Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Brown to host 10th 1vyG conference for FGLI students in October

Conference spotlights first-generation, low-income student experiences

This October, Brown students will kick off the 10-year anniversary of the 1vyG conference, which brings together first-generation and low-income students, marking its return to campus for the first time in nearly a decade.

EdMobilizer, the organization that helps host the conference, initially reached out to the Undocumented, First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center at Brown to gauge students’ interest in planning the conference, according to Jennifer Tran ’25, a peer counselor at the U-FLi center and one of the co-chairs of the conference planning committee.

Talks of hosting the conference at Brown began late last year and were finalized in February, according to U-FLi peer counselor and other planning committee co-chair Gabriel Herrera ’25. This year’s conference will be held Oct. 11 to 13.

Brown was the first to host the conference back in 2015. Since then, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn and Cornell have also all hosted the conference.


“No one really discussed what it meant to be a first-generation college student at that point,” EdMobilizer Founder and Executive Director Viet Nguyen ’17 said in an interview with The Herald.

“We saw that there (were) a lot of people in campus life (and) admissions who cared about equity work, but not a lot of cross collaboration,” he added. “The idea was to bring around 300 students, administrators and policymakers into one space to share best practices and see how we (could) support each other.”

President Christina Paxson P’19 P’MD’20 originally heard about the idea for the conference during her student office hours.

“The plans were very impressive although, honestly, I was initially concerned that they might be a bit too ambitious,” Paxson said in a statement shared with The Herald. “But, these three students were driven, focused and determined.”

While the first conference was originally meant to be a “one-off,” support from students and administrators led to the event’s continued success.

For Nguyen, one of the conference’s greatest features is the fact that it’s student-run.

“Even though I’m a first-gen student myself, my experience six years ago is very different (from) what current first-gen (students) experience,” he shared.

“We want to really advocate to have students be at the center so that the conversation and topics that are brought into the conference, whether that’s through our keynote speakers (or) through our sessions, are whatever is most pertinent to what students are facing right now.”

Herrera noted that he is excited for the conference to return to Brown this fall.

“A lot of our successes as a first-gen student community and the U-FLi community at Brown specifically has relied on the work of students before us,” he said.


“This conference is a place where we’re all able to gather and … reflect on how far we’ve come and how much room there still is for us to continue to grow and for administration to support first-generation students on this campus,” Herrera added.

“It’s a very important time right now in higher education when it comes to diversity, equity, inclusion, admissions and how we can maintain racial and socioeconomic equity,” Nguyen said. 

“I hope that by bringing together all of these passionate students, administrators and policymakers, we can create a space where people feel supported in the fight that they’re fighting and also come out with a strong support network to keep going.”

Paxson echoed the significance of the work that students have done to sustain the conference.

Get The Herald delivered to your inbox daily.

“There had never been anything like the 1vyG conference,” she wrote. “I am proud that our students saw an opportunity to bring attention to an issue and make a real difference, not only for students at Brown, but for their peers at other schools.”

Aniyah Nelson

Aniyah Nelson is a University News editor overseeing the undergraduate student life beat. She is a junior from Cleveland, Ohio concentrating in political science and sociology. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and watching bloopers from The Office.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Brown Daily Herald, Inc.