First Ascent Scholars

First Ascent Scholars, a Jeff and Helen Cardon Foundation and David Eccles School of Business partnership, cultivates, encourages and enables academically focused students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds to:

  • Attend the Eccles School,
  • Connect with the University of Utah, local and global community, and
  • Reach their full academic potential.

Scholars are expected to give back to the broader community through volunteer work, engagement in First Ascent activities, and in their academic commitment at the Eccles School.

For more information contact Victoria Cabal at or 801-585-0872.

“The very low graduation rate of students that come from challenging personal and socioeconomic backgrounds is a problem that needs to be actively addressed.   There are young men and women in our community that have all the talent, drive and creativity to achieve success and make a difference in the world, yet are held back by lack of opportunity and support.   Our goal is to help our First Ascent Scholars throughout their four year college careers by providing financial support through scholarships and room and board.   We believe surrounding these students with the tools they need to navigate the university environment is as important as the financial support we provide.  The First Ascent program gives our students a sense of community through one-on-one mentoring, academic support, and international and domestic travel opportunities.  What we ask for in return is to support each other, give back to the community, and graduate.”

- Jeff and Helen Cardon