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



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.
Contact us Questions?
Program background First in the Family Peer - Mentor Program is part of the tri-campus First Generation Retention and Success Project


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.

CCR stamp

How it works

Program Goals

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


There are 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. Register to receive invitations to and attend learning, leadership and social events, with Alumni, Staff, Faculty and other Students on 'First in the Family Fridays', weekly between 2:00 and 6:00pm.

  • we offer Learning (academic eg. “Success 101 & Critical Thinking”), Leadership (out of the classroom eg. “Finding Research and Internship Opportunities”), and Social (community building eg. “Talk to Your Profs”) Events;
  • for Computer Science, Math and Physical Sciences, Commerce / Management / Business, Social Sciences, Humanities and Life Sciences students;
  • engage with Mentees / Mentors, Alumni, Staff and Faculty in small table group discussions and one to one;
  • attend the events that correspond to the topics and skills you want to learn;
  • receive Co-curricular Record (CCR) validation on your official U of T CCR transcript, a recognition of the skills and experiences you acquired as a Mentee, Mentor-In-Training, and Mentor in First in the Family.


3.  Meet with a Learning Strategist

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

Contact us


Contact Adonica Huggins, Program Coordinator at 416-978-0480 or | Facebook: First in the Family |Twitter: @UofTFirstGen

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