FOCUS Mentorship Program

FOCUS is a structured mentorship program centered around offering 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 can serve as resources and/or advocates through establishing an ongoing mentoring 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.   

FOCUS Aims To:

  • Support the first-year transition and success of first-generation college students of color, including international and transfer students
  • Connect mentees to resources available at NYU
  • Aid students in developing positive connections with the broader NYU community
  • Create a positive support system for academic success and professional and social development

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 applications for the 2023–2024 academic year will be available mid-July!  Please subscribe to the CMEP listserv and visit the Mentor Application Requirements page for more information.

Mentee applications for the 2023–2024 academic year will be available mid-August. Please subscribe to the CMEP listserv and visit the Mentee Application Requirements page for more information.

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.