First Start Association (FSA): Empowering Students for Success

In the realm of student organizations, one name stands out for its commitment to fostering professional growth and innovation: the First Start Association (FSA). As a nonprofit organization, FSA dedicates itself to providing students with unparalleled opportunities in various fields, including medical, business, technology, engineering, and visual arts.

Founded by Gautam Narla at Rick Reedy High School, FSA has a vision of empowering students to realize their professional dreams, offering a comprehensive platform spanning 253 high schools where interests transform into captivating journeys of real-world exploration. At the heart of FSA’s mission lie internships and research opportunities meticulously tailored to each student’s passion and career aspirations. These immersive experiences, facilitated by mentors and industry experts, serve as tailor-made stepping stones to success, equipping students with invaluable hands-on experience and insights early in their academic journey.

However, FSA isn’t just about internships and research. It’s also about the thrill of competition. Through competitive events spanning diverse fields, students showcase their skills and knowledge, competing for prestigious titles and awards that reflect their dedication and expertise. These events, both group and individual, serve as a testament to FSA’s commitment to fostering excellence and camaraderie among its members.

The impact of FSA extends far beyond the confines of student competitions. Through its community charity events, FSA has raised an astounding $120,000 for crucial humanitarian causes, particularly in areas with limited access to healthcare and clean water, partnering with Water Wells for Africa (WWFA). By directing funds towards initiatives such as providing healthcare services in displaced areas and supporting clean water access projects, FSA demonstrates a commitment to social responsibility and global welfare.

Moreover, FSA has made significant investments in education, raising over $147,000 towards enhancing educational opportunities for students. This investment encompasses numerous initiatives to empower students and enrich their academic experiences. From resume-building opportunities to connections with professionals across diverse fields, FSA equips students with the skills and networks essential for personal and professional growth.

The growth of FSA’s chapter network and membership base is a testament to its impactful initiatives. FSA started with Reedy, Frisco, Lone Star, Memorial, Centennial, Heritage, Wakeland, and Liberty High School chapters. With chapters established in eight states, including Georgia, Nevada, Texas, California, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Colorado, FSA has expanded its geographic footprint, broadening its reach and impact. Currently boasting a membership exceeding 8,500 individuals, potentially nearing 10,000 students, FSA’s growing community reflects a robust network of engaged participants committed to its mission of empowering students for success.

Central to FSA’s success is its Internship and Knowledge Program, which provides students with invaluable internship opportunities and access to knowledge resources at no cost. Through strategic partnerships with major companies and organizations, including prestigious institutions like UT Southwestern and Goldman Sachs, FSA facilitates placements in internship and research positions, empowering students to gain practical experience and insights in their respective fields. Additionally, FSA’s provision of funding for projects and innovation incentivizes students to pursue ambitious endeavors, fostering creativity and entrepreneurship within the community.

In essence, FSA provides students with a pathway to a limitless future, offering opportunities for growth and success. As students continue to step into the world of FSA, they embark on a journey fueled by passion, innovation, and boundless possibilities.

Event Venues and Deadlines

  • April 20th: FSA TIER 1 STATE LEVEL Medical and Creative events will be held virtually.
  • April 21st: FSA TIER 1 STATE LEVEL Engineering, Technology, and Business events will be held virtually.
  • May 4th to May 5th: FSA nationals will be held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel Conference Center, and some events may be held virtually.

Event Prizes: provided through check or maturing bond

  • All national winners will receive FSA national plaques
  • Up to $2000 for Technology events
  • Up to $2000 for Medical events
  • Up to $1500 for Engineering events
  • Up to $1500 for Business events
  • Up to $1500 for Creative events

Summer Opportunities:

  • UT Southwestern/Lab research opportunities, $100 fee
  • App building competitions for teams of six, work will be published in a Dallas Morning News article, $25 team fee
  • Career building workshops with field professionals from June 8th to June 10th at Independence High School, $8 fee

Visit or contact for more information. You can also sign up for events through your school’s chapter.