NIU Service Leaders

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*For incoming freshmen or transfer students who are having trouble completing the online application, please use the application worksheet in the right-hand column as a way to prepare for the application process. The online application will not work until you are enrolled in classes for the Fall semester. 

For step-by-step instructions on how to fill out the application please refer to the "Step-by-Step Application Process" located in the right-hand column.

NIU Service Leaders

NIU Service Leaders is a new program being offered to NIU's first generation college students (FGCS). Students in this program work with specific community partners that would provide them the opportunity to engage with audiences served by the organization through various service activities, such as mentoring, tutoring, teaching civics and civic participation, and more.

NIU Service Leaders is a program taking place of what was formerly known as FAST (First-generation Aspire to Succeed Together). The new program will offer students a series of workshops on how to navigate college, develop professional and leadership skills, and will provide resources to help them graduate and succeed in their future careers. In addition, this program would regularly offer faculty resources and information on challenges faced by FGCS.

While participating in NIU Service Leaders, students will:

  • Gain access to college resources
  • Attend professional and academic enrichment activities
  • Connect with other FGCS on campus
  • Organize informational sessions to faculty and staff on the hidden barriers of FGCS

NIU Service Leaders must be:

  • A first generation college student (this means neither parent has received a 4-year degree)
  • Able to work 10 hours per week
  • Committed to participate in the program for two semesters (Fall 2015 & Spring 2016)
  • Eligible for Federal Work-Study

How to Apply:

  1. To begin preparing for the online application, please refer to the application worksheet in the right hand column. Please check our website for updates. Live applications coming soon!

If you are interested in this program please contact Katie Birkey, AmeriCorps VISTA at 815-753-8159,, or stop by the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning for more information.