From FGI to Brown: A Conversation with Brian Huynh

First Generation Investors
3 min readNov 16, 2022

During his junior year at Henninger High School in Syracuse, New York, Brian Huynh, joined First Generation Investors. As the Fall of 2020 gave rise to virtual learning, Brian found himself with extra time on his hands and was excited by the opportunity to learn something new. Later on, during the college process, the community of Syracuse University students helped Brian with advice and guidance, acting as a resource for him. In this interview, Brian delves into different ways First Generation Investors shaped him and shares important advice for other kids going through the college application process for the first time. This Fall, Brian began his freshman year at Brown University as a first-generation college student.

How did FGI fit into your high school experience?

Brian

I attended Henninger High School, an inner-city public high school in Syracuse, New York. I learned about FGI during my Junior year when students from FGI reached out to one of my business teachers. Because this was during Covid and we were learning virtually, I had extra time and space in my schedule that I decided to put toward something new. I was excited by the idea to learn more about the stock market and investing, and I was also just curious to see what it’d be like. I really loved learning about the latest news in the finance world and beyond. I graduated from Henninger in June as a member of the Class of 2022.

What were some takeaways you had from FGI?

Brian

FGI is more than a program. FGI is a community. The tutors are college students only a few years older than the students, so it helps to ask them questions. I asked about things related to the content we learned, but about college, their worries, and their future plans. They were down-to-earth and easygoing.

What you learn in FGI is only a stepping stone. The world of investing and finance is big and can take many shapes and forms. It has practical applications in daily life while watching the news or sitting in a classroom. You may not love it, but learn enough to make educated decisions. Your future is your biggest investment.

Finally, if you are struggling to understand or enjoy the topics you are learning right now, think back to why you initially joined and let that be your motivation. If you could join the FGI program, you have the ability to complete it.

What advice would you give to our other students who may be applying to college as first gen-students?

Brian

During my college application process, I mentioned FGI as one of the extracurricular activities I was most passionate about. One thing I would say is that it’s completely normal to be overwhelmed by the process, so don’t be surprised if you are. Instead, notice how many resources are around you to utilize as an outlet; teachers, adults, and counselors. They are there to help you! Another thing that’s essential during this process is to be a self-advocate. If you’re struggling that’s normal, but you need to stand up for yourself and continue to persevere when things are difficult.

Tell me about your freshman year so far at Brown.

Brian

My freshman year at Brown is going really well! I’m just getting ready for midterms now and am taking Principles of Economics, Mathematics of Economics, and other electives courses. I’m leaving some room in my schedule to explore a range of subjects, but am thinking of concentrating in economics and am definitely still interested in Finance. Since FGI, I have been investing in stocks independently and monitoring my progress over the past few months. The knowledge I gained from FGI has served as a solid foundation for the classes I’m taking right now and I’m ready to take it a step further.

I plan on joining one of Brown’s Investment Clubs regardless of my choice of major.

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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.