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The Opportunity Scholars Program

Program provides opportunities for St. Louis’ first-generation college students.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis created The Opportunity Scholars Program last year to recruit first-generation college students and increase diversity among future leaders in science, engineering, math and related fields.

The university selects up to 10 students each year to participate in the program, which includes a full four-year scholarship and residential package. Scholarship recipients receive individualized academic, career and life-skills coaching. Summer jobs and internships with the university’s corporate partners enable students to gain professional experience and build relationships.

Brian Pickens, an 18-year-old graduate of Hazelwood (Mo.) East High School, is one of seven students in the first cohort of scholarship recipients. They began attending classes in the fall.