First Generation Investors: Year in Review

First Generation Investors
4 min readDec 21, 2021

In just one year, FGI has grown to reach 37 university campuses across the country, adding chapters at Bates, Notre Dame, Rollins College, Clemson University, University of Richmond, University of North Carolina, University of Texas San Antonio, University of Southern California, Lehigh University, Johns Hopkins, Villanova University, Drexel University, and the University of Maryland this fall. We have been featured in numerous publications that highlight our mission to support and empower underserved students in business and finance and have celebrated many achievements throughout the year. This year, we also reached a major milestone by launching our search for an Executive Director. An Executive Director will help build FGI’s infrastructure that will allow us to continue to scale and reach more students nationwide.

Fundraising and Partnerships
Many of our University Chapters have formalized their own fundraising efforts and have become self-sufficient in creating investment opportunities for students. We are impressed with the initiative of our tutors and leaders in building networks, earning grants, and garnering support for FGI within their communities and beyond. Specifically, this November, Colby College Founder and President Maddie Fresco was awarded a grant from the S. Livingston Mather Charitable Trust to support FGI students at Colby. In March, Ohio Wesleyan Founder and President Reese Little earned Ohio Wesleyan’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Grant to support his chapter.

Aside from the impressive initiative shown at universities across the country, FGI’s Partners and Sponsors bolster our capacity to support our students. This year, FGI secured funding from Goldman Sachs, Ares Management, TIAA, NextEra Energy, Global Endowment Management, Cary Street Partners, The Sanczyk Group at Northwestern Mutual, Causeway Capital, AUA Private Equity Partners, JST Capital, Peapack Gladstone Bank, Select Equity Group, The Gravina Family Foundation, and Each of our Partners and Chapter Sponsors contributes to FGI in financially unique ways, including matching students’ portfolios, providing funds for specific Chapter programs, providing FGI National donations, and more. We would also like to give a special thank you to Jill Louis at Perkins Coie and Sophia Templin at Finsbury Glover Hering, who provide incredible pro-bono legal and public relations support, respectively, to enhance our operations.

This year, Global Endowment Management, an asset management firm based in Charlotte, N.C., has fostered a special relationship with our students. Head of Diversity & Inclusion Advocacy at GEM, Torrey Feimster visited multiple FGI Chapters throughout the fall semester, including Morehouse/Spelman and Notre Dame to celebrate students’ hard work and dedication to the program. At the Morehouse/Spelman Chapter, high school students presented their final Capstone Projects to tutors and leaders at GEM and Torrey got to spend meaningful time with the FGI team.

Our plans to further our Fundraising and Partnerships efforts in 2022 include launching an Executive Speaker Series and an FGI Ambassador Program, which would allow FGI alumni to remain part of the program after graduation. We look forward to continuing to update you all as we source and develop new partnerships.

FGI in the News
This year, FGI was fortunate to have our first news articles written about the work we are doing. Yahoo Finance published an extensive article outlining FGI’s story, progress, and goals in an article titled ‘Stocks over sneakers’: Nonprofit Teaches High School Students How to Invest Real Money. The article describes how the passion of those who support FGI makes it unique to other Non-Profit Organizations. “FGI is taking a big leap,” writes Mike MacMillan, confident in the growth he sees behind our mission.

FGI also made headlines in Newsroom, the University of Richmond’s school news outlet, this fall for its outstanding contribution to the school community. As the Richmond Chapter Sponsor, Cary Street Partners was also featured. “Our experience has been tremendous! Everyone within the FGI community is very driven about the mission to help empower the younger generation with financial literacy, and it has been inspiring to work with the UR students with so much passion in working towards the same goal,” said Lissie Stagg, GC’18, head of human resources at Cary Street Partners. Read more from this exciting publication here.

Events and Initiatives
In late November, FGI and student-run hedge fund Global Platinum Securities co-hosted an ETF pitch competition, where ten graduates of the FGI program were given the opportunity to further their knowledge by pitching an ETF of their choice to judges. Students at the competition also learned about a variety of more complex topics, including investment theses, market capitalization, dividend yields, expense ratios, and more. The winners of this competition were awarded funds to allocate towards the ETF they pitched.

The FGI Network also acts as a bridge between university, high school, and the corporate world by providing students with information and access to internship opportunities, university connections, a series of inspiring speakers, and more. This year, 15 FGI graduates participated in an internship program led by The Sanczyk Group at Northwestern Mutual, where they learned about a range of topics including asset allocation, retirement planning, and student loans credit. The interns also had the opportunity to listen to various speakers across the finance industry reflect on their careers and offer advice to those interested in learning more about career paths that relate to investing.

As mentioned earlier, we are excited to announce our search for a new Executive Director, FGI’s first full-time paid employee. We have received support from an anonymous donor to begin this official process and are currently accepting applications here.

Despite trying times for all, FGI has seen a prosperous year and we look forward to the growth in our future. Thank you again for your continued support and we hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season.



First Generation Investors

First Generation Investors (FGI) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that teaches high school students in underserved communities the power of investing.