Rayan Alsemeiry ’19 arrived at Yale last year from Mesa, Arizona. His family had emigrated to the United States from Saudi Arabia when he was 3 years old, and is in the first generation of his family to attend college. In addition to the usual adjustments to campus life that most freshman face, Alsemeiry struggled to get his bearings in an unfamiliar culture….
Nearly 400 first-generation students like Alsemeiry are coming to Yale Friday-Sunday, Feb. 24-26 to discuss their common challenges and ways to overcome them at the third annual 1vyG Conference. Alsemeiry and Laura Plata ’19 are co-chairing the event, which will bring together first-generation, high-achieving, low-income students from the 19 top U.S. colleges and universities, including all of the Ivy League schools, Stanford, and MIT — including 25 delegates from Yale.
The annual conference is presented by the Inter-Ivy, First-Generation College Student Network (1vyG), a network of students and administrators aimed at building best practices and advocating for institutional change to increase first-generation students’ chances at success in both their academic and professional careers. The first conference was held at Brown; the second at Harvard, where Plata and Alsemeiry were delegates.
- Closing remarks on Sunday by Elizabeth Lee, assistant professor of sociology at Ohio University, whose primary area of research is the social experiences of college students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. Lee’s talk will take place at 2 p.m. in Woolsey Hall.
The ultimate goal of the 1vyG conference is to raise awareness of the challenges faced by first-generation students and “to provide people with the information and tools to organize and push for more acceptance of this community at top colleges,” says Alsemeiry.