Founding Scholars

Founding Scholars welcomes new, incoming first-generation college students to life at GW. Students will build community with other first-gen students, connect with faculty and staff, and learn about valuable academic and campus resources. This program is specifically designed for first-generation students and we welcome you to register if you identify as a first-gen student.  

Founding Scholar students eating dinner at a restaurant.


"The Founding Scholars program helped immensely in my first year of college at a PWI, I was nervous and scared that I would be isolated from spaces because of my background.  This program welcomed me with a community that taught me that I was not alone and that I belonged here.  I found a family that equipped me with the resources and confidence necessary to be successful as a first-gen, second-generation, person of color."

Alejandra Varela

Class of 2023

Program Overview 

Students that sign up to participate in Founding Scholars are expected to be available to engage during all program dates and times. Small groups and peer guides are a signature part of our co-curricular programs and will continue. Incoming students will be placed in a small group led by two peer guides who act as mentors and are responsible for leading small group discussions and activities. More information about the 2021 program will be available in May 2021.

Program Benefits

By addressing the unique characteristics of this population, the goal of Founding Scholars is to reduce barriers between first-gen students and continuing generation peers thereby catapulting students to a successful start to their college experience.

Founding Scholars participants will:

  • Explore what it means to be first-gen at GW;
  • Build community with their first-gen peers;
  • Connect with faculty/staff; and
  • Learn about valuable academic and campus resources to set them up for success while at GW.



of students agreed that they can apply their strengths as a first-generation student after Founding Scholars


incoming students participated in 2019, the first year of Founding Scholars


Program costs will be posted later this summer.


Registration will open later this summer.

Program Dates

Founding Scholars will take place over two days following new student move-in and during Orientation week. More information about the fall 2021 program dates will be available later this summer!


Additional Information  

If you have any additional questions, please contact Jasmine Gillison.