Impact Cats

Impact Cats


Impact Cats!

  • Impact Cats is open to first-generation undergraduate students in any academic major. 
  • Impact Cats includes in-person skill-building and coaching on entrepreneurial mindset and venture exploration with support for finding and acquiring a summer internship. 
  • Impact Cats will take place during in-person sessions on the Tucson campus. 
  • There is no cost for students to participate in Impact Cats, but students must apply. 
  • Impact Cats is a yearlong program and will take place January – December. 

The program is currently closed to applications. To be notified when applications reopen, please sign up here.


Impact Cats Program Overview 

The Impact Cats program is a yearlong experiential learning program focused on entrepreneurial mindset and venture exploration for first-generation undergraduate students. Our goal is to help students to better understand the impact they wish to have in the world and how being entrepreneurial can help them achieve that impact.  Participants will explore three main program elements:  

  • Entrepreneurial mindset and venture exploration training and coaching;  
  • Gain experience researching and applying for summer internships with priority access to paid summer internships; and  
  • A showcase event to reflect and share learning.  

Take a look at our Info Session Here to learn more about the program.

What is involved? 

Selected students will be expected to complete the following program requirements: 

  • Meet with a FORGE coach at least once during the Spring semester. 
  • Attend four monthly learning sessions featuring workshops, facilitated activities, and coaching on the following topics.  Students will receive a small attendance stipend and a meal will be provided for all sessions.  
    • January – Understanding impact and entrepreneurial mindset.  
    • February – Exploring design thinking and ideation principles.
    • March – Defining unique value proposition and understanding the needs of people.
    • April - Learning from failure and being resilient.
  • Identify and apply for summer internship opportunities to utilize newly acquired entrepreneurial thinking skills and gain critical experience.  A limited number of Impact Cats students will have the opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship. 
  • Present at the Impact Cats Showcase in the Fall semester to reflect and share learning. 

Benefits for Students 

As a result of participating in Impact Cats, students will:  

  • Build a community of peers and other problem-solvers;  
  • Articulate future entrepreneurial and innovation possibilities for themselves;  
  • Gain experience researching and applying for internships; and 
  • Develop skills in openness to new ideas, problem identification, opportunity recognition, ideation, interpersonal communication, proactiveness, and creativity. 


  • October – Applications available 
  • December – Applications due and participants selected 
  • January –Orientation and Learning Session 1 
  • February – Learning Session 2 
  • March – Learning Session 3 
  • April – Learning Session 4 
  • May – August – Summer internship 
  • September – Reflection and showcase preparation 
  • October – Impact Cats Showcase, re-open applications 


Please contact Emily Ruiz, with any questions.