Graduate hosts events to build the college student community as well as workshops to develop their career knowledge. In December/January, we host a Winter Social, which is a fun, casual event that celebrates students’ achievements. In June/July, we host various career events to help students connect with professionals from similar backgrounds and expand their professional network.
First Graduate believes all students should have access to attend the college of their choice and fit without financial barriers. In order to do so, we strive to provide need-based scholarships to reduce a student’s unmet need.
Generously funded by the Caerus Foundation, Promise Scholars receive between $5,000 – $10,000 per year for four years. Collaboration with Mission Graduates and ASAP enables us to currently coach 82 students throughout their college experience.
First Graduate believes in the power of shared ownership because it takes collective effort from different parties to ensure student success. Thus, we seek to partner and collaborate with university and college programs, administrators and staff as liaisons who can serve as allies for FG students. Since the 2015-16 school year, we have been partners with UC Merced.