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Becoming a Mentee


What is Project Thrive?

Project Thrive is a multi-year student support, learning, and community program designed specifically for RISD students whose parents did not attend, or did not complete, college. 


Project Thrive offers students the opportunities to reflect on their identities and embrace the unique strengths and assets they possess as first-generation college students. It challenges students to think critically about their social and cultural identities, aspire to and achieve academic excellence, enhance their leadership skills, and begin to build a path towards professional and personal success.

Thrive Mentorship

​As a member of Project Thrive, you will be paired with a faculty member, staff, or alumni from the RISD community, who will offer you individualized, one-on-one support throughout your time at RISD.


Our mentors are committed to your success, but they cannot do it alone! In the past, Project Thrive students have built strong and meaningful relationships with their mentors. As a mentee, you are encouraged to collaborate with your mentor in designing a relationship that best contributes to your academic and personal growth. Together, you will decide how often you wish to meet and what activities you will do together. 


In addition, Project Thrive mentees will also be paired with Peer Mentors, who are current RISD students, to meet regularly for check-in and chats. 


Project Thrive Events

Project Thrive mentees are expected to attend weekly events designed to offer academic, career, and social support to first-generation college students. These events will feature guest speakers -- staff from the RISD Financial Aid Office, faculty members, a Counselor from RISD Counseling and Psychological Services, etc, who will provide valuable insight as to how to best utilize the various resources on campus. In addition, events will discuss common and timely issues college students are currently struggling with throughout their college careers.  


Occasionally, Project Thrive will also offer free or discounted tickets to events in the Providence community, such as Artist’s Ball, Broadway shows at the Providence Performing Arts Center, ice skating, and more! We are always seeking to understand what events Thrive students are interested in. Therefore, if you are accepted into the program, please let us know about the ideas you may have! ​

Who is Project Thrive For?

All incoming undergraduate, first-generation college students are welcome and encouraged to register for Project Thrive. Students who identify as a member of underrepresented communities (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or much more) are particularly encouraged to apply. 


Project Thrive is a valuable opportunity to build community with other first-generation college students at RISD as well as for seeking guidance and building relationships with established members of the RISD community. 


Project Thrive is designed to support you in these following areas: 

  • Transitioning to college life

  • Living/Commuting to campus

  • Navigating around campus and around Providence

  • Choosing classes

  • Identifying campus offices from which to seek support and services. 

  • Finding internships and jobs

  • Connecting with alumni and mentors

  • Building your own community at RISD.


Still not sure if Project Thrive is for you? Reach out to us via Email at, and the ISE staff will be more than happy to talk to you!


Students are highly encouraged to apply to Project Thrive upon declaring their decision to attend RISD. An early application from you ensures 

Early application ensures the availability of mentors to fit each student’s unique interests and allows for a more complete experience.

Note: Students with special circumstances may have the option of joining Project Thrive at a later date. Please contact the ISE staff at for more information. 


Applications are open now! Please apply by August 1, 2021. 

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