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Guiding low-income, first generation students to college acceptance, graduation, and career success.


Money is the Number One reason first-generation and low-income college students drop out. When parents do not have the ability to navigate complex financial aid applications, students miss out on subsidized loans and amass unmanageable amounts of debt.

PiCS guides and supports students to complete the FAFSA as soon as it is available. Working with strategic partners we offer financial literacy education, maintain lists of scholarships, and provide help with essays and scholarship applications. Finally, we direct our community college students to need-based aid and support them in applying for transfer to University of California, SDSU, and other universities with encouragement and superb essay assistance.


Many first-generation students do not have personal relationships with adults working in well-paid, professional jobs.

Connecting college students with a mentor who is working in the student’s major field of study can be game-changing. PiCS offers workshops in resume writing, interviewing, and networking skills.

Mentors offer students job shadow opportunities and internship connections.


The single most important thing we offer our students is our belief in them. We consistently remind them that graduating from college is possible. Mentors provide the guidance, inspiration, and problem solving to help them keep going.

College success and professional employment for San Diego’s large number of low-income and disadvantaged students means stable futures. Most first-generation students graduate with plans to return and contribute to their communities.

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PiCS support these goals by

Building face-to-face relationships with mentors
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Expanding students’ networks of support
Offering information workshops and resources
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