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First-Generation Leadership Program


The First-Generation Leadership Program is designed to instill pride in students for their first-generation identity, empower them as leaders, develop academic confidence, and create a sense of family among first generation students.  

Who is This Program For? 

All first-generation students who have recently graduated high school who are beginning their first-year of college at MSU Denverwho want to grow as a leader. 

Students who participate in the First Generation Leadership Program will spend a year learning about leadership, academic success skills, and getting to know other first-gen students in what we call their Family Group 

Family Group meets once a week throughout the fall and spring semesters. Family Groups are a place for students to develop long-lasting bonds and learn helpful topics such as Time Management, Study Skills, Values Based Leadership, Multicultural Leadership, and more. Family Groups are led by what we call a Family Leader.  

Family Leader is an experienced college student who serves as a mentor and resource for student participants. The Family Leader provides both academic and personal support for students by developing trusting relationships with each student in their Family Group. Family Leaders meet at least twice a semester with each student in their family group where they do goal setting, answer questions, and get to know each students' academic and personal life experiences 

Family Leaders also lead Family Group Activities, which are fun ways for students to get to know each other outside of the formal Family Group Meetings each week. Additionally, Family Leaders hold Study Hours each week for students to participate in.  

Study Hours are our way of encouraging healthy study habits that create an accountability system amongst students in the program. Students are required to go to study hours at least once each week.  

In the spring, once students feel confident in their leadership skills they will participate in a Service Project led by their Family Group. The service project will be a way for students to practice their leadership skills and will be another item to enhance their resume.  

  • Students will be able to identify at least two of their strengths. 
  • Students will be able to identify at least one of their values.  
  • Students will be able to identify how being first generation is a sign of resilience and will see themselves as leaders.  
  • Students will be able to identify two relevant campus resources that they can become involved in after finishing the program 
  • Students will be able to define their personal leadership style.  
  • Students will be able to understand how diversity, equity, identity, and social justice relate to their role as leaders.  
  • Students will be able to define how their leadership is influenced by their first generation and intersecting identities.  
  • Attend all family group meetings held once a week in the fall and bi-weekly in the spring semester 
  • Attend the program kickoff event Friday, August 20th , 2021 from 11-2 pm  
  • Maintain at least a 2.5 GPA  
  • Attend at least one family group activity per semester  
  • Attend at least one event put on by the Office of First-Generation Initiatives per semester 
  • Participate in a Service Project in the Spring semester  
  • Meet with their family leader two times for one-on-ones each semester 
  • Attend weekly study hours hosted by any of our family group leaders throughout the year 
  • Read and respond to emails/text messages from the First-Generation Initiatives staff throughout the year 
  • Demonstrate leadership on and off campus throughout the year 
  • Lifelong friendships and a supportive community of first-generation college students 
  • Confidence in how to be successful academically and as a leader on campus 
  • First-Generation Leadership Program certificate  
  • First-generation swag to show they were a member of the program 
  • The First-Generation Scholarship Award  
  • An item to put on their resume, discuss during interviews, and to stand out for additional scholarships 

Deadline to Apply:

This is a very competitive program. To ensure your spot in the program, it is best to apply early. 

The early application deadline is Friday, May 28th , 2021 by 11:59 pm. 

The extended application deadline is FridayJune 25th, 2021 by 11:59 pm. 

The FINAL DEADLINE is FridayJuly 23rd , 2021 by 11:59 pm. 

Most Valuable Leader Award

Please Help us Congratulate Our Recipients of the MVL Award for the Leadership Program 2020-2021


Tania Valles

Misty Sanchez

Sara Vang

Savanna Miller 

Diana Lopez

(Pictures in order by names)


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