FLi Sci is an education non-profit hoping to produce more diverse scientists from low-income backgrounds.
FLi Sci (short for first-generation/low-income scientists) is an initiative founded by Gabriel Reyes in June 2020 due to the lack of financial support for students in poverty to access, pursue, and engage in scientific opportunities.
This was most salient when founder and Executive Director Gabriel Reyes was a graduate student at Teachers College and realized not just the lack of scientists that grew up in financially scarce environments but also how few resources existed to address this gap in representation. That summer, Gabriel was an intern for The Opportunity Network and created for them a virtual summer research program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — and this is when it became clear that such programs should also be made available to students in areas where access to science is either extremely limited or nonexist entirely.
As a result, FLi Sci aims to build pipelines for high school and college students that are from low-income backgrounds or the first in their families to attend college and set them up for success navigating a scientific career.
To support the scientific development of students that identify as either first-generation and/or low-income by providing opportunities that foster integral skills necessary to pursue science either professionally and/or academically.
FLi Sci envisions a world where this organization no longer exists because mechanisms to enter science are accessible and equitable to everyone — without regard to one’s race, gender, sexuality, and equally important, their socioeconomic status.
Gabriel (he/they) is pursuing a PhD in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at Stanford University as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar.
Working under the mentorship of Drs. Bruce McCandliss, Jason Yeatman, and Jelena Obradovic, Gabriel will be researching the effects of poverty-related stress on brain development and learning. A Gates Millennium Scholar and proud first-gen/low-income student from Albuquerque, NM, Gabriel graduated with an Sc.B. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Brown University, and earned an M.S. in Neuroscience and Education from Columbia University.
Jasmine (she/her) is an aspiring developmental psychologist who received her B.A. from San Jose State University.
Born and raised in the California Bay Area to Vietnamese immigrants, Jasmine became interested in the unique barriers that impede the growth of first-gen/low-income students. She is currently working towards admission into a developmental psychology PhD program.
Kurtis (he/him) is an education and non-profit professional with experience in social enterprise, teaching, secondary and higher education administration, grant writing, and program management.
Kurtis (he/him) is an education and non-profit professional with experience in social enterprise, teaching, secondary and higher education administration, grant writing, and program management. He spent the last six years directing two Upward Bound Math and Science programs at New Mexico Tech, serving low income, first generation students in Albuquerque and Socorro, NM to prepare them for postsecondary pursuits. Kurtis earned a BS in Mathematical and Computer Sciences and an MS in International Political Economy from Colorado School of Mines. Kurtis lives for seeing underrepresented students realize their potential and achieve more than they ever thought possible.