Thrive Frequently Asked Questions

What is Thrive? 

Thrive is a leadership development program for emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) student leaders at Iowa State. As part of Thrive, you will you will explore the foundations of LGBTQIA+ leadership: learning more about yourself as an LGBTQIA+ person, learning more about diverse LGBTQIA+ communities, and building skills for dialogue and teamwork.

 Students who participate in Thrive will learn: 

  1. Critical self-reflection tools to better understand your own identity, including intersections of gender, sexuality, race, ability, citizenship, etc.
  2. Exposure to broader, diverse LGBTQIA+ communities and issues at Iowa State and beyond.
  3. Skills for successfully attending a national LGBTQIA+ conference, the Midwest Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Asexual College Conference (MBLGTACC). This includes skills for selecting sessions, networking with students and professionals from across the country, reflection on your place in larger LGBTQIA+ community, documenting your experience at the conference, reflecting on prompts about your experience, etc. All student expenses related to conference registration, hotel, travel, and daily meals will be paid by the Thrive program.
  4. Skills for being in community with other LGBTQIA+ people. These skills include group dialogue and teambuilding with your Thrive cohort, consisting of other LGBTQIA+ students and Center staff. 


What will I do as part of Thrive?

Students who are in the Thrive program will: 

  1. Attend mandatory pre-departure sessions to prepare for their experience at MBLGTACC. Sessions will focus on critical self-reflection, questions to reflect on during MBLGTACC, being in community with your Thrive cohort, and professional development skills for attending a conference. Sessions will be held on January 15th, January 22rd, January 29th, and February 5th (Wednesdays, 7-9pm).  
  2. Attend MBLGTACC 2019 in Kalamazoo, Michigan February 14-16, 2020. We will depart Ames at 6am on Friday, February 14th and return at 11pm on Sunday, February 16th. Students will be responsible for making arrangements to clear all class, work, and other commitments from their schedule for this mandatory conference participation. All student expenses related to conference registration, hotel, travel, and daily meals will be paid by the Thrive program. 
  3. Thrive students will participate in conference sessions, attend all keynotes, and participate in daily debriefings with their Thrive cohort.  
  4. Thrive students will document their experience at MBLGTACC via journal entries, photos, and notes. 
  5. Attend mandatory post-conference sessions to process MBLGTACC experience and to continue learning and reflection about your identity and your place within LGBTQIA+ communities. Sessions will be held on February 26th, March 11th, and March 25th (Wednesdays, 7-9pm)


What are the eligibility requirements for Thrive? 

To be considered for Thrive, students must: 

  • Be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student in Spring 2020.
  • Have at least a 2.25 cumulative GPA at time of application. For students in their first semester at Iowa State, acceptance into Thrive will be contingent upon having a 2.25 GPA at start of Spring 2020.
  • Be excited to learn about LGBTQIA+ communities, histories, and experiences.
  • Be invested in doing critical self-reflection and thinking about their own intersecting identities, including, but not limited to, gender, sexual identity, race, ability, etc. 
  • Be committed to working as part of a team with other students and staff.
  • Be able to attend mandatory pre-conference meetings on January 15th, January 22nd, January 29th, and February 5th (Wednesdays, 7-9pm).
  • Be able to attend MBLGTACC 2020  in Kalamazoo, MI, February 14-16, 2020 (Friday-Sunday—all day). 
  • Be able to attend mandatory post-conference meetings on February 26th, March 11th, and March 25th (Wednesdays, 7-9pm).


How do I apply to Thrive? 

To apply to Thrive, a student will need to submit an online application by Sunday, December 15, 2019 11:59pm CST [Extended Deadline]. The application includes the following:

  1. Short Essay Questions

Please answer the following questions. Your answers should be a minimum of 100 words. We will use your answers to evaluate your strengths related to 3 important components in the Thrive program: Team Work, Curiosity, and Purpose.

Good answers will focus on one specific example, provide details to explain your answer, and show that you have taken time to think about the question.

  • Team Work: Tell us about a time you've worked as part of a team. What did you learn from the experience?  
  • Curiosity: Tell us about a time when you were interested in an idea or a skill and took initiative to learn about it. What steps did you take to learn this new skill or idea? Examples of a skill or idea you've learned might include sewing, riding a bike, building a computer, driving, cooking, an artistic method (i.e. ceramics, metal work, painting, etc.), learning a new game, designing a computer program, making a blueprint or a map, animal care, a lab process, fieldwork, learning a new language, learning to play a sport, learning to act or dance, learning how to canvass for a political campaign, etc.
  • Purpose: What made you want to apply to the Thrive program?

2. A resume (optional, but encouraged). Good resumes will highlight work experience, student leadership, activities and student involvement, volunteer experience, etc. and include specific details about duties you performed in each position/experience.

3. Current cumulative GPA (this will be verified during the application review process).


When will I know if I've been accepted to Thrive? 

We hope to notify applicants of their acceptance into Thrive by Friday, December 20, 2019 at 5pm CST.


I am straight, not trans, and not asexual—can allies be part of Thrive? 

Allies who advocate for LGBTQIA+ people in their daily personal and professional lives are welcome in Thrive. Please keep in mind that the focus of Thrive will be the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, and other people with marginalized gender, sex, and/or sexual identities. 

If I have questions about Thrive that are not answered here, who can I contact? 

All questions about Thrive may be sent to