F1RST Scholars

The D'Amore-McKim School of Business recognizes the importance of cultivating diverse and inclusive communities among our students. First-generation (FirstGen) students in our community are culturally diverse and bring unique perspectives to the classroom and beyond. Approximately 15% of Northeastern University students are the first in their families to attend college and come from low-income backgrounds. The F1RST Scholars Program supports and empowers students to persist academically; create connections amongst themselves and the Northeastern community; build their professional network; and gain the knowledge and skills to become successful business professionals and leaders.

D'Amore-McKim is committed to fostering and nurturing our FirstGen students to ensure they achieve academic, professional, and personal success. And thanks to support from the Cummings Foundation and its Boston-area $30 Million Grant Program and other generous donors, we are ready to make a difference.

The D'Amore-McKim F1RST Scholars Program aims to empower FirstGen college students through 1:1 counseling, mentorship, career exploration activities, community building, and professional skill development in partnership with a dedicated network of advisors, faculty, alumni, and industry partners committed to helping scholars reach their full potential.

We define FirstGen students as the first in their families to attend college/university to attain a bachelor's degree.

The Cummings $30 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.

Program Overview

  • Customized 1:1 Counseling, Coaching & Advocacy:  Scholars receive 1:1 counseling and coaching, which gives them customized support and advocacy to help them realize their full potential. Their 1:1s focus on personal wellness, academic success strategies, professional development plans, advocacy/liaison with advising, financial aid, and co-op.
  • Mentorship: Scholars receive mentorship from dedicated upper-class peer mentors who are also the first in their families to attend college. In the second year, students receive a dedicated industry mentor who provides additional support through their first co-op job search and professional transition.
  • Career Education: Students participate in a variety of career education programs in collaboration with committed alumni, industry, and faculty partners to increase awareness of opportunities and grow professional networks. 
  • New York City Trek: Scholars travel to New York City during Spring Break to visit prestigious & leading firms in various industries. Scholars meet industry professionals in corporate spaces, and experience workplace cultures at all levels. These experiences build confidence, allowing students to “be what they can see,” which generates enthusiasm for what is possible across many career pathways. The scholars also get exposure to cultural arts through visits to local museums and a Broadway play.
  • Financial Literacy & Professional Skill Development: Students engage in a series of financial literacy and professional skill development workshops. As a result, they grow personally and professionally, expand their network, and are better prepared for interviews, summer internships, and co-op.
  • Community Building: In addition to off-site team-building retreats, scholars participate in weekly community lunches & roundtables with alumni, faculty, staff, and peer mentors. We are building authentic, meaningful relationships that foster a sense of belonging among the scholars who will support one another throughout their academic and career journeys.

Eligibility and Benefits

  • Students who identify as FirstGen are eligible to participate in the program. FirstGen is defined as undergraduate students whose parents or guardians did not earn a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • They are selected through an application and interview process. Students selected as D'Amore-McKim F1RST Scholars will be required to participate in all aspects of the program.
  • D'Amore-McKim F1RST Scholars receive a $3,000 stipend during the program's first year. The program also covers the cost of books, club dues, and professional business attire and provides a personal laptop if needed.