Be More.

What does it mean to “be more?”

At Fontbonne, it means faculty who engage students to think beyond themselves. To think of their role in the world and how they can improve it. It means looking at community service as an integral part of the college experience — and beyond. And it means students and alumni shaped by a set of values that provides a life-long touchstone.

Support for First Generation Students

Freshman Jesse and Amy Simons meet as part of the 1G Collective.

Freshman Jesse McClanahan meets with
Amy Simons, director of student success and
engagement, as part of the 1G Collective.

Becoming the first in your family to attend college is a great accomplishment — and also a significant challenge. Finding the right mix of knowledge and support is critical as students navigate FAFSA forms, course registration, financial aid, residence life and other unfamiliar aspects of higher education.

Fontbonne’s 1G Collective, founded in the fall of 2016, hopes to provide that necessary knowledge and support — as well as guidance and mentorship — for first generation college students. Developed by Amy Simons, Fontbonne’s director of student success and engagement, the collective gives first generation students a personal resource for questions, advice, and connection.

“I serve as their mentor,” Simons said. “They check in with me on a regular basis, and I help connect them to resources. We talk about school, and I answer questions relating to finances and other topics, but more than that, we talk about what’s going on in their lives, work and friendships.”

About seven students are currently involved in the 1G Collective. They’ve all opted into the program, and students are able to sign up any time. A newsletter goes out each month to all students, with advice, important dates, and a feature on faculty and staff who were the first in their families to attend college too.

Amy Simon

Amy Simons

“The 1G program is really nice stress relief,” said Jesse McClanahan, a currently undecided first-year student. “I go in and just talk to Amy. It’s less of a mentorship and more like talking to a friend. We talk about school, of course, but also about other things that are going on in the world.”

Next year, Simons plans to expand the program, transitioning into peer mentorship. She hopes to oversee the program as a whole, while experienced students serve as mentors to underclassmen and women. In the meantime, McClanahan is jumping into college life with enthusiasm. He’s headed to Africa on a service project this summer.

“Amy recommended me for a school-sponsored trip to Uganda,” he said. “She’s there to help — she’s not there because she has to be. She’s compassionate and wants to make a difference in students’ lives.”










Be More at Fontbonne

  • Campus Ministry

    Campus Ministry

    Fontbonne’s department of campus ministry welcomes all students with open arms — no matter their faith background. Join us!

  • Service, Diversity & Social Justice

    Service, Diversity & Social Justice

    Learn more about service in St. Louis and around the world, diversity initiatives on campus, and other opportunities to learn more and be more. Get started!

  • Student Organizations

    Student Organizations

    17 social organizations. 12 honors organizations. 9 academic organizations. Get involved!

Contact Us

Questions? Contact our Office of Admission: 314-889-1400 or 1-800-205-5862 |