First Generation Initiative

banner Alisa Macksey, M.A.
Executive Director
First Generation Initiative
FGI students

First Generation Initiative

Established in 2010, the vision for the First Generation Initiative is to address the growing academic achievement gap in our state and country.

In order to support students first in their families to attend college, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota began a mission-inspired initiative to help ensure students who otherwise couldn’t dream of a college education – now can.


Students sitting on lawn

Our Purpose – to ensure academic success for high-need, high-potential, first-generation students from our partner Lasallian and Jesuit schools from middle school through college graduation.

Our Vision – at his inaugural address, our president, Brother William announced his intention to serve economically challenged students

I’ve instructed the Cabinet to explore the expansion of our efforts to make Saint Mary’s affordable to mid- and lower-economic families… I’d love to make it easier for graduates of the Miguel, Nativity, and Cristo Rey schools of our Region to enroll and succeed at Saint Mary’s.

This is why Saint John Baptist de La Salle founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools… We were founded upon the conviction that no young person and no family — no matter how economically, affectively, intellectually, or spiritually in need — should ever have cause to think that they have been forgotten, should ever have to wonder whether or not this family has been passed over by God, or by the rest of us.