Being able to help push the FGLI narrative and keep it at the forefront of my identity has helped me understand myself more and more as time has gone on. It’s just something I love to support and AL1GN has honestly been one of the biggest highlights of my year.”

– Jon Mirador, Student at Virginia Commonwealth University & AL1GN 2019 Attendee

AL1GN both serves and produces phenomenal student leaders that return to their home institution with innovative tools and resources to create positive change for first-generation and low-income students. Read the quotes from AL1GN 2019 attendees below:

  • I definitely feel more confident. I will start budgeting. I will seek help whenever I need help and I won’t stop till I get it. I want to support FGLI students one day by sharing my narrative and advocating with [my school’s first-gen student group].”
  • “The most important thing I’ve gotten from the conference is confidence. Learning how to organize and collaborate better with other students and even across institutions will be very useful in making [my home institution] a better place for students like us.
  • I have regained my motivation to continue my post-secondary education. I have learned so much that is hard to list here, like better managing of my student org, ways to help with food insecurity….”

Faculty, administrators, and staff members from all over the country attend AL1GN to hear directly from students about what matters most to them, and connect with other innovators who support FGLI students. Hear from faculty and staff members who attended AL1GN 2019:

  • “First-gen students are very determined, but can venture further with strong institutional recognition and support. I want to take back the lessons I learned to further the awareness of first-generation resources on campus….”
  • “…I have a clearer idea of gaps, barriers, and just overall approaches that hinder the participation of FGLI students in our programming. I am proposing a few steps for our office to consider this summer (in trying to be ‘student-ready’, and increasing advisor access to resources to help students).”
  • “I took a lot away from this conference that I will be reporting back to a lot of faculty and staff to help benefit the university. I learned a lot from the other universities and what they have to offer for their students.”

AL1GN is a student-led conference series – a team of undergraduate students organize each annual national conference with significant autonomy to create novel programming and grow both personally and professionally. They are supported by the AL1GN National Team and an administrator/staff advisor. Hear from former student organizers below:

  • “I learned many things – the most important thing being that I am not alone in this. Being a part of the AL1GN@UVA team has given me such a meaningful college experience – one that I didn’t even think was even imaginable. Throughout the entire process, they have supported me – mentally, physically, and emotionally – taught me so much about navigating UVA, and helped me build a network of influential allies to enact the changes necessary to make our post-secondary institution more accessible for all. I would not hesitate to do this all over again!”
  • “AL1GN has provided me with opportunities that were previously unimaginable to me. From my experience planning the conference, I’ve grown more confident in myself and my leadership skills. I know I have the capacity to create positive change for myself and people like me. I have a greater understanding of what being a first-generation college student means and the systemic ways in which institutions can either support or marginalize students. I feel good knowing that I’ve had a positive impact on my home institution and have empowered the next generation of student leaders.”