FOCUS Mentorship Program

FOCUS is a structured mentorship program designed to offer first-year undergraduate students who identify as first-generation college students of color the opportunity to develop relationships with NYU alumni, faculty, staff, and graduate students who serve as resources and advocates through an ongoing mentor relationship.

Mentors assist their mentees in building a community at NYU, helping them create a foundation on campus through leadership development and connection with the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (CMEP) and other NYU resources. FOCUS works to create unity among all participants, ultimately supporting the educational and personal success of its mentees. Learn about the process and benefits and access the application for mentors and mentees below.  

Understand the FOCUS Process

Both mentors and mentees are selected through an application process. Although FOCUS can be a resource for career development, pairings are not solely based on career interests. Instead, the FOCUS Program’s dedicated staff carefully review each application to identify commonalities (e.g. career considerations, social identities, academic interests, hobbies, and goals) between potential matches. Mentors are selected to provide students with the opportunity to develop personally and professionally in ways that will most certainly continue beyond the program.

Benefits of FOCUS

The FOCUS Mentorship Program gives NYU students the opportunity to:

  • Establish meaningful personal and professional relationships.
  • Attend special events at NYU and throughout New York City at discounted rates (e.g. Broadway shows, The Schomburg, El Museo De Barrio)
  • Participate in free social events throughout New York City (past excursions have included visiting the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, attending hip-hop concerts, and dining at a traditional Dominican restaurant)
  • Share their experiences as first-generation students of color at conferences
  • Receive priority volunteer consideration for University-wide events such as MLK Week and Solidarity Week
  • Enjoy special consideration for internships, job opportunities, and seats on University committees
  • Receive consideration for the FOCUS Book Scholarship

FOCUS Application Information

Mentor Application Requirements

  • Willingness to participate for the full academic year
  • Attend all mandatory events
  • Complete the FOCUS Partnership Agreement & Developmental Plan with your mentee
  • Maintain monthly virtual or face-to-face meetings with your mentee
  • Maintain a bi-weekly communication schedule (email, phone calls, text messages) with your mentee
  • Complete all program surveys and assessments
  • Serve as your mentee’s accountability partner
  • Provide guidance for your mentee’s FOCUS Developmental plan
  • Encourage your mentee to schedule check-ins with FOCUS staff members and appointments with campus resources
  • NYU graduate students, staff, faculty, and alumni are welcome to apply to become a FOCUS mentor
    • Those who also identify as having been a first-generation college student are especially encouraged to apply

Mentor applications for the 2021–2022 academic year are closed. Please subscribe to the CMEP email listserv for ways you can engage with our office!


Mentee Application Requirements

  • Willingness to participate for the full academic year
  • Attend all mandatory events
  • Create and submit your and your mentor’s FOCUS Partnership Agreement & Developmental Plan
  • Maintain monthly virtual or face-to face meetings with your mentor
  • Maintain a bi-weekly communication schedule (email, phone calls, text messages) with your mentor
  • Complete all program feedback surveys and assessments
  • Schedule and attending appointments with campus resources
  • Attend monthly office hours or scheduling individual check-ins with FOCUS staff members
Mentee applications for the 2021–2022 academic year are now available. You can apply to be a part of the FOCUS mentorship Program by completing the Mentee FOCUS Application. Application closes on Monday, September 13th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Please subscribe to the CMEP email listserv to stay updated on additional updates!