Mentoring @ Penn

The First-Generation, Low-Income (FGLI) Program opened in 2016 at the Greenfield Intercultural Center (GIC), part of the Division of the Vice Provost for University Life. Since then, the FGLI Program has increased exponentially, supporting some of our brightest students’ academic, personal, and social transition needs while creating a sense of belonging and community. In fall 2018, President Gutmann announced the creation of Penn First Plus, a central home that will provided expanded programs and financial support for FGLI undergraduates at Penn.

“Half of our students today receive financial aid, and one in eight freshmen will be first in their families to graduate college… We will power more support, more dynamic resources, and more access to opportunity for every one of Penn’s hardworking, brilliant students.” – President Gutmann

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In an effort to continue expanding our efforts and outreach, the GIC is excited to launch a new mentoring platform that will support the Penn FGLI community. Powered by startup PeopleGrove, co-founded by Adam Saven W12, this innovative platform will foster connections between first-generation and/or highly aided students and all interested alumni.

This tool allows students to search for fellow Quakers by industry or location and engage in conversation through discussion forums, flash mentorship and individual conversations. By utilizing this technology we are able to create a highly personalized networking experience.

“As a Penn alumna and former FGLI student, I wanted to do my part to give back to my community and pay it forward. Over the years, I have had the pleasure to mentor and work with many Penn FGLI students. It has been an incredibly rewarding and inspiring experience to help guide and support these students.  However, to close the achievement gap, it takes a community.  I encourage all Penn graduates to “take the call” and connect with students.  A connection would not only help change their lives, but also potentially change yours.” – Cindy Rentala C91 W91 WG97

Currently in its pilot phase, the FGLI Mentoring Community is open to select alumni who have expressed interest in supporting the FGLI community through career exploration, industry expertise, job/internship preparation and shadowing opportunities. Over the course of this soft, phased launch we will gather feedback and enhance the system.

If you are interested in learning more about the community and joining the network when it becomes public, please complete the form below. Questions can be sent to mentoring@upenn.edu.