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Holistic Mentorship Program

Our Holistic Mentorship Program is designed to support freshmen and sophomores to gain a bigger picture perspective on how the college years fit into a larger life journey for first-generation college students, and to guide them on how to navigate college, choose a major, find their voice, own their narrative, and advocate for their needs.  The program allows for one-on-one mentorship pairings.  Mentors meet with students approximately 8 times over the academic year. 

Professional Mentorship Program

CSN’s career path guidance program is designed for juniors and seniors who plan to continue on to graduate school or will soon be on the job market.  Students are paired with a seasoned profession who will help them gain practical and concrete knowledge on how to enter the field of their choice.  Depending on the students’ interests and needs, mentors can provide feedback on resumes, LinkedIn profiles, internships, interviews and share networking opportunities. Currently the program is conducted virtually.

Advocacy, Belonging, and Careers (ABC) Program

CSN's new virtual Advocacy, Belonging and Careers (ABC) Program is designed to help FGLI students advocate for themselves and others as they graduate from college and transition into the workforce. The six-session program, which began in July 2022 with a keynote session from author Elliott Felix, covers a variety of topics including helping students to define the issues they care most about; identifying what would be their ideal work environment; navigating and facilitating high stakes conversations in the workplace; addressing DEI issues in the workplace from an ethical and legal perspective; and learning how to use set-backs as opportunities, among other topics.  At the end of the program, student participants will write a short policy brief on a topic of their choice and present it to a "mock panel" for constructive feedback.  This program builds on many of the skills in CSN's Student Leadership Development and Training Program. We are very grateful to RSM for sponsoring this innovative program to empower Philadelphia area FGLI students. 

ABC meeting Screen Shot 2022-07-28_edited.jpg

STEM Program 

The program aims to enhance FGLI college students’ awareness of STEM career options, develop career navigation skills, increase social capital with other students and STEM professionals and build confidence in pursuing a STEM career.  The all-virtual program covers networking and informational interviews, tips on resumes and LinkedIn profiles, interviewing for internships and jobs, continuing education options, developing transferable skills, practicing presentation skills and leveraging conferences and professional societies.  Currently, the program meets virtually in the evening during the month of January.

The Next Degree Program: A Guide to Graduate School for FGLI Students

This virtual program, offered in the Spring, helps FGLI students interested in going to graduate school (in any area) learn how to research and select graduate programs and schools, write applications and personal statements, and figure out financial aid options, among many other topics.

Graduation Celebration

Student Leadership Development Training and Certificate Program

This program covers a broad range of issues and techniques that help students become effective leaders and advocates.  The program includes a StrengthsFinder Skills Assessment, sessions on improv, design thinking and mindfullness, and a session on navigating high stakes/“Crucial Conversations.”  At the end of the program, students work with a professional to produce and share a mini-Ted Talk on a topic of their choosing. Currently the program is conducted virtually.

Learning Events

We curate learning events each semester based on our population's evolving needs.


These events focus on professional and personal development, covering topics such as career navigation, emotional intelligence, interpersonal effectiveness, leadership skills, and financial literacy.

Recent events have included:

  • “More Than Interviewing Skills: How to Embrace Being First Gen”

  • “From Financial Aid to Financial Independence” 

  • “The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career of Right”

    • CSN and RiseFirst co-hosted a webinar from WSJ award winning author and first gen professional Gorick Ng  on his book.  The recorded webinar is full of great tips and is available for viewing:


These events are both virtual and in-person.  All events are free.

Networking and Social Events

Meet-and-greets for students and professionals to gather and interact provide our students informal spaces to gain exposure to professional culture, communication, and etiquette, to learn about different careers, and to build personal relationships with professionals and other first-gen college students.

Company Visits

Students gain real-world exposure to various industries by visiting companies.


Participating companies host groups of no more than 20 students at their offices to provide them with an insider’s overview of the industry.  Staff will talk about their individual career paths and share insights on how to enter and advance in the industry.

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