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The LEAD Scholars Program is for first-generation college students (students whose parents did not graduate from a 4-year college or university) focused on academic success, community engagement and vocational exploration.

This program is open to both first-year students and transfer students with the goal of supporting them throughout their college career.

LEAD Scholars

Welcome to the LEAD Scholars Program

Thank you for your interest in the LEAD Scholars Program! The LEAD Scholars Program is a program for first-generation college students (students whose parents did not graduate from a 4-year college or university) focused on academic success and community engagement. The LEAD Scholars Program provides academic and vocational development opportunities, supportive advising, peer mentoring, and community building through a variety of courses, programs, and support networks. 

For most students, participation in the LEAD Scholars Program begins in their first year at SCU to ensure a smooth transition into SCU from their previous high school or higher education institution. The program continues through senior year by supporting students' vocational development and connecting them to internships, study abroad, graduate school and leadership opportunities. 

All admitted first-generation college students are informed about the program soon after they are admitted to the university, and are asked to indicate their interest. Based on this information, students are then selected keeping in mind the goal to create a diverse community in terms of backgrounds and experiences.

Students who are first-generation college students who are already attending SCU, can also participate in the LEAD Scholars Program by entering at Level 2 through a short application process.

If you are a first-generation college student, and will be or are currently attending SCU, and would like to find out more information about the program or would like to express your interest in the program, please contact us at 408-554-4439.


One of our very own, Eoin Lyons, is officially the first LEAD Scholar to be named Santa Clara University's Valedictorian! We are extremely proud of all of our students and the community they create here at SCU. Watch Eoin's speech here!

LEAD Collaborating with Empowered Students to provide Career Coaching:


Dec. 11th, 2018

Santa Clara, CA -- Empowered Students has partnered with the LEAD Scholars on a pilot program to support 15 students. The Career Coaching program includes a four week online, a micro-learning experience that is 10 minutes a day, weekly group coaching calls via video chat, and access to a private LinkedIn group. The partnership will take place between the months of December, 2018 and March, 2019.

Through the Empowered Students’ career coaching program, LEAD Scholars will receive coaching that will assist them in landing life-altering business internships and jobs upon graduation.  In order to do so, Empowered Students will increase the knowledge of LEAD Scholars in the realms of:

Relationship Building Skills
Business Communication
Personal Branding
Business Networking
Professionalism & Confidence
About Empowered Students
Empowered Students is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that empowers first-generation and low income students to land life-altering internships and jobs. Our mission is to empower first-generation and low-income college students with the skills, confidence, experiences, and networks needed to land life-altering internships and jobs upon graduation---which lead to meaningful careers, lives of impact, and positions of leadership. These outcomes radiate a positive ripple effect with family members, high school friends, and members in their hometown communities.  

 Empowered Students Succeed


Congratulations to our IME Becas Scholarship Recipients! IME-Becas-Logo

Congratulations to our IME Becas Scholarship recipients: Divianna Navarro, Bernardo Quevedo and Fabiola Ruiz! We are incredibly grateful to the Mexican Consulate of San Jose which awarded us a fifth IME Becas Grant thus far! The purpose of this IME Beca is to provide financial assistance to students of Mexican origin in order to support educational opportunities. Learn more about our recipients here


Congratulations to our 2018-2019 Koret Fellows!

With generous support from the Koret Foundation, the IME Becas Program through the Mexican Consulate, Parents Alliance and private donors, the LEAD Scholars Program awarded almost $90,000 in fellowships to 35 students to support participation in conferences, unpaid internships, study abroad and undergraduate research, summer courses, and immersion and other community-based learning travel. Click here to learn more about their experiences!


Thank you for your Day of Giving Support!

Thank you to everyone who supported LEAD during SCU's Annual Day of Giving!

On March 7th, 2019 ther were 99 alumni, parents and friends donated $10,650 to support LEAD's Microgrant and Fellowships Program. The generous donations that are made help students with basic living and educational needs, and participation in high-impact co-curricular activities like unpaid internships, undergraduate research and study abroad. Check out the LEAD page here for more information and to possilby consider making a donation in the future!

Day of Giving 2018

Please considering making a gift to our Microgrant and Fellowships Program.


First ever LEAD Podcast!

Thank you to Santa Clara University Alums from Ambassadors Circle, LEAD Alum, current Santa Clara University LEAD Scholars, and Santa Clara University Undergraduate Admissions for partnering with us and making this happen. Stay tuned for the final product. Pictured below is a sneak peak of those who were in attendance!

To learn about LEAD from our participants, listen to our podcast, This is How You College.

Podcast Spring 2018


Thank you to US Bank!

US Bank

US Bank recently made a generous donation of $5,000 to support the LEAD Scholars Program. This funding will be used to support vocational exploration programming for our students to develop a better sense of what they may want to pursue after college, including industry site visits, alumni mentoring circles, and our alumni panels. 


Congratulations to our Coca Cola Last Mile Scholarship Recipients!

Coca Cola Recipient Bio

This year we awarded 10 juniors and seniors $5,000 scholarships each to help them complete their degrees at SCU. Thank you to the Coca Cola Scholarship for their generous support. Read more about our Coca Cola Scholarship Recipients.

LEAD Event Calendar