Guide the Way


Student Life Co-Curricular Programs

The Student Life Co-Curricular Programs provide a chance for first-year students at GW to connect with peers around a shared identity or common area of interest. Student Life Co-Curricular Programs provide meaningful connections through immersive cohort-based experiences and allow students to explore and discover more about themselves, their new peers, and their new home in Washington, D.C. The Student Life team currently offers three exciting Co-Curricular programs - Adventure Bound, LEAD GW, and Founding Scholars.

Peer Guides

The Office of Student Life recruits Peer Guides for LEAD GW and Founding Scholars annually in the spring semester for the following programs:

LEAD GW: LEAD GW (Leadership Exploration and Development at GW) is a dynamic program that empowers students to learn more about themselves, socially responsible leadership and their new home. Participants attend leadership workshops, participate in small group activities, and explore GW and D.C. Incoming students are paired with upper-class Guides who mentor, share resources, and provide personal insights into involvement and leadership at GW.

Founding Scholars: Founding Scholars welcomes 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. The George Washington University formally defines first-generation college students as those whose parents did not complete a four-year, baccalaureate degree. We also recognize that there are many definitions for what it means to be a first-gen college student and welcome participants that identify with the definition in any way. 

Peer Guide Position Overview

Student Life Co-Curricular Peer Guides are passionate and welcoming students who are rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Applicants should be interested in mentoring and supporting a diverse group of incoming first-year students as they transition to life at GW. Guides are volunteers who are responsible for leading a small group and creating a fun and supportive environment for GW’s newest community members. 

Benefits and Perks

Student Life Co-Curricular Peer Guides will gain significant leadership experience; develop professional relationships with administrators; strengthen their skills in communication, facilitation and presentation, event planning and program development, problem-solving, empathetic listening and response, and more. 

This is a unique leadership opportunity to make an incredible impact on the GW community and in the lives of GW’s newest students. You will be among the very first people they meet at GW and will have the opportunity to mentor these students, make genuine connections with them,  and help them find success, belonging, and connection at GW. 

Some other perks of serving as a Peer Guide include:

  • Early move-in
  • New friends! Extend your GW family and learn more about campus 
  • Participate in and facilitate teambuilding experiences
  • Build your resume
  • Explore Washington, D.C. with new students
  • And more!

Duties and Responsibilities

Facilitate Small Group Engagement

  • Work collaboratively with a co-Guide to lead a group of approximately 20 participants  
  • Assist small group members as they participate in activities by staying actively engaged and encouraging members to contribute to the group
  • Guide a small group to locations around campus and in D.C.
  • Lead discussions on GW, leadership, and/or the first-gen experience (based on program)

Mentor Participants

  • Serve as a positive role model, mentor, and GW ambassador in all phases of role 
  • Meet individually with small group members and answer questions that arise or recommend resources as appropriate
  • Introduce participants to involvement and leadership opportunities and resources within the GW community
  • Engage with participants periodically through the academic year and answer additional questions that arise during their first year

Support Program Operations

  • Foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for participants and Guides
  • Stay actively engaged throughout Guide training and the program
  • Co-lead discussions or workshops on various topics to helping students transition to GW


Required: GW students who are rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University (no active violations) may apply. Students leading or participating in other co-curricular programs or training (e.g. SEASSPAN, Orientation Leaders, etc.) are not eligible due to scheduling conflicts. Peer Guides will need to be available to move in and start training beginning mid-August. Peer Guides should be responsive via email over the summer. Peer Guides should be an involved member of the GW or local community and have strong overall knowledge of GW and D.C.

Preferred Qualifications by Program

LEAD GW: Peer Guides for LEAD GW should have some familiarity with Student Life’s Definition of Leadership as well as each pillar of our Leadership Philosophy. Peer Guides should have a foundational understanding of student leadership concepts as well as an understanding of their own personal leadership philosophies so that they are comfortable facilitating discussions, workshops, and activities about leadership development. Lastly, Peer Guides should be comfortable working with both large and small groups of students and should have a good working knowledge of how to navigate around D.C. using public transportation. 

Founding Scholars: Peer Guides for Founding Scholars should identify as a first-generation college student and/or have a strong understanding and appreciation for the first-generation college experience. Peer Guides should have a foundational understanding of the first-year, first-generation college experience so that they are comfortable facilitating discussions, workshops, and activities about campus resources and involvement. Peer Guides should be comfortable working with both large and small groups of students and should have a good working knowledge of how to navigate around D.C. using public transportation. 

HQ Role: This position will not serve as a Peer Guide for a specific program, but will support overall operations of the Student Life Co-Curricular Programs, including first-year student welcome, marketing, and social media, communications, logistics, and facility support, issue response. Additionally, HQ Guides will be tapped to fill in for program Peer Guides who are unable to fulfill their role. HQ Guides should have a general interest in all of the Co-Curricular Programs, a strong overall knowledge of GW and D.C., be adept in written communications and social media, an ability to jump in and problem solve, and a team-focused approach to work. 

If you have any questions about the Peer Guide role or application process, please contact Andrea Davis, Program Coordinator for Leadership & Student Involvement.