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LEADing First Gen Students to Success

Through mentoring, workshops, financial aid, and more, SCU’s LEAD Scholars program offers first generation college students the help they need to be successful in their studies and their careers. But it’s so much more than that. Here, Broncos find a safe place, a support system, and a community that feels like home.

SCU’s LEAD Scholars Program supports first-generation college students through mentoring, career assistance, and more. Students attend a week-long orientation, during which they adjust to life at SCU, pair with a mentor, and bond as a community.

Jeremiah Rufus ’23, said LEAD helped him branch out on campus. “I saw LEAD as a way to express myself on campus with like people, in a safe place. After winning the LEAD Pageant with my spoken word piece, I had the confidence to enter another talent show on campus,” he said.

Having a support system of other first-generation students “was huge for me, and a big deal for my family,” said Niyibitanga Inosa ’23. “It’s most helpful that they reach out to you with information about fellowships, advising, internships. They are proactive; they don’t wait to hear from you.”

Transfer students Dominic Magdaluyo ’19, M.S. ’20, and Brooke Watson ’20, both landed jobs with help from LEAD’s career development and resume building sessions. Brooke said, “I learned all about making connections in a workshop on how to land an internship. That was helpful because I don’t have a large network of contacts through my family like other people do. With help from the workshops, I found the courage to send a cold email to a connection I did have and was able to get an internship!”

Johnny Dimas Flores ’21, was surprised to learn how much the program offers. “I expected orientation and resources, but there are multiple events every quarter that are a great way to get to know others. There are not a lot of people of my color identity on campus, so it’s great to find others like me through LEAD.”

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Jeremiah Rufus ’23, General Engineering: “Being a part of LEAD and the student organization Igwebuike gives me such a great sense of community. We’re like siblings now, but when we first met, they were familiar faces I hadn’t seen before.”

Niyibitanga Inosa ’23, Computer Science and Engineering: “It was beneficial to meet classmates slowly during the week-long orientation—putting a foot in the water. By the time school started, I felt I was ready and prepared.”

Brooke Watson ’20, Mechanical Engineering: “The LEAD community is one you wouldn’t find anywhere else. It’s rare to have that already set up; I didn’t have to go out and find it on my own.”

Johnny Dimas Flores ’21, Mechanical Engineering: “LEAD helped me fill in the gaps to cover my tuition with a scholarship last year. It was a huge help and paid for summer school so I can graduate on time.”

Dominic Magdaluyo ’19, M.S. ’20, Computer Science and Engineering: At the transfer orientation, I built a close camaraderie with the other transfers and my LEAD mentor. It inspired me to become a mentor for other transfer students the following year.


Engineering, Leadership, SOE, Undergraduate

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Santa Clara University
School of Engineering
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Heafey-Bergin, Bldg. 202
Sobrato Discovery, Bldg. 402

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