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 Denver, who want to grow as a leader.
Leadership Program Details
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-generation students in what we call their Family Group.
A 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.
A 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
- A 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
This is a very competitive program. To ensure your spot in the program, it is best to apply early.
Update Fall 2021:
Unfortunately, the deadline to join our First-Generation Leadership Program for 2021-2022 has closed. Applications will open for the 2022-2023 year in May of 2022.
As a member of the First-Gen Initiatives Leadership Program, I have gained a valuable experience. The staff that make up this program have promoted my growth as an individual. They have demonstrated that being an inspirational leader, is allowing others to grow in their own way.
MSU Denver Class of 2022, Major: Computer Engineering
One of the biggest ways that I have grown as a leader as a member of the First Generation Initiatives Leadership Program is by being able to speak up in a group of people. This has translated into my classes, where I am less hesitant to voice my opinions and am able to engage with my professors and classmates a lot better than I had at the beginning of the program.
MSU Denver Class of 2024, Major: Modern Languages
I never pictured myself as a leader or thought I could ever be one until I joined the program, seeing the characteristics, skills and personality of my family leader, knowing that he also struggled, but never gave up, made it easier for me to know that I could become one. I hope to also inspire other people into developing their skills as a leader.
MSU Denver Class of 2024, Major: Nursing
I’ve grown as a leader through many things such as participating in workshops and volunteering because I get to learn more about myself and know what I need to improve on. From all of these experiences, I learned a lot and it allowed me to develop as a leader more.
MSU Denver Class of 2024, Major: Accounting Bachelor of Science
Over the past few months in which I’ve been a part of the First-Generation Initiatives Leadership Program, I have seen improvements in my leadership skills. Another skill I have seen growth in, would be recognizing my mistakes and building from them, and not taking them as a total loss like I used to before. Lastly, the most important skill in which a leader should have would be listening to the advice others give and accepting their criticism instead of ignoring it.
MSU Denver Class of 2024, Major: Accounting
I have come to grow into a new level of confidence that was unknown to me before this program. My family group leaders have guided me through so much inner turmoil around leadership that I am confident enough to say that I am one. This program has taught me to slow down and to be unapologetic about my voice. The First-Generation Initiatives Leadership Program is a lifetime opportunity, and I am so glad to be a part of its legacy.
MSU Denver Class of 2021, Major: Psychology
I have grown tremendously as a member of the First-Generation Initiatives Leadership Program. I was able to connect to other students who were in the same boat as I. This group has also taught me a lot of different skills that I never learned before like interviewing tips, how to write a resume, how to find resources you need, and more.
MSU Denver Class of 2024, Major: Psychology w/ Minor in Criminal Justice & Criminology
This program has taught me that success isn’t a paved pathway, and sometimes, you have to pave the path yourself to help those after you. We’re taught that leadership isn’t a one way street, but more like an intersection. There is no right or wrong way necessarily, but there are many different methods from each way of leading, and the methods used are always a free choice, guided by what is needed from those you are leading.
Leadership Program Photos
Center for Multicultural Engagement and Inclusion (CMEI)
First-Generation Initiatives is a program within the Center for Multicultural Engagement and Inclusion. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to swing by our office, give us a call, or email us. We would love to hear from you!
Questions? Contact CMEILearn More About CMEI
Jordan Student Success Building (JSSB) 237
890 Auraria Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204
P.O. Box 173362, Campus Box 39, Denver, CO 80217-3362