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The Future Institute Road to Success Mentorship (FIRM) pairs successful professionals and community leaders with Concept high school graduates who are eager to learn and grow as they navigate college life and select a career path. FIRM mentees gain valuable real-world experience and insight they can’t get in a classroom and might not get at home.

FIRM is an annual mentoring program designed to be flexible and easy to manage that only requires the following throughout the school year:

– One-on-one meetings with paired mentor depending on your schedules

– Character or career development reading assigned by mentor

– Complete a 1-hour minimum service project with mentor

– Minimum of 8 hours of job shadowing provided or facilitated by mentor

– Finish and take the lead role in a small career-related project and present it on an agreed-upon date

Future Institute is a branch of Concept Schools and we are a not-for-profit 501c3 educational organization.

The goal of FIRM is to increase college persistence among our students by at least 10 percent.
Students participating in FIRM are:
– 87% economically disadvantaged
– 75% are the first in their family to attend college
– More than 95% are accepted into college with about 20% obtaining associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in 4-8 years

As a sponsor, you will be supporting students’ aspirations from high school through college. We believe mentorship is the key to college persistence and the added reward of scholarship helps first generation college students invest in their future.
Even if you can sponsor one student for one year with a scholarship $1,000 has a huge impact on their life and their college career.
First generation college students who have a mentor are 10-15% more likely to advance to another year of college. Studies show that first generation college students (41% of black students and 61% of Hispanic students) are twice as likely to drop out before their sophomore year.
The chart below illustrates a report from the University of Pennsylvania and the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education (2013).

    1. Personal Development: Mentors coach mentees through their college transition, career planning, and life challenges through one-on-one meetings, assigned reading, and community service projects.

    2. Job Shadowing: Mentees receive first-hand insight into a career field of their interest.

    3. Project Completion: Mentors assign a meaningful and professional-level project for the mentee to complete and present in front of an audience.


FIRM Mentors are volunteers who commit one to four years of professional and personal mentorship over the course of the mentee’s college career. Their professions and backgrounds range from medical doctors to elementary school teachers.

FIRM Mentees are Concept high school students and graduates. For some, the FIRM program starts in high school and continues into college.

Throughout the mentorship process, mentees benefit from:

– Resume building
– Workplace experience in field of interest
– Personal life coaching
– Networking opportunities
– Letters of recommendation
– Certificate of completion
– $1,000 scholarship each year of FIRM participation

The scholarship funds are sent directly to the student’s college or university’s financial aid offices. Scholarship funds can be used for tuition, books, class materials, lab equipment, and housing.
Please note that this program continues throughout the mentee’s high school and college career, which means each year they are committed to FIRM, they receive a scholarship.

  1. Once you have registered and created a profile in the FIRM portal online, you will be contacted by one of our staff members.
  2. The staff will pair you with a mentee whose collegiate or life goals align with your career or interests
  3. A meeting will be arranged to meet with your mentee for the first time.
  4. You will be in continuous communication* with your mentee about scheduling and recording meetings, assignments, job shadowing, and your project.

*It is very important that you update the FIRM portal with assignments and their completion because this is how the staff tracks your mentee’s progress on the requirements for the scholarship. If your mentee’s progress is not recorded, then they will not earn the scholarship.

How is the program monitored?

Mentors monitor and track their mentee’s progress in the program areas through careful data entry in FIRM’s online portal. Regular and timely communications with between mentors and mentees are tracked within the online portal as well.

How are scholarship funds administered?

The scholarship funds are administered in two installments in December and May.

How much should I sponsor?

We sincerely appreciate your interest in sponsoring and the amount you are willing to sponsor is at your sole discretion. Each mentee earns $1,000 per year of successful FIRM completion.
– For example, if a mentee starts in high school in tenth grade and continues until their college graduation, they could earn up to $6,000 in scholarships total.

Who are other sponsors and partners?

Please visit our Funders and Partners page on the main Future Institute website.