First Cats Mentoring


A first-generation college student is defined as a student: 

  • who comes from a home where neither parent/legal guardian has completed a four-year bachelor’s degree; 

  • OR whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a country outside of the United States; 

  • OR who has separated or divorced parents and the parent with primary custody, or with whom the student lives with a majority of the time, does not have a bachelor’s degree; 

  • OR who was/is a homeless youth, experienced the foster care system, or was a ward of the state. 

If you are a first-gen college student, consider joining First Cats mentoring during your first and second year at UArizona. With First Cats, you’ll not only be paired with a peer mentor, you'll also join a group of other first-gen students to meet with on a weekly basis.

The link to join is below. Feel feel to invite or bring a friend! 

If you're a third year student or above, we also have opportunities for you to connect! Learn about all of First Cats experiences by clicking here. 

We are so excited to join your journey!


First Cats believes in the value of peer mentoring. During the first year, students are paired with a student in their second year at UArizona or beyond -- this is someone who was in your shoes not too long ago. Through one-on-one meetings with a peer mentor and group sessions, First Cats focuses on successfully tackling the transition to college with you. We discuss getting involved on campus, mastering time management, setting goals, networking, problem solving, resume building, creating the college experience you want to have, and much more!  

By getting involved with First Cats, you will have the opportunity to meet new people and be surrounded by a community committed to your success from the start of your journey!

Key Components
  • One-on-one meetings with a peer mentor held every other week (6 meetings per semester)
  • Fall semester -- weekly class for credit facilitated by your peer mentor and First Cats staff
  • Spring semester -- discussion groups held every other week
Former First Cats first-year participants said...

"It is a supportive environment, and the mentors really want to make sure that you're adjusting well and informed on things you need to do as a freshman to succeed." 

“Having to adapt to new place can be intimidating especially when you're saying it aloud that you're starting college. Having a group of people that are also going through the same thing you are and having someone especially for you that listens to you and guides you is very nice.”

“I would say that it is a great program to help you ease into the college life. There is a lot you might think you know, but a lot more you don't, and it's refreshing seeing that your own struggles aren't just your own, someone else might be feeling the same way.” 

During the second year, First Cats mentoring participants have the opportunity to meet with a peer mentor and participate in monthly group discussions for a total of six one-on-one and group meetings per semester (three each). Mentoring for second-year students is focused on providing guidance on solidifying a major, exploring possible career paths, understanding the difference between graduate school and the workforce, building a resume, and making a detailed plan for the remainder of your time at UArizona.

Participation in the first-year mentoring option is not required to join the second-year.

Students transferring to UArizona are encouraged to participate in this component -- we have specific transfer mentors to help guide your transition!

Key Components

  • One-on-one meetings with a peer mentor every month (3 meetings per semester)
  • Group discussion led by a peer mentor every month (3 meetings per semester)

Former First Cats second-year participants said...

“I would highlight the amazing people within the culture of first cats, and especially my peer mentor Miranda, who in herself has been a delight to work with as she's been very understanding and is passionate about what she does. She truly does her research to be able to answer questions that i may have brought up at an earlier date.”

Coming into the UA can be really difficult, and being in First Cats will not only provide you with a team who is consistently willing to help, but it's also an environment where you can make new friends.”

“Give First Cats a try even if you did not join your freshman year. Talking to a mentor is extremely helpful and gives you the opportunity to talk about anything you want to. Workshops help you learn about different things that are on campus or even at your own house.”

Want to talk with someone?

Unsure if mentoring is right for you? Schedule a meeting with a member of the mentoring team below to discuss any questions you may have. Even if mentoring is not for you, our goal is to connect you with the people and resources that will aid you in navigating the university.

Schedule a Meeting