First-Generation Fund

Your transition, your decision

Goal: To support (future) students who are the first in their family to study at Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht.
Initiator: Charisma Hehakaya

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If you are the first in your family to go to university, the so-called 'first-generation student', it is usually more difficult to find your way around. Charisma Hehakaya also experienced this when she started studying. Now that she is obtaining her doctorate, she would like to give knowledge, experience and financial support to these students. She has taken the initiative to establish the First-Generation Fund together with the Utrecht University Fund.

Charisma Hehakaya oprichter van het Eerste-Generatie Fonds
Image: David Meulenbeld

With the First-Generation Fund, Charisma Hehakaya wants to encourage (future) students, who are the first in their family to study, to get the most out of their talents. By providing small grants, by inspiring them and by letting them talk to current and former first-generation-students. The goal is to raise a total of €100,000 in 2021 and 2022, so that we can make a difference in the years thereafter for students who need it. 

Please help!

To build this wonderful fund, we desperately need your support. Help us to build a sustainable fund for first-generation-students. You can help in many ways. You can contribute financially with a one-time donation through our crowdfunding page or on an ongoing basis with a periodic donation.

Donate here

Who is eligible for a grant?

Students whose parents did not go to university and are studying at Utrecht University.

What does the First-Generation Fund offer?

  1. Grants for first-generation students at Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht. As soon as the fund capital is sufficient they can apply for a contribution to various requests for help, such as a laptop, training for teaching skills or study or research stays abroad.

  2. A programme in which (former) first-generation students voluntarily share their stories about themselves, their time as a student and their work is being developed. To inspire, to ask questions of each other and in the form of mentoring. More information will follow later. 

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First-generation-students should not experience financial or other barriers during their studies. The beauty of this fund is that it will do something about this and therefore have an impact on the lives of these students.

Dr. Jeroen Janssen

Our ambassadors

  • Dr. Joyce Browne Epidemiology/ Global Health, The Julius Center, UMC Utrecht

  • Dr. Jeroen Janssen Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

  • Prof. dr. Kees van den Bos Social Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, en Empirical Law, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance

  • Rana Kuseyri, first generation student: “As a first-generation student myself, I have seen firsthand how differently we experience higher education compared to our other peers – for example, I found it very difficult to navigate university culture. I also know the wealth of knowledge and untapped potential we carry within ourselves that often goes unnoticed. I want to make sure that first-generation students not only feel at home at university, but that they feel genuinely valued and included as well.”

  • Rémi Ter Haar, student Public International Law, Professioneel Vertalen

  • Joost van Woerkom, student Mariene Wetenschappen

  • Marte Vroom, student Sociale Geografie en Planologie

  • Stefan Vermeent, promovendus Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen

  • Sarwesh Ishwardat, promovendus Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen