Being a first generation student – the first in your family to pursue post-secondary education – is something to be proud of! You are building your own legacy, and the First in the Family Peer – Mentor Program  at U of T is here to support you. Participate in this inclusive academic, leadership and social program and gain access to resources, supports, events and a friendly community.

 

Photo by Chiao Sun

mentors

Contents

Eligibility First in the Family Peer - Mentor Program is for undergraduate students
How it works We provide services, supports and resources to all undergraduate first generation students. Get involved!
Program application Register to become a Mentee and choose a Mentor for mutually beneficial support.
Program background First in the Family Peer - Mentor Program is part of the tri-campus First Generation Retention and Success Project
Program outcomes The skills, knowledge and values needed for both mentees and mentors to thrive!
Contact us Questions?

Eligibility

First in the Family is for students whose parent(s) or guardian(s) did not pursue post-secondary education, or pursued post-secondary education outside of Canada. Even if your sibling(s) attended post-secondary, you are still first generation. This program is for the 20% of all students on campus who self-identify as first generation.

We also encourage mature students to join the First in the Family program. For more information on the definition of “mature student” and to learn about the community of mature students at the University, please visit the U of T Mature Students' Association website.

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How it works

4 Program Goals

  1. to support the academic success of first generation students;
  2. to make first generation students aware of and encourage them to connect with services, supports and resources;
  3. to facilitate community building amongst Mentees in the program; amongst Mentees and Mentors; and amongst Mentees and the larger U of T community;
  4. to support the leadership and career development of Mentees and Mentors.

3 Ways to Access the Program

  1. Register to choose a Mentor: Once you register for the program, you will hear from and meet regularly with the Mentor of your choice.  Meet the mentors!
  2. Sign up for invitations to attend First in the Family Fridays learning, leadership and social events with other students, alumni, staff and faculty, weekly between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. 
  3. Meet with our First in the Family Learning Strategist, Benjamin Pottruff, for support around academic issues including time management, test and exam preparation, tackling assignments, and active studying.  There are two ways to see a Learning Strategist:
  • Attend posted drop-in hours for first-come, first-served 30 minute appointments. Note: First generation students are encouraged to meet with Benjamin for specific academic assistance; or
  • Registered Mentees should ask your Mentor to refer you, or self-refer, for a 50 minute appointment.

 

Become a mentee

Join the Program!

First Gen students are welcome to register here, become a Mentee and choose your Mentor!

 

Become a mentor

Applications are now closed, please check back in April.

Meet the 2016-17 Mentors

Become a mentor-in-training

Applications are now closed, please check back in April. 

Meet the 2016-17 Mentors-in-Training

Program background

The St. George "First in the Family Peer Mentor Program is part of the tri-campus First Generation Retention and Success Project, an initiative funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. In addition to our partners at Student Affairs and Services at UTM, the Office of Student Affairs at UTSC, and the Colleges on the St. George campus, the program is a collaboration between the Division of Student Life Programs and Services and the Faculty of Arts & Science.

Photo by Yin Kot 

FITF students

Skills and Knowledge

Mentees will be able to:

  • develop academic skills to ‘thrive and survive’ in their transition to university
    • knowledge they need → learn services, supports, and resources where they can get help; learn how to study;
    • skills they will demonstrate → explain and practice how to achieve academic success;

Mentors will be able to:

  • develop academic skills in order to support Mentees’ transition to university
    • knowledge they need → identify how they themselves learn and study; identify how to help Mentees think through their own learning process;
    • skills they will demonstrate → explain and practice how to achieve academic success;

Mentees and Mentors will be able to:

  • develop out of the classroom and life skills
    • knowledge they need → identify how to become independent and self-reliant; identify strategies for self-care and dealing with stress;
    • skills they will demonstrate → illustrate connections between their academic, family / social, and personal life; practice how to achieve balance between education, work and leisure;
  • meet others, experience mutual sharing and learning, and build community
    • knowledge they need → repeat opportunities to engage active listening and communication skills;
    • skills they will demonstrate → practice development and maintenance of satisfying interpersonal relationships.

Student and Campus Community Development Values

FITF is part of a larger Student and Campus Community Development (SCCD) 'bouquet' of programming and initiatives: mentorship and peer programs; orientation, transition and engagement; and clubs and leadership development; whose collective values consist of:

  • growth (we are committed to a continuous process of learning and development);
  • community (we are better when all members are engaged);
  • fun (we strive to find enjoyment in all that we do; and
  • equity, diversity and inclusion (we are committed to creating a barrier free environment for all, providing the tools and space so people can participate fully, and feel comfortable and safe).

Contact us

Questions?

Contact Adonica Huggins, Program Coordinator at 416-978-0480 or adonica.huggins@utoronto.ca.

firstgen@utoronto.ca | Facebook: First in the Family |Twitter: @UofTFirstGen