First In The Family: Success For First-Generation University Students

Being the first in your family to attend university can be both a thrilling and daunting feat. While parents with post-secondary experience often recount past stories and words of advice, first-generation students must seek guidance elsewhere.

This is why many Canadian universities like the University of Toronto, McMaster, and Western offer mentorship programs to assist first-generations students in making the transition into university life. These programs provide students with the opportunity to discuss their concerns and experiences with veteran upper-year students.

This culture of mentorship isn’t limited to Canadian schools. In Uganda, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, mentorship opportunities are also provided to women who receive scholarships from Beautiful World, a Toronto-based charity that concentrates on educational aid in these countries.

After students are selected for a scholarship, their tuition fees, transportation costs, nutritional needs, and medical care are covered for the entirety of their education. Since all of these students are the first in their families to attend university, they’re each paired with a mentor who has not only excelled in the university process, but is thriving professionally and personally after graduation. By seeing real-life examples of women who have succeeded, students gain a greater understanding of the importance of education and the opportunities it can provide.

This organization is able to secure scholarships to women in need through the assistance of generous donors and volunteers. Learn more at