Join First Generation Harvard Alumni in 2016-2017!

"First Generation" is a group of Harvard alumni who are the first members of their families to attend college and who seek to support current first-generation students. Our mission is to make Harvard a better place for current first-generation students and help them to navigate Harvard successfully. We achieve this goal through mentoring, advocacy and providing networking opportunities. Thanks to the generosity of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, first-generation students make up a substantial portion (up to 18%) of today’s undergraduate student body.


Every summer, first-generation students may request a mentor for their freshman year.  First Generation Alumni are matched with students based on interest, location, background and other characteristics.  Mentors and students determine how and when they will meet or chat throughout the year and the time commitment is usually less than two hours per month. In 2015-16, the fifth year of this program, 117 mentors were matched with 134 first-generation students.  This year we also matched more than 100 mentors with over 100 mentees.  Applicatons to participate in the 2017-18 program will be available soon.


Throughout the year, and especially from January through March, students seek career advice.  In 2015 and 2016, FGHA hosted well-attended panel discussions at Harvard FGHA alumni through the Office of Career Services. If you would like to serve on a panel, have time to review a few resumes or offer informational interviews, please let us know. Networking also takes place informally at social events in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago.


From time to time, First Generation Alumni voices help current students bring the administration’s attention to their needs.  Advocates of first-generation students also participate in gatherings on to welcome students, at Parents’ Weekend, with Admissions and the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative in April, and at ad hoc dinners during each semester.

Upcoming Events

  • FGHA at Reunion 2017


    3:00PM - 5:00PM Sat 27 May 2017

    Being first generation at Harvard means your parents did not graduate from a four-year college -- and you made it through Harvard! Come meet other talented alumni like yourself. Help FGHA expand our network.

Recent Events

First Gen Experience

Read the recent opinion piece in The Harvard Crimson calling for a summer enrichment program for first generation students.

First Gen Network New York City, March 1


These were but a few of the adjectives First Gen Alumni put on their name tags to describe how they felt as undergrads on March 1 when FGHA, in collaboration with The First Gen Network, held a happy hour at the home of FGHA Founder Kevin Jennings ’85 in New York.  About 60 folks from a variety of universities and class years attended to mingle and hear from a panel featuring Jennings, Jack Boyd of Duke (Executive Vice President, Marketing & Product Development at Elastic Fabrics of America), Brian Kennedy of Georgetown (Principal, Law Office of Brian Kennedy), and Monica Anzaldi Ward of Duke (New Jersey Executive Director at America Needs You).  The next event has tentatively been set for April 26: for more information email Amada Sol Peralta at

America Needs You

America Needs You is a program that works with First Generation college students and they are looking for volunteers in the NY/NJ area.  Check out their website for more information or contact Monica Ward.

Latest News

We Can't Wait Another Year

In an opinion piece in The Harvard Crimson, Savannah Fritz, '17 describes her experience as a first generation student at...

1vyG Conference at Yale

This third annual conference for first generation students was held at Yale in...

Being the first to go . . .

A two part series in the Stanford Daily on the experience of low income students at...
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