Incoming psychology majors Camden Hedrick and Jayla Josey have become best friends through First to Launch Image by Katharine Webster

The River Hawk Scholars Academy (RHSA) First to Launch Summer Program provides incoming first-year, first-generation students at UMass Lowell with a six-week experience from July 12 to August 16, 2024 that will enable them to transition to college in a supportive environment and empower them to achieve success. This program is a special opportunity for incoming RHSA students.

RHSA’s First to Launch will enable you to:

  • Be matched with a first-generation, upper-class mentor who can answer your questions and help show you the way for your college journey.
  • Connect with a member of the RHSA team every Tuesday during Launch! for a one-on-one check-in and coaching session at a time that fits your schedule. These check-in meetings will be in person unless you are granted specific permission to meet virtually.
  • Immerse yourself in a friendly community of fellow first-generation students.
  • Expand your horizons through the RHSA First to Launch Fridays, special events held in-person from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Friday during Launch! where you will learn about the university and the River Hawk community, prepare for your college journey and explore your identity as a first-gen college student.
  • Get invited to other special social and learning events

Incoming RHSA students who are accepted into and participate in First to Launch are eligible for one of two scholarship options (not both):

  • a summer scholarship that will cover the full tuition cost of one 3-credit course being offered through Launch!
  • a $350 scholarship to be applied to their fall tuition bill

These scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis and determined based on financial need and quality of application responses. Students who receive a either of these scholarships will agree to participate in the RHSA First to Launch program.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about First to Launch reach out to the RHSA by email at or contact RHSA Program Coordinator Esmeralda Levesque.


First to Launch Summer Program