About Us

Who is Gen One?

The Gen One Network was established to connect first-generation students with one another and useful university resources, and to foster a sense of community. The program strives to heighten awareness of their distinctive experiences through various initiatives. These initiatives include fostering networking opportunities among first-generation peers, faculty, staff and alumni, and organizing events such as dinners, faculty panels, resources fairs, community outings and study breaks, among others. Gen One is also implementing a peer mentor program.

Moreover, the Gen One Network provides avenues for professional development and facilitates opportunities that encourage individuals to delve deeper into their identities. The multifaceted approach aims to empower and support first-generation individuals across various aspects of their academic and personal journeys at Brandeis.

Our Mission

The Gen One Network works to cultivate a community rooted in unity, fortified by our foundational principles, and driven by a profound appreciation for the wealth of experiences, diversity and stories that our members bring to our community. Through mutual support, we inspire first-generation students to embark on a transformative educational and social journey, empowering them to realize their dreams and make a lasting impact in our society through their education and service.

We want first-generation students at Brandeis to feel inspired, to constantly work toward their goals and to make an impact on the wider Brandeis community.

Our History

A commitment to fostering a diverse academic community is rooted in the founding principles of Brandeis University, in the belief that a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences is essential for academic excellence and a vibrant campus life.

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by these students across sessions, Brandeis has implemented various programs such as Posse, Science Posse, Myra Kraft Achievers Program, Martin Luther King Fellows, and the Student Support Services Program to provide additional support.

In response, the Office of Academic Services, in collaboration with the School of Arts and Sciences, created a social network for first-generation scholars. The network kicked off with an inaugural dinner in 2018, and subsequent dinners featuring Brandeis staff and faculty resources have created spaces for connection. A mentoring program, expanded in 2019-20, has been instrumental in supporting first-generation students. Mentors meet regularly to discuss classes, social life, career interests and personal issues, providing referrals to resources like counseling and academic advising.

Since 2021, the Gen One Network has evolved to create more social and academic opportunities through organizing events, such as dinners, faculty panels, resources fairs, community outings and study breaks, and many more engagement opportunities. It has grown to be a vibrant community that is true to the First Generation vibe and aims to bring about a change in every first-generation student.

The Gen One Network, epitomized by these efforts, underscores the Brandeis community's dedication to supporting first-generation students, particularly those from low-income families, in their academic and personal journeys.

“The Gen One community cares about its members and dedicates itself to having high-quality student events. I had a lot of fun at every event I attended. It really feels like one of the higher quality clubs on campus.”

Samuel Hadego ’27