First-Generation Mentorship

Support and advising for students who are the first in their families to attend university

A groupof five students works together around a computer.

Supporting students who are the first in their families to attend university

Post-secondary studies are an exciting and extraordinary milestone. For students who don't have parents or family members who have previously attended university, having some guidance from someone who has been there before can be especially helpful.

First-Generation programming provides these students access to a community of peers, as well as contextualized academic advising, resources and events. These supports can not only aid in their transition to university life, but also help them succeed throughout their post-secondary journey.


Mentorship Matters

I wish I had known about the benefits of mentorship programs at the university. When I joined the international student mentorship program in my second year, I realized how helpful it was.

Safia Ihsan Ali

First-in-Family Microplacement Student

About the Mentorship Program

The First-Generation mentorship program offers opportunites to connect and build community with other first generation students. Volunteer mentors help create a positive and enriching enviroment for new students, while mentees gain confidence and knowledge from their mentors shared experiences. 

About Mentors

As a volunteer mentor, you can provide guidance, connection and confidence as an upper-year student with more experience and insight into campus life.

In addition to supporting fellow students’ growth, you'll receive valuable leadership training and work experience, while making enriching personal connections along the way.

You can learn more about the mentorship role by reading the role description or by watching the short video below. 

Mentor Applications are closed for 2023/2024. Please check back in the future for more opportunities!

About Mentees

Transitioning from high school to university, or adjusting to a new environment, can be overwhelming for anyone, but for students who are the first in their family to attend university, it can present even greater challenges. While first-generation students bring an incredible sense of resilience, determination, and vision for earning their degrees, pioneering their path without or with minimal family support can be isolating and difficult. We welcome applicants from all faculties.

You can learn more about the mentee role by reading the role description or by watching the short video below.

Request a Mentor

Students who identify as the first in their family to attend post secondary can request a mentor by completing a brief intake survey and a short meeting with the program coordinator. 

Complete the intake form

News and articles

UCalgary celebrates inaugural First-Generation Networking Night

Students in First-in-Family Program find community and connection with peers, campus community and hear from 1st-generation groundbreakers

The Power of Determination

Four steps to help make your goals a reality.

Academic Triumphs and Challenges

Tales of First-in-Family Students in Canada

Food Insecurity and Campus Resources

A Guide for UCalgary Students

Managing Setbacks: A Stepping Stone to Success

While setbacks can be a source of stress, they can also be an opportunity to learn, grow, and get better.

Putting the "Self" in Self-Advocacy

Self-advocacy is the act of intentionally speaking up for your wants, needs, and rights. This includes pursuing necessary support and asking for what you need in your journey.


Do you have questions about our First-Generation programming? Contact us for more support. 

Tram Nguyen

Academic Development Specialist, 

Equity-deserving Students

Mariann Howell

Coordinator, First-Generation Student Programs