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Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

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Don’t go alone—get a mentor.

You First mentors

VCU You First mentors are first-generation college students who serve as guides to new first-generation VCU students.

The You First Peer Mentor application is now open!

Are you interested in helping first-gen students make a successful transition into VCU? Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who will have a 2.5 GPA by the end of the Spring 2022 semester are invited to apply to become peer mentors. No previous experience is required. Accepted peer mentors participate in a spring training program and take the fall service-learning course UNIV 391: Advanced Peer Mentoring and Leadership. 

Are you hesitant because you think you might not know enough to be a good mentor? That’s a common misconception. Mentors are not expected to know everything, and the training process is comprehensive. You’ll be well prepared!

A letter of recommendation is required as part of the application process, but if you haven’t yet formed a connection with a faculty or staff member, don’t let that stop you. Email youfirst@vcu.edu and let us know. We’ll help you brainstorm options.

To learn more about mentoring responsibilities and requirements, go to https://bit.ly/YouFirstMentorInfo2022

Ready to apply? Submit your application at https://bit.ly/YouFirstMentorApp2022 by the February 8, 2022, deadline.

Apply here to be a mentor

How it works

First-generation VCU students have the opportunity to be matched with a mentor. These pairings are personally chosen by our staff. They are designed to connect you with someone with similar experiences and interests.    

Before you reach campus in your Freshman year, you’ll receive an email asking you to fill out a short questionnaire. This information will help us decide which mentor will be most helpful to you. Mentors are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Soon you’ll be contacted by your new mentor. If you don't currently have a mentor, you didn't miss out — apply now to be paired.

From then on, you’ll have regular contact with your mentor to help guide you through your first year of college. You can also join the You First at VCU student organization 

What’s in it for me?

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Papa Beye
Computer Engineering, class of 2021

“I like seeing the positive effect that an honest discussion with mentees has on their performance in and out of school.

I would tell someone considering the program to definitely take the opportunity because Summer Scholars really prepares and sets you up for success in college. It does get difficult because it’s college, but participating in the program will make a big difference.”

Three things to do now

  • Answer the questionnaire that will help us match you with a mentor. If you’ve already done this, great! If not, it’s not too late: complete the survey now.

  • Join the You First at VCU student organization. This will help you stay connected with services and events (like parties! And pizza!)

  • Talk to your mentor! Hint: It’s helpful to keep a list of questions and challenges as you have them so that you can discuss them with your mentor later.
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