Success and Support

First Connection

First Connection Pre-Orientation Program provides information and support that will help incoming students transition to life at Lake Forest College, both in and outside of the classroom. 

The program is designed to enhance the cultural awareness and understanding among its participants by providing meaningful intercultural information and experiences. Thus, students traditionally underrepresented and/or underserved in American higher education, including, but not limited to U.S. ethnic minority students, students who identify as LGBTQ, first generation students, and international students are especially urged to attend.Taking place the week before orientation, this pre-orientation program facilitates the transition to the academic expectations and general culture of the College. Participants will be encouraged to develop a peer support network of staff and fellow students to provide additional support during their first semester here.

First Connection provides support regarding a number of transition issues, including the development of a genuine understanding of the College’s rigorous academic expectations, dealing with cultural adjustment, and gaining familiarity with the College’s various resources. 

Forester First: A Program for First Generation Students

Lake Forest College is committed to supporting student success inside and outside of the classroom. We know that a strong support system at the College can help to ensure that a student excels in their first year. Forester First is a college success and mentoring program designed for first generation college students, or students whose parents do not hold a degree from a four-year college or university.  

Students must first complete an application to be considered for the program. Upon enrollment, each student is matched with a successful upper-level student who serves as a peer mentor throughout the first year at Lake Forest College.  Throughout the program, students and peer mentors schedule weekly individual meetings and group activities.

In addition to mentorship, Forest First students participate in community building activities and workshops focused on time management and career development.  Students also receive help in securing on-campus jobs and personalized financial aid assistance. 

For more information contact the Office of Intercultural Relations at

Forester First Parent Orientation

Forester First Parent Orientation is a program for parents and family members designed to introduce important resources at Lake Forest College that will benefit first-generation college students.  Representatives from various support offices on campus present information on financial aid and planning, academic programs and resources, student services, and an overview of the college calendar and what to expect in the first year. Additionally, the parent orientation serves as an opportunity for families to establish a network of support and community, as well as an introduction and foundation for other orientation programs that will take place for parents of all incoming first-year students.

Empowerment Groups

Black Women United

Black Women United (BWU) is an empowerment group designed to empower, uplift and unite African and African American women. Through engaging activities and thought-provoking discussions, students gain a better sense of self while also enhancing their academic, professional, social, and leadership success. For more information contact the Office of Intercultural Relations at

Black Men’s Group

Black Men’s Group(BMG) is an empowerment group designed for African and African American men on campus.  BMG is a space where Black men can discuss issues, build networks, and engage in brotherhood. For more information contact the Office of Intercultural Relations at


UNIDAS is an empowerment group designed to meet the holistic needs of Latinas on campus. Through thought-provoking discussions and sharing of our stories, students will gain a better sense of self and community, while also enhancing their academic, professional, social, and leadership success.For more information contact the Office of Intercultural Relations at


JUNTOS is an empowerment group designed to provide an outlet for Latino men to strengthen their identity while promoting brotherhood amongst their peers.  SÓL also provides participants mentorship and community building opportunities through sharing stories, food, culture, or other commonalities. For more information contact the Office of Intercultural Relations at

The Rainbow Network (TRN)

The Rainbow Network (TRN) is a brave space designed to empower, guide and support our LGBTQ community on campus. Members of TRN will share stories, engage in discussion and gain a better sense of self while enhancing their professional, social and leadership success. For more information contact the Office of Intercultural Relations at

A Non-Traditional Approach 

This empowerment group is for any student that has taken at least one, but typically multiple years off their education due to life circumstances beyond their control, such as having to work, take care of family, not having the support systems in place to attend and thrive in higher education, etc. Students that have children of their own, regardless of age, are welcome to participate this group which is also open to any veteran students.

US (Undocumented Students empowerment group)

Through the collective voices at “Us,” students can feel seen, heard, and empowered by those that understand the various barriers and challenges of identifying as undocumented. This safe and supportive space allows students who identify as undocumented to look at and discuss the needs to succeed during and after Lake Forest College. 

AAAPI (Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander empowerment group)

The Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander empowerment group invites all AAAPI identifying students, faculty, and staff to celebrate the various cultures, histories, and accomplishments wihtin the AAAPI community. This safe space encourages meaningful discussion on barriers the AAAPI community faces and ways to overcome those challenges.