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FLI Graduation

FLI Graduation celebrates students who will be in the first generation of their family to graduate from college or who come from lower-income backgrounds. This event recognizes the incredible achievements and impact of first-generation and/or lower-income students within the Columbia/Barnard community.  

Meaning of the FLI Torch

FLI Torch

Each year, honorees are bestowed an item with the FLI Torch. This torch is an emblem of enlightenment. It is a symbol of the knowledge and capital acquired in navigating the complexity of Columbia and surviving college life; the understanding and greater appreciation of who you are, of your family and of where you come from; and the realization of the power of your voice and experience.

The FLI Torch also is a symbol of hope: Hope that comes from the possibilities unfolding before you with the diploma in your hand. Hope for the opportunities your families know you rightfully deserve. Hope for the next wave of students who will also be the first in their families. You are an inspiration and light for others.

And, like the many identities you hold, the FLI Torch is complex and multifaceted and can only fully function in understanding the connections among its constituent parts. 

The flame is your unceasing internal fire: the motivation that pushed you past moments of uncertainty, the drive to prove wrong those who doubted you and the passion to realize something greater in yourself.

This flame, however, cannot be held, cannot be contained, cannot be raised without its base – its foundation. Family, friends, mentors and significant figures have grounded you. They are the ones who believed in you when you did not believe in yourself, who healed you when you felt broken by this institution and who gave you the values, sense of self and strength to uplift you to this moment. The FLI Torch then is not just for what you achieved, but also in honor of them.

FLI Graduation Speakers


Nicole Leon Elvir CC’20

Senior Speaker

Jeremy Constancio CC’10

Research Grants and Contracts Manager, Housing Policy,
New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Alumni Speaker

Tribute to the FLI Graduation Class of 2020

Tribute to Those Who Got Us Here

Getting Involved with the Columbia First-generation Alumni Network

Welcome to the Columbia First-Generation/Low-Income Alumni Network! Stay up to date on upcoming events and opportunities to connect with fellow members of the Columbia community:

We also invite you to reach out to us directly at Congratulations!

FLI Graduation Graduates

Hannah Adeoye CC'20Daria Forde BC'20Priscilla Maccario BC'20Kania Rimu BC'20
Ishrat Aishee BC'20Samantha Furlong CC'20Jarosław Macnar CC'20Paola Ripoll CC'20
Can Akdere SEAS'20Zehui Gao SEAS'20Shazmin Mahmud CC'20Alexa Roman CC'20
Brianna Alico CC'20Stephanie Garcia Sosa BC'20Jason Mares CC'20Marcella Rozenwasser BC'20
Mika Aly CC'20Cayo Gonzalez CC'20Jessica Mei CC'20Nathaly Sanguino BC'20
Keziah Anderson CC'20Alexander Gonzalez Torres CC'20Kevin Mejia Mejia SEAS'20Nathan Santos CC'20
Anika Anna CC'20Tameka Gosine CC'20Jose Mendoza CC'20Xochitl Say BC'20
Simon Anuszczyk CC'20Patricia Granda-Malaver CC'20Darinelle Merced-Calderon CC'20Janine Sempel BC'20
John Arciniegas CC'20Daileny Guerrero BC'20Juan Mojica SEAS'20Olympia Serban BC'20
Sulema Arellano BC'20Nehemie Guillomaitre SEAS'20Darwin Molina CC'20Sofia Smith CC'20
Sheen Atwa GS'20Abigail Gutierrez BC'20Alissa Mori BC'20Irem Soysal CC'20
Nélida Ayacaxli GS'20Laura Hand CC'20Lithurshanaa Muraleetharan SEAS'20Lacey Strahm CC'20
Edith Baez CC'20J Haro SEAS'20Salma Nakhlawi BC'20Tasfia Tabassum CC'20
Alpha Barry CC'20Lily He SEAS'20Richie Ngo SEAS'20Siyu Tao CC'20
Laura Block CC'20Priscila Hernandez CC'20Erica Nieves GS'20Patrick Tapé CC'20
Nannette Boakye CC'20Cesar Herrera CC'20Tabara Nosiba BC'20Judith Teboul CC'20
Katherine Calderon BC'20Flor Hodge CC'20Bryan Ontiveros SEAS'20Maymouna Thiam BC'20
Cesay Camara BC'20Samaha Hossain BC'20Andrea Ortega CC'20Ufonobong Umanah CC'20
Jay Castro CC'20Zifang Huanng GS'20Katherine Ortiz BC'20David Valdes SEAS'20
Yankang Bennie Chen CC'20Mohammad Ibrahim CC'20Leslie Ortiz BC'20Erika Valdez BC'20
Vanessa Marie Chirino Jaenz BC'20Greg Inchaustegui GS'20Ashley Pabon CC'20Xitlalli Vazquez BC'20
Nahian Chowdhury BC'20Jenilee Jaquez BC'20Maleni Palacios Delgado BC'20Gleb Vizitiv SEAS'20
Lin Feng Collins BC'20Juan Diego Jaramillo CC'20Deborah Pantaleon CC'20Jason Wang CC'20
Jessica Cruz BC'20Fernando Jimenez Huerta SEAS'20Qiyue Peng SEAS'20Cicily Werito CC'20
Christian Cruz CC'20Aaliyah DejaMone’ Johnson BC'20Leslie Perez BC'20Armani Wilson CC'20
Christian Cruz Godoy SEAS'20Shaundin Jones CC'20Nha-Uyen Pham CC'20Lauren Winters CC'20
Lynn Dao BC'20Chabely Jorge CC'20Gabriella Phillip BC'20James Wu SEAS'20
Teresa Deely CC'20Brandon Juvani GS'20Tommy Polanco SEAS'20Mojde Yadollahikhales SEAS'20
Mia DeLuis Zayas CC'20Sean Kelso CC'20Karla Puga GS'20Tamara Yakubova BC'20
Christy Dey BC'20Abigail Kempf BC'20Sukanya Pusey BC'20Brian Yang SEAS'20
Daniel Driscoll CC'20Marwa Khairy CC'20Aziza Rahman BC'20Tamanna Yeasmin BC'20
Daniela Duron Garcia SEAS'20Kriti Kumar CC'20Haifa Rahman BC'20Shyanne Yellowbird CC'20
Morgan Edmonds CC'20Magdalen Kwarteng BC'20Lamia Rahman CC'20Zawareen Zakaria BC'20
Hagir Elzin BC'20Isabella Lajara CC'20Lyndsey Reed BC'20Cesar Zamudio CC'20
Hussein Fardous SEAS'20Ana Leon BC'20Marissa Reyes BC'20 
Amira Farid BC'20Nicole Leon Elvir CC'20Myrna Reyes Santos CC'20 
Armani Ferdaous BC'20Mary Liu GS'20Maggie Richardson CC'20

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