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The First-Generation Scholarship
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About The Scholarship 

We understand that first-generation students grapple with a myriad of challenges in their pursuit to higher education. From having to learn new and rigorous college application processes, and having no one at home to turn to for support in their day to day academics; being a first-generation college student creates obstacles that students otherwise do not have to grapple with. At Central Valley Scholars, part of our mission is to create accessible pathways towards higher education, and given that the Central Valley is home to the least educated congressional district in the nation (Daily Kos), our First-Generation Scholarship is one method in providing financial and celebratory support to first-gen college students in the Central Valley. 


The Central Valley Scholars First-Generation Scholarship recognizes exemplary first-gen college students in the Central Valley who, despite facing various obstacles, continue to pursue their educational journey. Our scholarships are developed with the core belief that all students are worth investing in and we select recipients on a basis of identity, need, and potential for growth; rewarding those who other educational organizations often dismiss. The First-Generation Scholarship invites vulnerability, encourages empowerment, and gives students in the Central Valley the space to validate their stories and find the beauty in their struggles. 


For purposes of this application, we define a first-generation college student as someone whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) did not complete a Bachelor's degree in the United States.

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Meet Past Recipients 

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Since 2020, Central Valley Scholars has awarded over $5,500 to first-generation students across the Central Valley. Our scholars have attended academic institutions across the spectrum including Fresno State, Modesto Junior College, Paul Mitchell, and Stanislaus State. Meet our 2021 and 2022 scholars by clicking below. 


Scholarship Details


  • Must be the first person in your immediate family, besides your siblings, to work towards a bachelors degree in the United States

  • Must be enrolled at a community college, vocational school, or undergraduate university during the fall semester/ quarter of 2023

  • Must have graduated from a high school, continuation school, or G.E.D school in the San Joaquin Valley by August 31st, 2023


  • No GPA requirement

  • No letter of recommendation

  • Proof of citizenship and social security are not requested 


  • Two 375 word responses

  • One 150 word response

  • Applications are closed and will re-open March 2024


  • Students will receive $1,500.00

  • Two recipients will be selected

Have additional questions? Please email scholarships@centralvalleyscholars.orgScholarship Terms and Conditions.

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