About the Program

FOCUS is an intensive year-long program created to aid in eliminating the gap in post-graduation outcomes and starting salaries between underrepresented, first-generation students and their peers to positively impact their career trajectory, earnings potential, and economic security for years to come.

Through a series of workshops, this program looks to provide transformative learning experiences for students in and out of the classroom. This program aims to create highly prepared citizens while also diversifying the workforce.

Students who are selected as participants for the program will receive a $2,500 scholarship to mitigate the financial burden of participation over two semesters.

Sponsored by Synchrony.


  • Must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student and have completed freshman year
  • Must be enrolled consecutively, full-time for the upcoming 2021 - 2022 academic year
  • Must be a first-generation college student
  • Must be a member of a group historically underrepresented in education (Native American/Alaska Native, Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Other Pacific Islander)
  • Must be available to commit to 8 hours of participation per week

Program Goals

The FOCUS Scholars initiative seeks to accomplish the following:

  • Increase awareness and provide exposure to a wide variety of occupations and careers

  • Foster development of critical career readiness competencies that are expected by employers

  • Cultivate a professional network of mentors and advocates

  • Empower students to craft and confidently tell their story

  • Prepare participants to effectively compete for vital professional experiences

  • Provide financial support to ensure academic excellence