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Our Mission

The First Gen Fund is unique because it is more then just financial support. This fund comes with a network of support from professionals who were also the first in their family to attend college. Scholars will be connected to professionals that understand the fears, the emotional, cultural and financial challenges, and the pressure that first generation college students face. By connecting generations of shared experience together we are creating a stronger, intentional support system for students.

Our Goals

1. Support financial needs of students that are the first in their family to attend college.


2. Create a mentorship connection between first generation college students and young professionals that were also the first in their family to attend college.


3. Inspire success among first generation college students by highlighting the positive professional successes of our region’s first generation college graduates. It is an important narrative that we need to continue to uplift as more and more students take this step forward!

Who We Are

The First Gen Fund of Pittsburgh is supported by a committed group of mentors and advisors that understand the challenges experienced by young adults that are the first in their family to go off to college.


The scholarship's founder, Kathryn Vargas moved to Pittsburgh to pursue her MSW. Over the past 9 years she has dedicated her professional career to advancing educational outcomes for youth as an advocate for Pittsburgh's youth serving community. She attributes her success to the people and support systems that helped her navigate her way through college.


With this fund Kathryn hopes to uplift the importance of the transformational journey of a first generation college student by supporting Pittsburgh area youth with financial support and mentorship.

About the Mentors

Any professional living and working in the Pittsburgh region that was the first in their immediate family to graduate from college is invited to serve as a first generation mentor. These individuals are asked to make a commitment of at least one year. All mentors are invited to participate by connecting with prospective scholars, conducting workshops on college readiness, sharing their personal journey with the Pittsburgh community, and joining a network of professionals with shared experience.


If you would like to become a mentor please email Kathryn Vargas at

How You Can Help

We need your help! Since its beginning, the scholarship fund has continued to grow and serve as a resource for students.  Individuals have become sponsors of the foundation.  You can help by becoming a yearly contributing sponsor or by making a donation. Make a tax-deductible gift now and support students and our future leaders!


Give to the First Gen Fund via mail:

First Gen Fund

PO Box 2656

Henderson, NC 27536

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