New FLI Champions program connects students to support coaches

October 12, 2019

UChicago recently announced the launch of First-generation, Lower-income, and/or Immigrant (FLI) Champions, a program that matches FLI undergraduate and graduate/professional students with FLI faculty or staff members for a self-directed, coaching-style relationship. A Champion is someone who will focus on a student's assets, knowing that all students have already proven themselves to be successful. This new program is a supplement to the existing FLI Network, which connects students, faculty, administrators, and alumni who identify as FLI (regardless of immigration status), and allies with the goal of creating a community of support. 

“The FLI Network was launched in Spring 2018 to provide new channels for FLI-identified students, faculty, and staff to build community around shared identities and strengths,” said Devon Moore, Assistant Dean of Students in the College and Director of the Center for College Student Success (CCSS). “As folks began to make personal connections through the network, both through in-person events and by using the online directory, it became clear to us that providing a formally defined mentoring or coaching program would meet important needs on all sides.”

A pilot of the FLI Champions program was held during the 2018 - 2019 academic year, matching 27 students with Champions. The first official cohort of FLI Champions applied to participate in the program earlier in the Autumn Quarter. Coaches will be formally introduced to their students at a kick-off event on Tuesday, October 22. Additional plans for the program include lunch chats, a weekly newsletter, and ongoing support from CCSS and Student Support Services (SSS) staff.

“While the overall goals of the program focus on elevating students’ academic and professional potential, what we have seen is both Champions and students develop affirming relationships that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise,” said Ireri Rivas, Director of SSS. “We look forward to a similar wealth of connections being developed this year.”

FLI Champions and the FLI Network are both co-sponsored by by CSS and SSS. For more information, contact