About FLi Sci

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.

Our Mission

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.

Our Vision

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.

The Problem

FLi Sci hosted a preview workshop with high school students and found the following results from a group of 160 students: