first-gen2First Generation Harvard Alumni Mentorship Program

The First-Generation Harvard Alumni SIG is looking for volunteers to act as mentors to incoming first gen students from the Class of 2023. Please click here if you’re interested in participating. The deadline to sign up is July 25, 2019.

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”- Oprah Winfrey

It is time to sign up to mentor an incoming first gen student from the Class of 2023. Think back to your first day arriving in Cambridge as a first gen student. It was exciting but daunting. As someone who has walked that path already, you can really help support a student through this transition.
What is the FGHA Mentorship program?
The FGHA mentorship program is a one-to-one mentorship program where each incoming first gen student is paired with a first gen Harvard alum. It is up to you to support your mentee in whatever way they wish to be supported – sometimes you can provide support directly via advice or coaching, other times you’ll just listen and validate.  You may need to point your mentee in the right direction so they can activate the system. We help you know which resources are available and we are here for you through the process.
How much time do I need to commit to the program?

  • We recommend that you prepare to commit about two hours a month to the program.
  • Contact can be in-person, via phone or via online communication programs such as Skype, FaceTime, Hangouts or Zoom.

How does the match occur?
Last year, we implemented a mentee-driven match program which received positive feedback from mentors. We will match the same way this year. Once you complete the mentor application, we will generate a profile from your answers. These profiles will be available to mentees in a “Mentor Profile Book”. Students will review the book and submit their top 5 choices for mentors.
Tips for completing your mentorship application:

  • When filling out your application, please remember that your audience is the students searching of a mentor, so speak directly to the mentees.
  • Take a moment to reflect on your own experience and what would have helped you as a first gen student.
  • Be honest about the challenges you experienced. Don’t be afraid to share the bumps in the road or the detours taken.
  • Share more than just your professional experience. Write about your hobbies, family, cultural upbringing, favorite things to do, volunteer experiences, additional training or certifications, or anything you are interested in sharing.

How will your information be shared?

Your information will be shared with the mentees so that they are able to choose a mentor that best fits their perceived needs.
If there is something specific that you do not want to share, you have the opportunity to decline to do so on the application.
I have signed up in the past but have not been matched?
We often have more mentors than mentees so it is inevitable that not all mentors will be matched one-to-one with a mentee. We encourage you to apply again because we are working on creating group mentoring circles for special interests. In addition, you will be in the FGHA Mentor Profile Book, so mentees may reach out to you directly even if you are not their mentor.It takes a village to mentor and support our first gen students and we welcome everyone be part of the at-large circle of mentors.
How do I apply?

  • Complete the linked application
  • Deadline for completion: July 25th

What should I expect after my application is submitted?

  • Matches will be completed by mid-August. You will be contacted at that time with the name of your matched mentee. You will also receive an abbreviated profile of your individual mentee.
  • Please note that any information provided to you about the mentee is STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL and for your use only. It cannot be shared with anyone without written permission. Participation in our program is contingent on 100% compliance with this.

This year’s kick-off and orientation will take place on September 7th. We are re-vamping the program to make it more fun and interactive. It is not required but it would be great if you can attend!
Thank you all for volunteering to help mentor our First Gen First Years!



9:00AM - 11:59PM Thu 25 Jul 2019 ( Timezone: Eastern )


Apply online (details above)

[ Get Directions ]