Student Affairs

Welcome to the 1st Generation Mentorship Program

As a first generation student, it is difficult to navigate higher education. I wanted to have a mentor that was first generation or was interested in helping first generation students like myself navigate the system.

The 1st Generation Mentorship Program is a community of Stanford Medicine students, faculty, alumni, staff, who are either the first in their family to attend college/graduate/professional school and/or are the first in their families born in the United States. Our goal is to provide first-generation students with broadened academic and professional networking opportunities and advocacy through continued mentorship.

1st Spotlight

Our 1st Gen Spotlight is on Dr. Arturo Molina!

Dr. Molina has been an active member of the 1st Generation Mentorship Program since its' inception in 2015! He has mentored every cycle and is still in touch with some of his past mentees to this day. Dr. Molina is the current President of the Stanford Medicine Alumni Association. In his spare time he serves as the Chief Medical Officer at Sutro Biopharma. Previously, he was Vice President, Oncology Scientific Innovation at Janssen R & D (Johnson and Johnson, JNJ). While at JNJ he was responsible for the clinical development and New Drug Application for abiraterone (Zytiga(r)), which is now approved for metastatic prostate cancer in more than 100 countries. He was Chief Medical Officer/EVP at Cougar Biotechnology, which was acquired by JNJ in 2009. Arturo also worked at IDEC, then Biogen-IDEC, ultimately becoming Head, Oncology Clinical Development. In collaboration with Genentech, he led the clinical Supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) filing activities resulting in FDA approval of Rituxan(r) in two first-line indications in 2006: follicular lymphoma and diffuse B-cell lymphoma. We are forever grateful to Dr. Molina to his dedication and commitment to this community. Thank you for your service Dr. Molina!

Zoom Backgrounds

If you would like to download some cool 1st Gen Zoom backgrounds created by Gabriela Valazquez, click here!

In the Community

1st Gen Represents!

1st Gen member and medical student, Ana Carolina Boncompagni, and other Stanford Medicine students who serve as Covid Crew Co-Directors, discuss their efforts to distribute approximately 5500 vaccines to underserved communities surrounding Stanford. 

See Covid Crew for a news clip.

Journal of First-generation Student Success

NASPA's Center for First-generation Student Success is exicted to announce the call for submission to its new Journal of First-generation Student Success (JFGSS). Learn more here

The Journal of First-generation Student Success is seeking manuscripts for its inaugural issue addressing first-generation college student success. December 15, 2020 is the submission deadline for manuscripts to be considered for the inaugural issue. The anticipated publication date is April 2021.

National Celebrate 1st Gen Day

In 2017, the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the Center for First-generation Student Success launched the inaugural First-Generation College Celebration on November 8th for colleges and universities to recognize their first-gen students. 

The week of November 8, members of the Stanford Community celebrated through a social media campaign celebrating National CELEBRATE FIRST-GEN Day. Members of the community shared stories from a first-generation and/or low-income student perspective, with alumni, faculty, staff, and allies also shared throughout the week on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

#FLIatStanford (First-Gen and/or Low Income (FLI)) participated in @FirstgenCenter and @councilforopportunityineducation on Facebook for their #CelebrateFirstGen! 

In the News

Harassment & Hate Towards Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders during COVID-19

"As we join together as a community to respond to COVID-19, we lead with the same values that shape who we are at all times at Stanford, including support for our international and Asian and Asian American community members.

continue » National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine

Understanding the Experiences of First-Generation Medical Students: Implications for a Diverse Physician Workforce

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To first-generation college pre-medical students: Your future patients need you

Being a first-generation college student is hard. Being a first-generation college student and being pre-med is even harder. And since education and income are closely linked in the U.S., it's no surprise that many first-generation college students also come from a low-income background. I fell into this category.

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Stanford Medicine Leaders' Pledge

On June 4, at a rally for racial justice on the campus of Stanford Medicine, we knelt in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds - reflecting on George Floyd's last moments on Earth. Like so many others at Stanford and across the country, we are feeling crushed by the gravity of his murder at the hands of police who were sworn to protect and serve.

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Become a Mentor

Our new membership form is under development! If you would like to join our community, please email

Many successful professionals have had, early on, one or more mentors who made a big difference in helping them achieve early success. Our graduate students, and especially those who are first generation, will benefit greatly from expert guidance throughout their academic journey.

Being a mentor has its benefits. First, sharing your passions, you can help to set the tone for students entering their professional careers. Mentors learn things about themselves as well; their career benefits, and, when thinking about the impact on someone else’s life, mentors feel like they are doing something that matters deeply and personally.

Pay it forward. Bridge the generation gap. Become a mentor.

(Please note that, while we greatly value our mentor community, not all mentors will be matched directly with a student. We need a diverse pool of mentors so that they best suit the needs of our mentees.)

BrightCrowd 1st Gen Community Book

Are you a current 1st Gen Member? 

The 1st Generation Mentorship Program offers its members an opportunity to participate in our 1st Gen Community Book. This provides our Mentors and Mentees a place to look for other community members. All current members were invited to complete a profile and create a page. 

Members should have received an email from BrightCrowd (Subject: 1st Generation Mentorship Program: Community Book Invitation). Click My Page to complete your profile! Only those with photos uploaded will show on the 1st Gen main page! (They'll still be listed in the directory, though.) 

Meet a Mentor

Reena Thomas, MD, PhD

Interested in mentoring an MD student.

Dr. Reena Thomas, nominated for and recipient of the 1st Generation Mentorship Program 2018 Mentor of the Year award, received her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC and her PhD from the City of Hope Graduate School in Duarte, California. She completed her training as a resident in Neurology as well as her fellowship training in Neuro-Oncology at Stanford University Hospital. (Read more....)