First-Gen Initiative

The First-Gen Initiative was developed to both support and celebrate first-generation college students (students who are the first in their family to go to college). First-gen students make a valuable contribution to St. Lawrence University, enriching the community by bringing under-represented perspectives to higher education and reflecting one of the highest ideals of college in the United States, the expansion of opportunity for young people of great talent and hard work.

Being a first-gen student is something to celebrate, but it also comes with unique challenges, since first-gen students cannot lean on family knowledge about what the college experience looks like to help them navigate the complexities of college life. First-gen students often do not know the language, the codes, and the practices that children of college-educated parents learn at a young age.

The First-Gen Initiative exists to help level the playing field. We are committed to sharing knowledge about how to maneuver through the complexities of campus life, in the classroom and outside of it; offering a space to discuss the challenges and opportunities of college for first-gen students; providing mentoring and support to help first-gen students make the most of their college experience; and celebrating the achievements of first-gen students.

St. Lawrence is proud to be a member of the First-Gen Forward cohort class of 2021-22!

Interested in having a First-Gen mentor? Fill out this survey

Take the First-Gen Student Survey to tell us how we can support you

Profiles of our First-Gen Faculty & Staff

Michelle Obama's "I'm First" video

"I'm First" storytelling project

Center for First-Generation College Success