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Student First Fund Grant and Past Projects

WSU Seal | Photo by Kayli Thompson | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State University’s (WSU) Student First Fund Grant splits $50,000 amongst multiple students seeking to pursue an innovative project that benefits fellow Raiders. Grant applications are available online until Feb. 26. 

The grant 

The Student First Fund Grant is in its third year of being offered. Students are encouraged to apply if they have an idea for a unique project that would benefit the students of WSU at either the Dayton or Lake campus and are willing to put in the effort to make their ideas a success.  

“Applicants are encouraged to view the Students First Fund grant as one-time seed money to help launch a new program or initiative,” said Assistant Director for Advancement Communications Kim Patton. “While the Student First Fund Grant program is a wonderful tool to get these exciting and worthwhile projects started, it will ultimately be the grant recipient’s responsibility to move the project forward and keep the momentum going.” 

Students of WSU not planning to apply for the grant themselves are excited to see what their peers are striving to implement.  

“I think it’s great that WSU is taking the time to set aside money for something that can potentially be a positive impact on students,” said WSU senior Julia Boyd. “I am definitely excited to see what students come up with this year.” 

Past projects  

In 2020, 12 projects were given anywhere from $2,000-$8,000 in funding to make their entrepreneurial goals a reality. Jules Naylor was one of those recipients, using her portion of the grant to give the LGBTQA+’s Unicornship Peer Mentoring Program a complete makeover.  

“I suppose what inspired me to shape the program into how it is today is that there is a crucial need for LGBTQA+ students on campus to have a strong support system, whether that be for academics, social life, and/or personal life,” said Naylor.  

Naylor worked side by side with Intercultural Specialist for the Office of LGBTQA+ Affairs Emily Yantis-Houser to write up a proposal for the application in order to turn the program into what it is today.  

“With the funds that we have, we have the ability to enhance our programming for the LGBTQA+ mentors and mentees. We have the ability to have programs that are enriching for the LGBTQA+ students we serve,” said Naylor. “Whether it be through having educational speakers, special outings, or self-actualizing events, we are bringing to students a special opportunity. We can actually focus on caring for the students and fulfilling their needs and even wants.” 

When asked what advice Naylor had for students filling out this year’s application, she recommends having multiple sets of eyes and ears to help you ensure that your project is a strong contender.  

“Having multiple people looking at this application and contributing to this application is helpful,” said Naylor. “Most importantly, though, be confident in your answers! You know what you need and you know what you are doing will be impactful… so do not think that you do not have any chance at receiving this grant.”  

The Student First Fund Grant application is available on the WSU website until Feb. 26. Students will then be notified in April whether or not they will receive a portion of the grant.  

Kaitlyn Chrosniak

News Reporter

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