First-Generation Scholarship

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

This scholarship supports first-generation students looking to gain experience 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. An award of $2,000 will be given to selected students.

Student Testimonials

“As an summer intern at the Alliance for Children’s Rights, it further motivated me to better represent and advocate for underprivileged and disadvantaged/minority individuals who are often silenced by the legal system. This experience enhanced my knowledge and skills to help progress other communities. I was in the direct position of creating significant change within the foster care system. I know that I will forever carry this life-learning knowledge to create impactful change for underrepresented communities throughout the rest of my career in public service. I am confident that this valuable internship experience will guide me towards making an impact within the world.”

-Carol, Major: Political Science, Class of 2021

“This summer, I interned at St. Joseph Hospital. The opportunity became a stepping stone to gain more hands-on experience, but it also brought my passion for medicine to fruition. I shadowed the psychiatrists and observed firsthand the process of the treatments for those struggling with various mental diseases. The internship allowed me to build lasting networks with the physicians and nurses, connect with patients through their background and ailments, and witness the events of the pandemic unfold before my very eyes. As a result, this experience instigated a renewed passion and dedication towards my career goals of becoming a physician. The overall experience truly opened my eyes to the impact of medicine and jump started my journey to discover what becoming a physician really meant to me with a stronger mindset.”

-Trang, Major: Neuroscience, Class of 2022


In collaboration with our First-Generation Mentor Program and campus partners, we are excited to offer this scholarship to first-generation students who secure unpaid summer internships. This initiative supports students looking to gain hands-on experience. Students will “test drive” a career field and enhance their professionalism through a career-oriented internship opportunity.

Eligibility for Summer 2021 Awards

  • Currently enrolled first-generation college student in an undergraduate degree program at USC with a minimum 2.8 GPA
  • Former first-generation scholarship recipients are not eligible
  • Graduation date between December 2021 – May 2024
  • Secure an unpaid internship by 12:00 pm PST on Friday, April 16, 2021 (can include fee-based virtual internships)
  • Must have written proof of internship, including intern supervisor name/contact information
  • Must work at least six weeks at an organization, in any field or industry

Application Process

All application materials must be received by 12:00 pm PST on April 16, 2021.

Please complete a two-step application process:

  1. Complete an Online Application through USC’s Scholarship Universe platform
  2. Submit Supplemental Documents within connectSC, Job ID# 214827
    • Current Resume
    • STARS Report (Available on OASIS)
    • Personal Essay: a one-page, single spaced (one-inch margins) narrative explaining your current academic program, why you are interested in the USC First-Generation Scholarship, and how you think this internship experience will enhance your undergraduate experience and have an impact on your future. Essay must be typed in no smaller than 10-point font.
    • Copy of your internship job description from your organization or supervisor
    • Sample budget for how the scholarship will be utilized

Selection Process

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


Contact us if you need assistance finding an internship.

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