First-Generation Students


ILEAD Graduates...

  • Continue their education in graduate and professional schools
  • Live and teach internationally
  • Volunteer with organizations, such as the Peace Corps and Benedictine Volunteer Corps
  • Begin careers in business, education, health care, and more

Alum Success Highlights

Seven Intercultural LEAD graduated have received Fulbright English Teaching Assistant awards since 2016:

Daniel Yang

Yemi Fadahunsi '18
Hometown: Maplewood, MN
Major: Political Science
Placement: Taiwan

Daniel Yang '18
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
Major: Communication
Placement: Thailand

Yariset Rodriguez Mai Ka Lia Vang

Yariset Rodriguez '17
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Major: English
Placement: South Korea

Mai Ka Lia Vang '17
Mai Ka Lia Vang was offered a Fulbright, but turned down the offer.

Paul Park

Melissa Vang

Paul Park '16
Hometown: Irving, TX
Major: Asian Studies
Placement: Thailand

Melissa Vang '16
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
Major: Communication
Placement: Thailand

Mai Tong Yang

Mai Tong Yang '16
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
Major: Political Science
Placement: South Korea

Alum Spotlight

Ana BelmonteAna Belmonte '16
Communication Major
College Counselor, Uplift Education

What resources and connections in I-LEAD and at CSB/SJU helped your career success?
I was fortunate enough to have an amazing advisor that dealt with me changing my career every time we met. Jen Kramer would often ask me questions of what I aspired to do after college and every summer I did a different internship in a different field. I interned in the fields of education, public relations, and retail. Every experience was different than the last and I would tell my advisor that I wanted to do that job. However, I was still drawn to college access. Brandyn Woodard always took the time to sit with me whenever I felt overwhelmed or stressed during my senior year. He would never tell me what to do (which is what I wished he would do) and through our conversations, I always ended up being passionate about helping first generation college students.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the relationship building aspect of a college counselor. My primary role is to ensure every scholar goes through the college application process as smooth as possible and has an option once they graduate from high school. However, I love to include parents in the process because they deserve to be in the conversation as to where their child is thinking of pursuing their higher education.

What challenges have you encountered?
A challenge I have encountered in my first year as a college counselor is gaining the trust from parents and scholars. I am young for a college counselor therefore I had to demonstrate my knowledge in the area to parents, scholars and colleagues. I am the youngest employee at my school therefore there is a lot of doubt of my capabilities and knowledge in general. However, I have been able to face this challenge with confidence because I have demonstrated through data that my scholars are going to institutions that best fit their needs financially and academically.

What is ONE MAJOR piece of advice for someone who is wishing to work in this field?
Document everything. Every interaction with a parent, any communication sent home, anything a student says or does. It seems like a hassle but it can definitely save you from unnecessary stress in the future.

Intercultural LEAD Funding Application

This funding opportunity is ONLY available to students currently in the Intercultural LEAD program.

If you have questions about the funding application or opportunities as Scholars, please reach out to a member of the Steering Committee.

Intercultural Lead Funding Application