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College Citizens

Seeking Wisdom, Truth and Virtue: Building First-Generation College Citizens

This summer, thanks to generous funding from the Teagle Foundation, the University of Dallas invites you to a crash course modeled after our distinctive curriculum.

Students will engage in two rigorous weeks of in-depth reading, writing and discussion about some of the most fundamental topics in our society: What is citizenship? What does it mean to pursue truth or seek a virtuous life? What is our responsibility to the members of our community?

If you are interested in developing a deeper understanding of the world around you, charting your future and putting yourself on a path to be a leader in your community, then apply today!

Apply Now

To be accepted into the program, students must:

  • be juniors in high school
  • attend high school in the Dallas/Fort Worth area
  • have parents who have not completed a four-year degree
  • be prepared to demonstrate that they are likely to be eligible for a Pell Grant or the equivalent when they begin college

Program Details:

We plan to host the program in person at the University of Dallas Irving Campus, June 18 - July 1, 2023.

During the two-week summer program, students will receive the following free of charge:

  • Tuition/room and board
  • Cultural excursions and field trips into Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Programming (guest speakers, extracurricular activities)
  • Mentorship by University of Dallas faculty, staff and students
  • Three general studies college credits

Students will also participate in a civic engagement project during the program and throughout their senior year of high school.

About the Program: 

The University of Dallas, in collaboration with the Teagle Foundation, has prepared a wide-ranging liberal arts curriculum that addresses the central questions at the heart of our goals as educators in a liberal arts tradition:

What is our responsibility to others? How can we pursue a moral and ethical life?

Informed by our university’s belief that the Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts provide a necessary foundation from which to embark upon our society’s greatest challenges, our program guides students through consequential thinkers that range from Plato, Aristotle and Sophocles to Bartolomé de las Casas, Martin Luther King and Albert Einstein.

College Citizens then invites students to consider the diverse experiences and challenges faced by those in their own community in light of the valuable questions posed by a liberal arts curriculum. Located in the thriving and diverse metropolis of Dallas/Fort Worth, we look forward to facilitating the intellectual and personal development of historically underserved members of our community while providing a deep appreciation for the liberal arts and their inestimable value in a rapidly changing world at UD. First-generation students, coming from a wide breadth of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, comprise a record 20% of the freshman class.

UDALLAS RELEASE: College Citizens High School Program Completes Second Year

UDALLAS RELEASE: Seeking Wisdom, Truth and Virtue: UD Aims to Build First-Generation College Citizens

First Gen Stories

Jessica Quiroz, BA '23

    2023-2024 College Citizens Cohort

Kisha Cruz


Kisha Cruz, hailing from Crowley and Crowley High School, embarked on the College Citizen program to embrace college life and broaden her academic horizons. The lively seminars resonated with her, fostering engaging conversations and enhancing her retention of lecture content. Not only did the program reshape her perspective on college, but it also encouraged her to be more socially engaged both inside and outside the classroom. When she's not busy with her studies, Kisha loves indulging in music, drawing, series, and reading. She fondly treasures the program experience and looks forward to doing it again, praising the exceptional staff and fellow students.

Sofia Henandez


Sofia Hernandez, a student from Cristo Rey Fort Worth College Prep in Fort Worth, joined the College Citizen program to delve into the world of college classes and campus life. The ease of connection among her group members stood out, creating a harmonious environment. Her perspective shifted towards recognizing the impact of communities on society, teaching her the importance of speaking up. Volleyball, reading, TV shows, and spending time with friends are Sofia's favorite pastimes.

Sara Rodriguez-Alveraz


Sara Rodriguez-Alveraz, hailing from Fort Worth Texas and Cristo Rey College Prep High School, enrolled in UD's College Citizen program to gain a genuine college experience and earn college credits. She recognized the importance of responsibility, as missing readings and essays set her behind. The program instilled valuable time management skills while allowing for personal time. Beyond academics, Sara finds joy in socializing with friends, playing volleyball with family, and indulging in shopping for shoes. She appreciated the program's overall experience.

Daniela Prado

Daniela Prado, from Fort Worth's Cristo Rey Fort Worth, was drawn to the College Citizen program by the prospect of a fun experience shared with friends. Creating connections emerged as the most rewarding aspect for her, as she formed close bonds with peers and professors. The sense of community within the group left a lasting impression. The program's focus on optimal work allowed Daniela to understand personal growth areas and solutions for self-improvement. Beyond academics, she cares for animals and actively participates in her school's yearbook club. Daniela greatly appreciated the professors' support throughout the program.

Azariah Patiño

Azariah Patiño, from Dallas's Pegasus Charter School, sought a new experience with potential future benefits in the College Citizen program. The classroom experience, shared with professors and classmates, resonated with him. The program left an imprint, influencing even small decisions about his college choices. Outside of academics, Azariah indulges in art and reading.

Paloma Lopez

Paloma Lopez, from Pegasus School of Liberal Arts and Science in Dallas, engaged in the College Citizen program for a more enriching experience. The valuable lessons she gained included increased confidence in her thoughts and answers. The program shifted her perspective and boosted her self-assurance, preparing her for a more confident approach to new experiences. Paloma's interests span English, law, and writing, while her hobbies include music, writing, and savouring good food. She expressed deep gratitude for the support of her RAs and professors throughout the program.

Adriana Barriga

Adriana Barriga, a student from Irving's MacArthur High School, joined the College Citizen program to immerse herself in the college environment. The dorm life experience and forging connections with friends were pivotal moments for her. The program widened her literary horizons and encouraged her to explore new genres. Volleyball, community service, work, and family time are Adriana's passions. She felt the program perfectly encapsulated the essence of being a responsible community member, all while making cherished friendships.

Stephanie Moran

Stephanie Moran, coming from Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas, was driven by the desire for an early college experience when she joined UD's College Citizen program. The program's most valuable aspect for her was discovering effective time management strategies. This experience prompted her to reflect on her college preparation needs. When not immersed in school activities, Stephanie finds joy in running and participating in theatre.


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National Resources

I'm First!

I’m First!, an initiative of Strive for College, is an online community celebrating first-generation college students. Check out video stories from first-gen students, read student blogs and discover colleges that have special programs to support their first-gen students. We feature YouTube video testimonials from first-gen students and graduates from across the country.

Are You A First-Generation Student?

The Center for First-generation Student Success serves as the premiere source of evidence-based practices, professional development, and knowledge creation for the higher education community to advance the success of first-generation students. This means that we help colleges and universities help you succeed as a first-generation college student. While we do not offer direct support to first-generation students in high school, college, or university, we want to help you navigate and locate more information.