"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
    Providence community.

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 experience.

  • 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 RISD experience.

  • To leverage the strength of community by establishing meaningful relationships between students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Learn more about Project Thrive

Important Things to Know....

  • Applications are due July 31st 2020

  • Project Thrive orientation will take place virtually in late August. Students accepted to the program will receive more information about orientation upon their admission.


For more information, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at ise@risd.edu or by phone at 401.277.4908

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