Trailblazer Scholars Program

Connect with other first-generation college students for a source of continued support in navigating college life.

Launched in 2010, The Trailblazers Program provides ongoing, essential support to help first-generation Women's College students reap the benefits of college life, earn their degrees, and make their way into the world as Notre Dame graduates. 

The voluntary program has a community of over 100 participants and includes a number of outreach, personal development and academic enrichment opportunities.

Program Benefits


First-year Trailblazers are matched with a “Big Sister”—a sophomore, junior, or senior who is a first generation student herself. Big Sisters act as mentors, helping students learn the ropes and get to know Notre Dame.

A full-time Director also serves as a counselor and mentor for the Trailblazers, providing one-on-one guidance and assistance.

Campus Services

Introductions to the Counseling Center, Writing Center, and Career & Student Success Center help first-year Trailblazers get connected early on to the tutoring and personal support services available on campus.  


The workshops offered are designed to support Trailblazers at each phase of their educational experience—from adjusting to college life, to preparing for graduation.

Possible topics include:

  • Majors & Careers
  • Internships
  • Resume Writing
  • Networking
  • Financial Planning
  • Student Loan Repayment
  • FAFSA Completion
  • Understanding Your Financial Aid Package
  • Strategies for Academic Succes
  • College Writing 101
  • Wellness & Stress Management
  • Time Management

Added Benefits

Premier internships, research opportunities, and study tours in the United States and abroad are available to all Trailblazers.

How to Apply

Online Application

Paper applications are also available at summer registration days and fall orientation.

Contact Us


There’s support for parents and families of Trailblazers, too—through the Trailblazers Parents & Family Academy.


External funding for the Trailblazers Program has been provided by grants from the Walmart College Success Awards Program through the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Walmart Foundation, and from the state of Maryland.