Adapt, Discover & Thrive at GW


Thrive GW, an initiative of the Office of Student Life for 2020-21, will pair each new undergraduate student with a trained Guide. Guides will help new students orient to and engage in the GW community and find the necessary support to foster student success. In these uncertain times caused by COVID-19, these staff Guides will serve as trained, experienced, and enthusiastic “anchors” to help first-year students feel connected to GW. 

Program Goals

The goals of these interactions will be aligned with the holistic mission to orient, connect, and support GW students. Examples of interactions include: touching base about GW arrival logistics, student engagement opportunities, career development resources, and recreational activities near campus. These interactions will focus on interpersonal, career, wellness, professional, and leadership development, leaving academic advising to the experts in the schools.

Student Benefits

  • Have an experienced, trained member of the GW community as a point of contact during your first year
  • Create and expand your personal and professional GW networks
  • Learn more about GW’s services, resources, events, and activities to support your success
  • Learn more about Washington, D.C. and its recreational, artistic, and social activities


Complete the Student Matching Form

Thrive Guides

Thrive Guides are members of the GW community who help orient, connect, and support incoming first-year students. Guides will serve as coaches, role models, and referral agents to introduce GW’s first year students to the Washington, D.C. community and GW student life.

Guide Benefits

  • Give Back to the GW Community: your steady leadership and guidance will support the Class of 2024’s transition to GW
  • Expand your Network: you will enhance your professional and personal networks on campus
  • Learn More About GW: guide training will provide individuals with a more comprehensive knowledge of GW’s academic offerings, services, and resources
  • Changing One Life at a Time: this program is in the spirit of GW’s mission to change the world one, life at a time. Your care and leadership will enable GW students to “adapt, discover, and thrive”

Interested staff members should complete a Guide Interest FormInterest forms will be accepted until August 1, 2020.


Apply to Be A Thrive Guide!

Frequently Asked Questions

The program is predicated on the three-part GW Student Life mission to ORIENT, ENGAGE, and SUPPORT. The program’s curriculum will focus on the following:

  • Orientation: introduce students to the services, resources, and opportunities offered by the GW community. 
  • Engage: foster students’ feelings of connection to the GW community via their academic, intellectual, and social interactions with GW students, faculty, staff, and alumni. 
  • Support: encourage students to use wellness, academic, career, and professional resources and services to foster their success at GW. 

Guides and students will meet virtually before the first day of classes to address any transitional questions, and then there will be monthly individual meetings as well as group meetings with guides gathering their 5-6 students for a group session. Guides and students will be encouraged to meet with recommended social distancing protocols as well as to use virtual meeting mechanisms such as Webex or Zoom.

The program is open to GW staff members for the 2020-21 academic year. To apply, complete the Guide interest form.

Guides and students will be matched based on career aspirations, social identity, home town, academics, hobbies, interests, and life goals.

Guides will be required to dedicate 4-5 hours to summer training and then about 4-5 hours per month for the 30-45 minute individual meetings and 30-45 minute group meetings (1-2 per semester).

Guides will be recruited and trained in June-August 2020. Guides and students will be notified of their assignments by mid-August. The program will run from August 2020 through May 2021.