First-Gen Forward

State
New York
Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Retention
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Career/Workforce

Overview

The mission of Latino U College Access’s (LUCA) First-Gen Forward (FGF) program is to empower low-income, first-generation students on their journeys through college. Each year that Scholars are in college, the LUCA team engages with them and their families to ensure they have the necessary tools and resources to persist and graduate. Additionally, the organization collaborates with corporate volunteers to deliver career-readiness programs that engage Scholars on topics such as resume writing, interviewing skills, networking, professional etiquette, site visits and other soft skills that first-gen students may not be otherwise exposed to. LUCA envisions a world where low-income, first- generation students have equal access to higher education that will open doors to professional positions of influence.

Program Description

First-Gen Forward provides a multifaceted approach to ensure hard-working students learn how to navigate college, how to be resilient in the face of challenges, and how to succeed academically. The program has five pillars: College Transition Workshops; Corporate Site Visits; Individualized Scholar Check-Ins; College and Career Success Workshops; and Mentorship. The program ensures successful course registration, provides financial aid support, and access to an emergency Scholar Support Fund. The program also leverages an evidence-based curriculum from The Opportunity Network designed for first-generation, low-income students. The program’s College 411 Network provides peer-to-peer mentoring, while teaching Scholars the importance of collaboration and giving back to the community. Lastly, the First-Gen Padres program component provides opportunities to educate and support parents on the expectations and preparations for their child's transition to college, academic success, and graduation.

Outcome

  • FGF Scholars in college and on track to graduate within four years is 98%.
  • FGF Scholars that maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better is 70%.
  • All FGF Scholars (100%) rated corporate site visits extremely useful in helping them explore career opportunities.
  • Over half of FGF Scholars (57%) are studying in STEM-related fields.