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Welcome to the 1st Generation Mentorship Program

As a first generation student, it is difficult to navigate higher education. I wanted to have a mentor that was first generation or was interested in helping first generation students like myself navigate the system.

The 1st Generation Mentorship Program is a community of Stanford Medicine students, faculty, alumni, staff, who are either the first in their family to attend college/graduate/professional school and/or are the first in their families born in the United States. Our goal is to provide first-generation students with broadened academic and professional networking opportunities and advocacy through continued mentorship.

Meet a few of our Mentors

Dr. Arturo Molina

Interested in mentoring a MD student.

Dr. Molina is Chief Medical Officer at Sutro Biopharma. Previously, he was Vice President, Oncology Scientific Innovation at Janssen R & D (Johnson and Johnson, JNJ). While at JNJ he was responsible for the clinical development and New Drug Application for abiraterone (Zytiga(r)), which is now approved for metastatic prostate cancer in more than 100 countries. He was Chief Medical Officer/EVP at Cougar Biotechnology, which was acquired by JNJ in 2009. Arturo also worked at IDEC, then Biogen-IDEC, ultimately becoming Head, Oncology Clinical Development. . (Read more....)

Reena Thomas, MD, PhD

Interested in mentoring an MD student.

Dr. Reena Thomas, nominated for and recipient of the 1st Generation Mentorship Program 2018 Mentor of the Year award, received her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC and her PhD from the City of Hope Graduate School in Duarte, California. She completed her training as a resident in Neurology as well as her fellowship training in Neuro-Oncology at Stanford University Hospital. (Read more....)

Dr. Alex Poon

Interested in mentoring an PhD student.

I spent nine years at Stanford – four years as an undergrad majoring in Computer Science, followed by another five years in the PhD program in Medical Informatics, graduating in 1996. I'm an entrepreneur at heart, but my current day job is in venture capital, where I am a partner at UP2398, a seed-stage investment firm here in the Bay Area. (Read more....)

Many successful professionals have had, early on, one or more mentors who made a big difference in helping them achieve early success. Our graduate students, and especially those who are first generation, will benefit greatly from expert guidance throughout their academic journey.

Being a mentor has its benefits. First, sharing your passions, you can help to set the tone for students entering their professional careers. Mentors learn things about themselves as well; their career benefits, and, when thinking about the impact on someone else’s life, mentors feel like they are doing something that matters deeply and personally.

Pay it forward. Bridge the generation gap. Become a mentor.

(Please note that, while we greatly value our mentor community, not all mentors will be matched directly with a student. We need a diverse pool of mentors so that they best suit the needs of our mentees.)

In the News:  

Finding success as a first-generation medical student. Students who were the first in their families to graduate from college are bringing about change in medical school, cheered on by mentors and advocates at their institutions.

Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD, the first in his family to attend college, spoke at event honoring first-generation medical and graduate students and their mentors. Read about our 2016-17 closing event: First-generation students and their mentors honored.