"I was a part of Project Thrive, and I can promise you that it will be a very rewarding experience. With Thrive, I met many people who shared similar backgrounds to my own. After spending the entire summer fretting over how I would feel underrepresented at a place like RISD, the program really helped ease my worries. Now I have a fantastic mentor whom I value as a very dear friend.”
Project Thrive is a multi-year student support and learning community program designed specifically for those who are the first in their families to attend college. The program provides students with opportunities to reflect on their identities and embrace the strengths and assets they hold as first-generation college students. Project Thrive 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.
Project Thrive engages students through:
● Pre-Orientation Experience: First-year students get a crash course on life at RISD;
connect with need-to-know faculty, staff, and students; and spend time building
relationships with other students.
● Mentorship: Students are connected to a faculty/staff and peer mentor and build strong
connections with ISE staff.
● Programming: During the first-year at RISD, Project Thrive students meet with RISD
faculty, staff, and alumni to engage in developmental sessions to help ensure a positive
first-year experience and create a foundation for success. Sophomore and Junior year
students meet once a month for sessions on maximizing their time at RISD through high-
impact experiences such as studying abroad, internships, and leadership opportunities.
They are also invited to support the transition of our first-year cohort.
● Community: Students experience Project Thrive as a cohort. Thrivers build strong
relationships with each other that last throughout their years at RISD and beyond.
Students participate in community and cultural events at RISD and within the
The essential goals of the program are:
● To honor the strengths and assets that first-generation students inherently hold and
highlight how they positively contribute to the RISD community as makers and doers.
● To guide first-year, first-generation students’ transition and connect them to the RISD
community in a meaningful way that allows them to have a full and positive RISD
● To provide engaging programs and tailored workshops that foster skill development,
critical consciousness, and community.
● To illuminate and explore the many intersections of identity and to help students embrace
and express their unique identity in positive and creative ways.
● To offer an affinity space where students of alike identities can debrief shared
experiences, connect across similarities and differences, and be their authentic selves
● To provide RISD faculty, staff, and alumni with an opportunity to guide students as they
develop the skills for success inside and outside of the classroom/studio and beyond the
To leverage the strength of community by establishing meaningful relationships between
students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Important Things to Know....
Applications are due May 1st 2020
Thrivers are expected to arrive for orientation on September 2 with orientation events from September 3-5.
Student who are in POSE cannot be in Thrive because the programs run simultaneously.
For more information, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at or by phone at 401.277.4908