FGI Students with Mexican Consulate and Saint Mary's President

Supporting First-generation Students at Saint Mary’s

The First Generation Initiative (FGI) office was created to ensure academic success for first-generation college students, or those who are the first in their family to attend a postsecondary institution.

The First Generation Initiative provides academic, financial, social, and cultural support to all first-generation college students in the undergraduate program. FGI has also prepared more than 100 high school students during the summers of their pre-collegiate academic years through the Countdown to College program.

Help Us Support Our First-generation Students

The cost of a First Generation scholarship, including support services, for one year is approximately $46,000 per student. There are currently 38 First Generation Scholars at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Thanks to generous partners, the initiative’s success has been realized by transformational philanthropy. In order to reach a funding goal of $15 million by 2017, financially supporting student success remains a priority. The 2016–2017 financial need is to secure $465,000 by May 31, 2017, in order to provide gap funding necessary to support 38 current First Generation Scholars and 96 Countdown to College Scholars.

Support Our Program

Find Us

Saint Mary's Hall, Room 136
Winona Campus
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights #55
Winona, MN 55987-1399

Connect With Us

Octavia Brown

Countdown to College Coordinator

Saint Mary's Hall, SM136C

Campus Box: # 52

(507) 457-6683


Octavia Brown
Anne Conway, M.A.

First Generation Initiative - Literacy Specialist

Saint Mary's Hall, SM136D

Campus Box: #1507

(507) 457-6607


Anne Conway M.A.
Alisa Macksey, M.A.

Dean of Student Success and First Generation Initiative

Saint Mary's Hall, SM136A

Campus Box: # 55

(507) 457-1469


Alisa Macksey M.A.