First Generation Scholarship Program

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The First Generation Scholarship Program is a monetary award for first generation students who secure unpaid summer internships.

This program supports first generation students looking to gain hands-on experience in order to complement their academic coursework. Students will be selected through an application and interview process. All internships must be a minimum of six weeks during the summer. The program awards a $2,000 scholarship to selected students.


In collaboration with our mentorship program and campus partners, the USC Career Center would like to offer a Scholarship opportunity for those first generation students who secure unpaid summer internships. This initiative will support students looking to gain hands-on experience. Students will test drive a career field and enhance their professionalism through this career oriented activity.


  • Currently enrolled first generation college student, enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at USC with a minimum 2.8 GPA
  • Graduation date between December 2017 – May 2020
  • Secured internship by 12:00 pm on Friday, April 7, 2017
  • Must work at least 6 weeks at an organization, in any field or industry
  • Must have written proof of internship, including intern supervisor name/contact information

Application Process

Applications and supporting materials must be completed and submitted in connectSC, Job ID#119417, by 12:00 pm PST on April 7, 2017. Candidates will be notified via e-mail by April 14, 2017 if they are selected for an interview with the USC Dream Dollars Selection Committee.

Please complete a 3-step application process:

  1. Complete an Online Application Form
  2. Submit Supplemental documents within connectSC, Job ID#119417
    • Current Resume
    • STARS Report (Available on OASIS)
    • Personal Essay: a one-page, single spaced (1 inch margins) narrative explaining your current academic program, why you are interested in the USC First Gen Scholarship, how you think this internship experience will enhance your undergraduate experience and have an impact on your future. (Demonstrate your financial need). Essay must be typed in no smaller than 10-point font.
    • Include a copy of your internship job description from your organization or supervisor.
  3. Submit one (1) Letter of Recommendation from a USC faculty or staff member. No letters from peers or family members will be accepted. USC business card and/or department letterhead stationery are required. It is the student’s responsibility to submit this recommendation, prior to the deadline.

Selection Process

Students will be selected based on their application, faculty recommendation and interview. Students are expected to demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills.

Student Testimonials

As a first generation student, there are not many mentors within my family that I can ask for career advice related to my field. Being in a position where I could form new networks and contacts relating to both my International Relations and Public Relations majors has been incredibly invaluable. Knowing that after graduation I can come back and connect with these individuals are vital toward multiple facets of career shaping. From whether they know of available positions or are simply providing advice from their own experiences, I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to establish those relationships.

-Alyssa; Major: International Relations and Public Relations; Class of 2017

Being able to intern at Journey House has been an honor. I now understand that amount of time, effort, resources, and people that are needed to run a non-profit organization. Without the support of the USC First Generation Scholarship Program I would not had the opportunity to intern with Journey House. Receiving this scholarship allowed me to work with a small organization to gain firsthand experience in direct service. I also learned much about the establishment of an efficient privately funded organization, which translates into skills that I can utilize to establish my own non-profit organization. It has always been my dream to start a non-profit organization to help former foster and probation youth obtain higher education and self-sufficiency. I have decided to change my major to NGO and Social Change in order to further understand what is needed to establish a successful organization. This internship has helped me realize the importance of non-profit organizations and has motivated me to seek out a more direct way to accomplish my goals.

-Carmen; Major: Psychology; Class of 2019

The First Generation Scholarship Program has helped fund a summer of insight and opportunity for me. I am extremely thankful for the scholarship because without it I would not have had the money to live in D.C. It is a very expensive city and paying rent and bills without working would have been impossible for me to do. The First Generation Scholarship Program did not only fund a summer internship it funded an opportunity that I would not otherwise have had.

-Felicitas; Major: American Studies and Ethnicity; Class of 2017


Call the Career Center at (213) 740-9105 or e-mail
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