Manuel Contreras ’16 speaks at White House in “Beating the Odds” summit


Beating the Odds

Manuel Contreras ’16 with First Lady Michelle Obama at the Beating the Odds summit this past Thursday.

On Thursday, July 23th,  Manuel Contreras ’16 took to the White House as a panelist at this year’s “Beating the Odds” summit. Contreras — along with rapper Wale, First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and E! Entertainment anchor Terrence Jenkins — spoke to an audience of over 130 college-bound students about their stories of and strategies for successfully transitioning to life at college. This conference marks the latest chapter of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, which encourages America’s youth to pursue higher education.

Contreras is one of the co-founders of 1vyG, an inter-Ivy first-generation college student organization that launched last year. The group focuses on providing a community for first-generation students to share their stories and “leverage their experience and education to better the world.” In February, 1vyG hosted a three-day conference — the first of its kind — with over 250 students from across the country at Brown.

The summit can be viewed here. For more about Contreras’s story, check out this post published by the First Lady on Medium.

Image via.

What we’re reading


The hottest news of the day is Trevor Noah, who was announced this morning as Jon Stewart’s replacement on The Daily ShowGrantland has a great piece on everything you need to know about him. And to get a taste of his comedic chops, check out one of his previous spots on The Daily Show, “Spot the Africa.”

Another trending topic this week is political correctness and safe spaces on college campuses, sparked by Judith Shulevitz’s article “In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas” in The New York Times. The piece begins at Brown–because, after all, where else does the media turn when trying to portray liberalism gone rampant? Shulevitz’s article was criticized by many, in the Brown community and beyond, as insensitive and missing the point. The backlash is best encapsulated by Slate‘s “Are College Campuses Really in the Thrall of Leftist Censors?

Politico‘s “Michelle Obama, Race and the Ivy League” looks at how the First Lady’s experiences at elite, and predominantly white, educational institutions–Princeton and Harvard Law School–shaped her into the woman she is today.

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Time-waster of the day: February 26, 2013

We saw her at Inauguration. We saw her at the Oscars. Now we can see her on Jimmy Fallon.

Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, has produced a series of videos with the hilarious comedian for her “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity. We first have a workout sequence at the White House:

Then, if you haven’t seen it, “The Evolution of Mom Dancing”:

Damn, Michelle. These videos (and your fabulous arms) are enough to make us actually think about going to the gym for once.

How badly do you want to see Michelle Obama?

Don’t get too excited. Former Providence mayor Joseph Paolino, Jr. announced that the First Lady will be gracing the East Side of Providence this weekend. She will be at a fundraiser September 30 at Paolino’s home to raise money for her hubby’s reelection campaign. But don’t start picking out your business clothes just yet — breathing Mrs. Obama’s air will cost you a pretty penny. Tickets start at $1,000 and could go up to $30,500.

So you need to ask yourself: do you really want to spend a year’s tuition on a few hours with Mrs. O?