Two Scholars walking outdoors, laughing
Salma & Analicia, Opportunity Scholars

Scholar Lead Mentorship Program

The Scholar Lead application is now open!

What is the Scholar Lead Mentorship Program?  

The Scholar Lead mentorship program pairs new Opportunity Scholars with more experienced Opportunity Scholars to help newer Scholars transition into their academic program. This peer mentorship program allows new Scholars to access resources, information, and social support that will help them succeed and persist in their academic program and career.  

Why is the Scholar Lead Mentorship Program important for new Opportunity Scholars? 

Research shows peer mentorship is one of the most important factors in degree completion. So, in short, the Scholar Lead program helps students complete their degree, certificate, or apprenticeship.  

The Scholar Lead mentorship program:  

  • Fosters community among Scholars and Scholar Leads. The Scholar Lead program connects new Opportunity Scholars to their peers who are further along in their academic careers. 
  • Helps Scholars access resources. Scholar Leads connect their matched Scholars with resources and facilitate community-building events to support their success. 

“WSOS has given me the opportunity to find a supportive community in a large university. Coming in as a freshman, I was homesick and felt very lost, physically as the campus is huge and socially as all my friends went to colleges farther away. However, my first WSOS meeting with my Scholar Lead made me feel very welcome and gave me a lot of good advice for making new friends and finding organizations.” 

Almond, Opportunity Scholar 
Opportunity Scholar Janet smiling for a headshot
Janet, Opportunity Scholar

Why should students with more experience become Scholar Leads? 

The Scholar Lead mentorship program prepares Scholar Leads to be future leaders and mentors. Scholar Leads receive professional development and mentorship support from WSOS staff to grow as leaders and mentors. 

The Scholar Lead program is a wonderful opportunity for you to become a community leader in a supportive and positive environment. 

As a Scholar Lead, you can expect the following: 

  • A stipend delivered via equal payments throughout the academic year
  • Advising and professional support from a WSOS staff member 
  • Additional professional and leadership development support through WSOS resources 
  • The opportunity to participate in exclusive WSOS opportunities (that look great on a resume!) 
  • The chance to grow your leadership skills 
  • To connect and collaborate with a community of peers 

Application deadlines and details

The Scholar Lead application for Career & Technical Scholars (CTS) and Baccalaureate Scholars (BaS) will open on March 4, 2024.

Career & Technical Scholars:

The CTS Scholar Lead application deadline is March 29, 2024.

View the Scholar Lead position description for Career & Technical Scholars.

Baccalaureate Scholars:

  • BaS Scholar Lead Priority Application Deadline: March 29, 2024.
  • BaS Scholar Lead Final Application Deadline: April 26, 2024.

Is it your first time being a Scholar Lead? View the Scholar Lead position description for first-time Scholar Leads.

Were you a Scholar Lead last year? View the returning Scholar Lead position description.

Accessing and submitting the Scholar Lead application 

Applicants can access the application directly in the Scholar Portal. Please review the instructions below to access your application. 

Begin your application: 

  • Log in to the Scholar Portal. In the top menu bar, hover over the Scholar Lead App option and select Start Application.   
  • Complete the Eligibility Check. If you’re eligible, you’ll be instructed to begin your application. You only need to complete the Eligibility Check once. 

To resume your application:

  • In the top menu bar of the Scholar Portal,  hover over the Scholar Lead App option and select Resume Application.   

Scholar Lead Responsibilities 

If selected as a Scholar Lead, you will be expected to: 

  • Serve as an enthusiastic, empowering role model to new Opportunity Scholars. 
  • Communicate with your mentees on a regular basis via email, text, phone calls, or online or in-person meetings. 
  • Facilitate community-building events for assigned Scholars. 
  • Support your mentees in navigating college and WSOS. 
  • Assist Opportunity Scholars in familiarizing themselves with campus and other resources to support their academic journey. 
Isobel, Opportunity Scholar, smiling at her graduation ceremony

“The opportunity to be a Scholar Lead for a year was both a great resume builder for me and a chance to build my own professional skills meeting and connecting with people, and a way to support other students in STEM majors to give them the encouragement to continue and pursue great careers which will benefit themselves and society as a whole.” 

Isobel, Opportunity Scholar 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Scholar Lead Program 

Opportunity Scholars Jasleen and Nayeli walking in a science lab
Jasleen and Nayeli, Opportunity Scholars

Can I be a Scholar Lead if I have already graduated college? 

Yes, recent alumni are eligible to apply to be a Scholar Lead. 

Note for Baccalaureate alum: If you graduated during or before last summer, you are NOT eligible to be a Scholar Lead. 

I am currently/planning to live out of state. Can I apply to be a Scholar Lead? 

No. Applicants must currently reside in Washington state to be eligible to be a Scholar Lead. This includes alumni who intend to work outside the state. 

Am I able to participate in study abroad while being a Scholar Lead? 

Yes, applicants are eligible to be a Scholar Lead while studying abroad. As part of the Scholar Lead application, you will be asked to share your time management and communication plan while abroad. 

When is the earliest I can become a Scholar Lead? 

Baccalaureate Scholars:  

  • Scholar Leads are required to have been on their college campus for at least two full academic years, not including Running Start.  
  • Scholars must have their Award Increase Request submitted by June 28, 2024.  
  • Scholars must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) at their college. SAP is defined and determined by your college. 

Career &Technical Scholars:  

  • Scholar Leads are required to have completed at least one-quarter of their program. 
  • Scholars must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) at their college. SAP is defined and determined by your college.  

Who will I be matched with? Who will my Scholar Lead be? 

Scholar smiling for the camera
CC, Opportunity Scholar

Baccalaureate Scholars: When possible, Leads will be matched with Scholars at their school in the same area of study.  If that’s not possible, Leads may be matched to Scholars from a different school or area of study. 

Career & Technical Scholars: The Scholar Lead program prioritizes matching Scholars to Scholar Leads who are in the same area of study. When possible, Scholars will be matched with someone at their school. However, sometimes it’s not possible to match Scholar Leads with Scholar mentees from their school. 

Is the WSOS compensation taxable income? 

Yes. By considering this opportunity as a WSOS Scholar Lead, the stipend you will receive is taxable income. 

You will complete a W9 form and will be considered “self-employed” for tax purposes.  Tax owed will not be withheld from the stipend. 

You will receive a 1099-MISC form and will need to file a tax return and pay any taxes owed.  While we cannot provide tax information or advice, we strongly encourage you to seek additional tax resources as needed. 

I am an undocumented Scholar. Am I eligible to be a Scholar Lead? 

The Scholar Lead program requires Scholars to be authorized to work in the United States. DACA Scholars with work authorization are eligible to apply. 

I am unable to submit my application. What should I do? 

The Scholar Lead application is not completed until you have clicked the submit button. If you are unable to do so, please email: 

If it’s after the deadline and you need to make changes: 

As a Baccalaureate Scholar, am I required to complete the Award Increase before submitting the Scholar Lead application? 

You must submit your WSOS Award Increase and Renewal on time. Award Increase Requests and Renewal forms can be found in your Scholar Portal. The deadline for Award Increase Requests is June 28, 2024.  If you don’t think you’ll be able to complete your Award Increase Request by the deadline, please email us at