Recruiting high school women of color for First Step Summer Institute

The First Step Summer Institute at St. Catherine University seeks high school women of color to attend a free one-week college immersion program. An overview of the program and eligibility requirements follow, for an application deadline of May 5, 2014. See below for additional details and pleasure consider sharing this information with your networks.


Preparing young women of color for higher education, the First Step Summer Institute is a FREE and unique college immersion experience offered at St. Catherine University (St. Paul campus).
In this one week residential program, students gain a deeper sense of commitment to pursue higher education, a strong network of diverse, college-bound friends, a sense of support and encouragement from St. Kate’s staff, faculty, and students, more perspective on college living, and ultimately, increased self-esteem about their capacity to apply to and thrive in college.
If you are a young woman of color looking for these experiences in a summer enrichment program, apply to First Step »

Program overview

  • Work and live with 25 other fun and energetic young women of color, all of whom are striving to go to college.
  • Observe college classes and ask important questions of St. Kate’s students, faculty, and staff.
  • Build a deeper sense of community and leadership skills with the help of team-building activities.
  • Attend a variety of workshops that are packed with invaluable information. Topics covered include:
    • applying for financial aid
    • choosing a major/career
    • tips for taking the ACT exam
    • how to write a personal statement
    • college money/debt management
  • Work with your peers on a group project designed to foster your skills and prepare you for college living.
  • Qualified alumna of First Step who apply and are accepted to St. Kate’s will be considered for scholarships.
  • First Step is completely free to students and families.

Skills you will develop

  • Time, money, stress and conflict management
  • Goal setting
  • Problem solving
  • Active listening
  • Resourcefulness
  • Accountability to yourself and to others
  • Written and verbal communication


  • Identify as a woman of color
  • Students must currently be enrolled in the 10th or the 11th grade and have at least a 2.75 grade point average (GPA)
  • Be interested in higher education
  • Demonstrate a willingness to make First Step your first priority
  • Complete the 2014 First Step application
Note: First Step is a highly competitive program with more applicants than there are slots available. Meeting eligibility requirements alone does not guarantee admission to this program. Program enrollment is limited to 26 students per session.

Application Process

Follow these steps to apply to the First Step Summer Institute. Application deadline: Monday, May 5th, 2014.
  • Download and complete the First Step application »
  • Obtain two letters of recommendation. One recommendation should come from a current teacher and the other from an adult who can speak honestly about your personal qualities and interests, talents, and skills.
  • Submit your most recent official transcript or grade report.
  • Your most recent official transcript and two letters of recommendation should be sent directly from your high school or recommender in a sealed envelope.

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