Professional Staff

Julio Reyes '12

Program Director, First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center

Julio graduated from Brown University in 2012 with concentrations in Sociology and Portuguese & Brazilian Studies.  As an undergraduate, Julio was a student leader and activist at the Brown Center for Students of Color (then Third World Center). His leadership positions included: Latinx Heritage Series Programmer, Latinx Student Initiative Programmer; and MPC Friend.

After successfully navigating Brown as a first-generation, low-income student of color, he continued to serve the community as a board member of the Brown University Latino Alumni Council (BULAC). Julio was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in El Paso, TX and Hialeah, FL.


Student Staff

Maria Ortega

Graduate Coordinator, First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center

I was born in Mexico but grew up in California's Central Valley in the city of Fresno. My mom instilled in me the value of an education early on but being a first generation student, the road to college was not an easy one. Through lots of hard work, dedication, and with the help of my family and community, I was able to graduate with a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from CSU, Fresno.

Although my time as an undergraduate was riddled with difficulties, I was able to succeed with the help of amazing mentors both inside and outside of the university. Growing up witnessing the effects that poverty and a lack of resources can have on a person have compelled me to get involved in social justice efforts. My positionality and experiences both in and out of school have cemented my commitment to advocacy work. I’m excited to be working with the FirstGen community not only because I fit the definition of the label but also because I would like to help cultivate a safe and healthy community where we can not only support one another but also build a sustainable movement that will help future generations.

Contrary to popular belief, grad students do have fun (sort of) so when I’m not organizing, reading, or writing, I enjoy traveling, especially to warm parts of the world. And when I don’t get the opportunity to travel, I substitute the urge to explore new territories by filling my home with plants.