America Needs You: A Great Resource for First-Gen College Students

Myth or fact?: Only 11% of first-generation, low-income college students complete four-year degrees. 

Unfortunately, this is a fact, but the good news is that America Needs You, aka ANY (pronounced Ay-En-Why) has been on a continuous mission to change this statistic for the better. 

Just over 10 years ago, the organization was created after its founders identified the need to break down the barriers that prevented first-generation college students from successfully graduating and transitioning into the workforce. They realized that, while there are so many great organizations out there who work with helping high school seniors get accepted to four-year colleges, there was just as much of a necessity to help those make sure those same first-gen students completed the next milestone. 

So, if you’re a first-generation college student (or even if you’re not!), keep reading to learn more about ANY - an awesome organization helping out students all across the country


What is the ANY Fellows Program?

The ANY Fellows Program is a 2-year program for “high-achieving, low-income, first-generation college students” that aims to help Fellows to maximize their full potential through focusing on 4 different areas: career development, networking, guided support, and 1:1 mentorship. 

What does the Program entail?

As previously mentioned, there are 4 main components to the ANY Fellows Program. 

Career Development

The Fellows Program follows a highly rated curriculum that covers a wide range of topic areas such as career exploration, college completion, and professional skills development. Throughout the 2-year course of the program, Fellows have the chance to participate in 28 full-day workshops.


Through workshops, career days, and internships/job opportunities, Fellows are given the chance to interact with a diverse range of employers to help them grow their network professionally, academically, and socially.

Guided Support 

ANY provides both academic and personal support for each and every Fellow that is a part of the program. For example, if a student is currently enrolled in community college and is looking to transfer, ANY will help guide the Fellow through that transition and any challenges that may come with it. Also, the program provides Fellows with $2,000 in grants and contributions over the 2-year program, to help them pay for things such as business attire. 

1:1 Mentorship

Finally, and perhaps the coolest part of the program, is the 1:1 mentorship that takes place. Each Fellow is matched with a Mentor Coach, who attends full-day workshops with the Fellow, provides industry insight, and helps the Fellow stay on track both professionally as well as academically.


Am I eligible?

Great question! As per the ANY webpage on eligibility, here are the following requirements that a student must meet in order to be eligible for the program:

  • Neither of my parents/guardians have a bachelor’s degree (from any country)
  • I am a U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident, or by the application deadline, eligible for full-time and off-campus internships, as well as paid employment opportunities in the United States
  • I am a freshman attending a 4-year university or community college
    • If applying in New York you must attend a CUNY school
    • If attending community college, you must intend to transfer to a 4-year school (ANY provides transfer support)
  • I am in the process of obtaining my first associate’s or bachelor’s degree

How can I get involved?

Amazing news! ANY is currently recruiting for their 2021 Fellow Cohort! If the eligibility requirements above apply to you, or if you know someone who is eligible who may be interested in applying, head to the ANY website to learn more and apply.

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