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.
Campus Champions of Change Challenge, a program initiated in the fall of 2011, is a White House- (and mtvU-) sponsored competition to spotlight student-led community projects on campuses across the country. And guess who’s in the race this year? Brown’s very own Market Shares Program!
Here’s how the challenge works: thousands of students and student groups across the nation are welcome to submit their programs to the White House Office of Public Engagement, which then chooses 15 finalists that best embody positive change in the campus community and move toward “helping America win the future.” Isn’t that
vague nice? The vote to determine the top five finalists is open to the public — that means you have a say!
Of the 15 projects, the five finalists with the most votes are invited to the White House and will be featured on mtvU. Let’s show America what we’ve got: vote to help send Brown Market Shares to DC! Don’t know what Brown Market Shares is all about? Read on!