People

Co-Presidents of First-Generation Low-Income at Yale (FLY)

Maddy O’Neal (she, her, hers) from Phoenix, Arizona - ES ‘19

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? Coming to Yale, I knew no one at Yale, nor did I know anyone who studied at a school like Yale from my high school. I was lucky enough to befriend some FGLI Upperclassmen and participate in FSY, which helped me get my bearings a bit, but I quickly learned that there was little institutional support for FGLI Students and sought to do what I could to help change that by getting involved in QuestBridge and 1vyG. I want to make this Yale OUR Yale.

Co-Presidents of A Leg Even

Jordan Young (he, him, his) from Timmonsville, SC - GH ‘21

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? I’m involved within the FGLI community because this is an indentity that Feel is very hushed and taught to be shamed by society. I want to erase the stigma around this identity as well as bring more awareness to the issues that FGLI students face. I also want to be able to be a mentor for FGLI students so that I can share my social capital that I have gained since being at Yale through the different resources and tips that I know for both professional and social settings at Yale. 

President of the Yale Chapter of QuestBridge

Natalia Taylor (she, her, hers) from Widefield, CO - BC ‘21

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? I am from Widefield, Colorado which is known by the locals as “the hood that could” because we aren’t rich, but we work hard to succeed. When I started applying for college, filling out all those financial aid papers, my eyes started to open up to the fact that my family is considered very poor. My single mother had always made sure I never felt like we didn’t have enough, and she sacrificed so much for me and my three brothers. My mom wasn’t the only one who worked hard to help me succeed. There were countless other people along my journey who helped me reach my goals. Widefield always pulled together to support each other, so I know how important that sense of community is. I want to make sure that the FGLI students here at Yale have a community, like I did, that can help them along their journeys and reassure them that they are here because they deserve to be. We all deserve to be here.

FGLI Student Ambassador Team

Fatima Chughtai (she, her, hers) from Baltimore, MD - DC ‘19

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? As an FGLI immigrant student, I want to work to continue creating a space for students like me on this campus from when students first arrive until the day they leave. I believe we can all learn so much from each other, and I would like to help foster these relationships. As a Questbridge scholar, I have been tangentially involved with the community in the past, but I have been given so many opportunities through the FGLI community, and I’m excited to give back to the community this year.

Diana López (she, her, hers, ella) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin - ES ‘19

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? A first generation, low income student myself, going off to college was not the rite of passage into adulthood that the movies made it out to be - it was jumping into a world completely unlike my own. For that reason, I hope to work with the FGLI team in creating a community that empowers students and recognizes their greatness while also developing sustainable initiatives that will benefit the FGLI community for generations to come.

Maddy O’Neal (she, her, hers) from Phoenix, Arizona - ES ‘19

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? Coming to Yale, I knew no one at Yale, nor did I know anyone who studied at a school like Yale from my high school. I was lucky enough to befriend some FGLI Upperclassmen and participate in FSY, which helped me get my bearings a bit, but I quickly learned that there was little institutional support for FGLI Students and sought to do what I could to help change that by getting involved in QuestBridge and 1vyG. I want to make this Yale OUR Yale.

Markus Reneau (he, his, him) from New Orleans, Louisiana - SM ‘19

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? I want to be involved with the FGLI community because our journeys to college may be different but everyone in the community is united by the reality that we serve as visions of possibilities within reach for those back home. It is Yale’s duty to adequately serve our population because our thoughts and contributions are valid and our success here benefits more than just ourselves.

Jaster Francis (he, him, his) from Marietta, GA - BC ‘20

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? Beginning my college career as a low-income student at Yale University, I had a hard time adjusting to life at Yale. I work with the Yale College Dean’s Office to provide resources for FGLI students and help to make their transitions to Yale easier.

Samantha Wood (she, her, hers) from Wolfeboro, NH - SY ‘20

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? I’m an FGLI Ambassador because I think that we are all brilliant, talented people and with a supportive community we can accomplish even more!

Henry Rosas (he, him, his) from Phoenix, Arizona - TD ‘21

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? As FGLI students, we know that building community is essential for getting through the hardships and challenges that come with attending an institution like Yale. This year, I want to work on leveling the playing field for FGLI students so that we too can get the opportunities and experiences so many of us left our hometowns for. I hope to be more involved with our incredibly diverse community in order to build our presence on campus and make this space ours this year and in the years to follow.


From the Woodbridge Fellowship

Karin Gosselink (she, her, hers)

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Writing and Academic StrategiesCenter for Teaching and Learning

Karin Gosselink direct the Academis Strategies program at the Center for Teaching and Learning, a program that runs recurring workshops on anything from time management to managing a heavy reading load. However, the workshops center the student voice and the student experience, and are lead by current undergraduate students - with a significant first-generation low-income representation - so as to connect students with mentors that can have first-hand experience with academic-related questions.

José Yobani López Sánchez (he, him, his)

Woodbridge Fellow, Center for Teaching and Learning & Yale College Dean’s Office

Burgie Howard (he, him, his)

Senior Associate Dean of Yale College, Associate Vice President of Student Life

Dean Howard supports the college’s growing population of first-generation students, programs such as Freshman Scholars at Yale (FSY), student-athletes, and students involved with fraternities and sororities. He also supervises and supports the cultural centers, and he serves on the Schwarzmann Center committee.

Sílvia DeCastro (she, her, hers)

Senior Administrative Assistant, Yale College Dean’s Office

Sílvia DeCastro provides primary support to the Associate Dean for Student Engagement. Sílvia is originally from São Paulo, Brazil. Her first job after college was in the Department of Italian Language and Literature where she worked for the Chair and with the graduate student population at Yale from 1983-88.  After working as an executive assistant in several multinational corporations in Brazil, she returned to Yale in 1995 as Executive Assistant to Sterling Professor Edward Zigler in the Department of Psychology. She then joined the Yale College Dean’s Office where she has worked as Senior Administrative Assistant II in the Office of Student Affairs; and now in the Office of Student Engagement. Sílvia is a skilled polyglot; she is fluent in Portuguese (native), English, Italian and Spanish. On her free time, you will find her near the ocean whenever possible, and travelling is always on her mind. She is, of course, a huge soccer fan.


First-Year Scholars at Yale

Members of the First-Year Scholars at Yale (FSY) Committee

Priya Singh (she, her, hers) from Far Rockaway, NY - SY ‘19

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? My involvement with the FGLI community started when I was invited to participate in the First-Year Scholars at Yale program (FSY) the summer of 2015. This program really opened my eyes as to how my Title I public high school did NOT prepare me for the rigors of an Ivy-League education. It also taught me that I BELONG at Yale and that this school has a community dedicated to helping me succeed here. The FGLI community here is also my family. I have met some of my lifelong best friends through organizations like QuestBridge, Matriculate, FSY Student Council, ALE, etc (the list goes on and on). One of the main factors that has motivated me to stay involved is that I want to share some of the knowledge and experience I’ve gained throughout my time here with others (finesse the system if you can!). If you want to get to know me better or grab some free food, stop by my Fro-Co duty nights this year in Vandy!

 

Akila Shanmugham (she, her, hers) from Downers Grove, IL - BK ‘20

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? As a FSYer from the 2016 cohort and a current member of the FSY committee, I’m excited to welcome the Class of 2022 FGLI community! The transition from high school to my freshman year at Yale was aided by the incredible programming I experienced and friendships I formed within my time at FSY. To that end, I am dedicated to enhancing programing during the academic year so that FGLI students from QB, ALE, FSY, and other sub-communities can continue to feel welcome and supported during their time at Yale.

Karli Cecil (she, her, hers) from Tomahawk, WI - MY ‘20

Why are you involved in the FGLI Community? I’m involved with the FGLI community because it has been a great support network for me at Yale. I’ve found a family in the Yale FGLI community that has given me endless support and encouragement, and I can’t thank them enough for it!