FYRE Pre-Orientation Program

FYRE aims to provide first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented first-year students with the resources and community to feel supported, celebrated, and ready to take ownership of your Harvard experience.
 

fyre students

Why start Harvard with FYRE?

The First-Year Retreat and Experience (FYRE) program aims to provide first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented (FGLI/U) students with the resources and community to feel supported, celebrated, confident, and ready to take ownership of your college experience, knowing that you have a special community of friends and advisers to mentor you throughout your first-year at Harvard.

FYRE strives to bolster the strengths and skills you already have and complement them with the confidence and community needed to kickstart your Harvard experience. Throughout FYRE, you will connect with faculty, staff members and administrators, and upper-level student leaders who will welcome you and help you become more familiar with the many college resources and offices available to support you throughout every step of your educational experience.

At FYRE, you will join a tight-knit community of 160 other first-years and 32 Team Leaders who will become a key part of your support network on campus. Each and every activity and event at FYRE is designed to help you understand how to navigate your Harvard experience, including topics such as academics, financial aid, social life, health and wellbeing, networking, work study, and other on-campus opportunities.

We hope to provide students with a genuinely positive and supportive community that allows first-years the space to ask any and all questions related to transitioning to Harvard. The FYRE community strives to provide a strong base of support for each of our students well beyond our extended two-week program.

 

Programming Information

This year, we will provide a completely virtual and extended FYRE Program experience. To accommodate students’ schedules and time zones, we will hold a two-week program with 4-5 sessions per week starting on Monday, August 2, 2021, through Friday, August 13, 2021. We plan on making our remote programming accessible to all participants and will work to support students who may have technology difficulties or limited internet access. Participants can indicate any accessibility needs via the Pre-Orientation registration form.

During the two weeks of FYRE, students will get to participate in workshops and presentations from student support offices (like the Office of Career Services and the Academic Resource Center) to learn about how they specifically support first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented (FGLI/U) students. You’ll get to hear from and talk with professors from a variety of disciplines at Harvard. In addition, our 32 amazing FYRE Team Leaders will run panels about academics, finances, and social life at Harvard, and host an empowering open mic session about challenges and resilience at Harvard.

Lastly, the core of our program, which makes FYRE so special, is the community. All FYRE students will be placed into FYRE families — a tight-knit group of 10 students led by 2 Team Leaders, which will be your home base throughout the program. You’ll get to know your families personally through small-group reflections, fun activities, and direct mentorship from your Team Leaders. Throughout the program, you’ll also get to know the other students and the rest of the Team Leaders through community mixers and evening activities. Team Leaders will host virtual Office Hours each day of the program for students to ask questions and speak individually with the Team Leaders. We hope that by the end of our program you will feel equipped, empowered, and excited about starting your Harvard educational experience.

 

Who is eligible?

FYRE is a pre-orientation program geared towards students who are the first-generation in their families to go to college, students who are from low to modest income backgrounds, and students whose high schools are under-represented in the Ivy League. In partnership with the staff from the Harvard Foundation, our FYRE co-chairs and 32 FYRE Team Leaders will welcome 160 incoming first-year students into the Harvard community and help them prepare to transition into college life.

FYRE will leverage the incredible diversity of experiences found among the student community at Harvard, and we are excited to welcome you to our community on campus.

Can I attend FYRE and another Pre-Orientation program?

The majority of incoming Harvard students choose to participate in pre-orientation to build a social support network before the year begins. Descriptions of all Pre-Orientation programs are included in your admission packet and online. All pre-orientation programs occur simultaneously— therefore, participation is limited to one program.

How do I apply?

Registration for all pre-orientation programs begins on Friday, May 21 and closes on Monday, June 7. You may rank order up to two programs of interest. On Monday, June 21, you will be notified of your program placement, and you have until Monday, June 28 to confirm your spot in the program. Pre-Orientation programs are free for the Class of 2025. Access the Pre-Orientation Registration form here

Connect with our Community!

The best thing about Harvard is its people—the students, faculty, staff, and alums who make living and studying at this institution so remarkable. Everyone here is unique, with their own stories, interests, and talents. You are unique, too!

You have special qualities and characteristics that make you perfect for Harvard. We really hope you choose to come here. As you’re thinking about joining this community, and making Harvard your home away from home, you may want to connect with some of the folks who will be your peers, your mentors, your teachers, and advisers.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about FYRE, please email our FYRE Co-Chairs at harvardfyre@gmail.com, our FYRE Director at fyre@fas.harvard.edu, or call the Dean of Students Office at 617-495-1574.

For more up-to-date information follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all under @HarvardFYRE.

 

Co-Chairs

Aisha's portrait

Aisha Abdelhamid (she/her/hers) 

aishaabdelhamid@college.harvard.edu

Hey everyone!! My name's Aisha (Ayyy-shah or 3aa’isha) and I'm an Egyptian from Long Island, NY. I am currently concentrating in Sociology with a secondary (i.e. minor) in Educational Studies and a citation in Arabic! At Harvard, I'm involved in PBHA (a huge public service organization), the Society of Arab Students, Harvard Islamic Society, and Palestine Solidarity Committee. There is nothing I love more than exploring Boston with my friends or “discovering” a song from three years ago and listening to it on repeat. I can't wait to meet you all :) <3

Avery's portrait

Avery Robinson (he/him/his)

averyrobinson@college.harvard.edu

HEY Y'ALL! My name is Avery and I am so excited to be one of your Co-Chairs this year! I grew up in Tampa, Florida and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Just like your other amazing co-chair, I am also concentrating in Sociology with a secondary in Educational Studies. I love dancing, playing pick-up sports games, and trying new food. Outside of FYRE I am involved in PBHA and the Harvard Black Men's Forum, and am currently the co-captain of my dance team, Omo Naija x The Wahala Boys. Once we are back on campus in the fall, I am down to link with all of you and do literally anything so hit me up whenever. Looking forward to meeting you all :)

Steering Committee

Ahmed's portrait

Ahmed Alsheikh (he/him/his)

ahmad_alsheikh@college.harvard.edu

What’s uppp FYREflies!! My name is Ahmed Alsheikh, I’m a freshman from Syria likely studying government while being on the pre-med track. At Harvard, I’m involved with HUFPI and the Society of Arab Students. Outside of school and extracurriculars, I’m interested in learning Arabic calligraphy and comparative religion.

I’m super excited to meet you and can’t wait for FYRE!!

Cindy Phan (she/her/hers)

cindyphan@college.harvard.edu

Hi everyone! My name is Cindy Phan, and I’m from the Salt Lake area of Utah, in the lovely mountain west. I’m currently undeclared, but I’m currently on the pre-med track, likely to concentrate in either History and Science or Molecular and Cellular Biology. At Harvard, I’ve been most involved in HCURA (Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association), the Harvard Vietnamese Association, and the Wave Arts and Literary Magazine. In terms of my free time, I love food, friends, and creative writing, not necessarily in that order.

Ebony's portrait

Ebony Smith (she/her/hers)

ebonysmith@college.harvard.edu

Hi, FYREflies! My name is Ebony, and I’m from Boston, MA. I live in Eliot House. I’m currently undeclared but am thinking of concentrating in Government, with a Spanish citation! I write for The Crimson as an editorial writer and am involved in BSA, ABHW, GAASA, GSS, and Harvard Honor Council. I hope to attend law school. So excited to meet you!

Esther

Esther Xiang (she/her/hers)

estherxiang@college.harvard.edu

HENLO MY FYRE LOVES! I’m Esther / Essie, and I’m a sophomore in Adams House! I’m an empathy enthusiast who is hoping to create my own concentration in Happiness! I was born in Canada, but I’ve moved around my entire life (most recently moved from North Carolina to Illinois)! I LOVE LOVE LOVE meeting new people, so please feel free to reach out! I'd love to talk more! At Harvard, I’m involved with the Undergraduate Council (UC), Harvard Project For Asian and International Relations (HPAIR), and Adams HoCo. In my free time, I love watching Korean Dramas and Avatar: The Last Airbender, creating ~aesthetic~ Spotify playlists, learning Norwegian, and filming YouTube videos! Pls say hi lettuce be friends ❤️ Sending y'all so much love!

Team Leaders

Dumebi's portrait

Dumebi Adigwe (she/her/hers)

dadigwe@college.harvard.edu

Hi! I’m Dumebi Adigwe and I’m a rising junior from Howard County, Maryland studying Applied Math and Economics. On campus, I am co-captain of the women’s club lacrosse team, treasurer of the Nigerian Students Association, and co-founder and VP of marketing of Scholars of Finance. Random fun facts... I’m scared of mushroom, I’m a film photographer and I hate movies but love TV shows

Oswaldo's portrait

Oswaldo Ambrosio (he/him/his)

oswaldoambrosio@college.harvard.edu

Hi everyone! My name is Oswaldo and I'm a rising senior in Mather studying History with a secondary in Government. I was born in Mexico, but was raised in Grinnell, Iowa! On campus, I've been a part of the Harvard Dems, Act on a Dream, the IOP, SHADE, and an intern at the Office of BGLTQ Student Life. Outside of school, I enjoy photography, music, running, and watching good TV shows (pls give me show recs)!

Ryyan's portrait

Ryyan Antionette Pritchett (she/her/hers)

rapritchett@college.harvard.edu

Hey y’all! My name is Ryyan Antionette Pritchett, I’m a rising junior in Quincy House studying sociology and American Sign Language. I am the president of the Association of Black Harvard Women and a communications intern at the Radcliffe Institute. I am originally from Greensboro, North Carolina—I rep the south hard! I love cooking, trying new restaurants, and learning new hairstyles!

Daniela's portrait

Daniela Bolanos (she/her/hers)

danielabolanos@college.harvard.edu

Hey everyone! I'm originally from Cuba but I have lived in Miami most of my life. I am currently a first-year at the college planning on concentrating in Psychology with a secondary in Linguistics. I love to paint but I'm not any good so if anyone wants to make bad art with me, then hit me up :))

Abraham's portrait

Abraham Castañeda (he/him/his)

abraham_castaneda@college.harvard.edu

Hi! My name is Abraham Castañeda and I’m a rising senior in Leverett House originally from Bakersfield, California. I’m concentrating in Neuroscience and am also pre-med, but don’t quote me on that. I’m first-gen, low-income, and Latino so I’ve had a great time being involved in Primus and Latinx organizations at the College, and I’ve also studied abroad in Italy! My hobbies include playing sports, video games, board games, and watching the Dodgers. I love meeting new people and I’m an open book, so please feel free to reach out to me about absolutely anything.

Josie's portrait

Josie Chen (she/her/hers)

jchen12@college.harvard.edu

Helloooo FYREflies! Okay, Harvard intro, go: Josie Chen, c/o 2024, Mather House, undeclared but today I'm leaning toward Social Anthropology, also pre-med for the time being with specific interests in sports/orthopedic medicine and global/public health. I was born, raised, and spent my entire first year of college in Oakland, California, but "on campus," I'm a part of The Crimson's Multimedia Board. I loveeee Sriracha or ketchup with almost anything, martial arts, and a good discussion about Christian apologetics. Having had a lot of really great mentors in my life, I am extremely passionate about learning to support and cultivate genuine connections with others—especially fellow FGLI students, so always feel free to reach out!

Celine's portrait

Celine Cuadra (they/them/theirs)

celinecuadra@college.harvard.edu

Hello! I'm Céline, I'm from Los Angeles and will be a senior pursuing a joint concentration in History and Literature as well as Art, Film and Visual Studies with a citation in Portuguese. My parents are from Montevideo, Uruguay : ) On campus, I'm involved with the Harvard Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM) and am a student board member at the Harvard Art Museums (HAM). Pre-covid you could find me at the Carpenter Center, the HAM cafe, Mather or Andala Coffeehouse in Central. I am passionate about boba and twerking and my goal in life is to be covered in tattoos. FYRE love!!! ❤️❤️❤️

Jessica's portrait

Jessica Dias-Jayasinghe (she/her/hers)

jdiasjayasinghe@college.harvard.edu

Hey FYREflies! My name is Jessica Dias-Jayasinghe and I'm an Australian-born Sri Lankan, from Bentonville, Arkansas. I am a rising senior living in Winthrop and concentrating in Government with a secondary in Psychology. I'm involved with Women in Business, Women in Law, and PBHA! My hobbies include reading, hiking, going on adventures with friends, and spending as much time with animals as possible! Over the semester I fell into the trap of Tik Tok and random Youtube videos/Netflix - so if you have any recs, let me know :)

Ezenia's portrait

Ezenia Diaz-Lembert (she/her/hers)

ezenia_diazlembert@college.harvard.edu

Hey y'all!! My name is Ezenia Diaz-Lembert, and I'm super excited to be a TL this year! I'm a rising sophomore in Pforzheimer house and plan on concentrating in Bioengineering with a potential CS secondary. I'm currently a board member for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and part of WiCS and the Dominican Student Association. I also love to play the ukulele, sing, and write songs in my free time! Can't wait to meet all the FYREflies soon <3

James' portrait

James Garavito (they/them/theirs)

jamesgaravito@college.harvard.edu

Hi everyone! I'm a rising senior at the college from Dover, New Jersey concentrating in Neuroscience with a secondary in Art, Film, and Visual Studies on a pre-med track. On campus, I am involved in the beautiful FYRE community, Indigo Peer Counseling, and the Harvard Radio Station (WHRB Jazz Department). I enjoy making breakfast, photo journaling, listening to music, sunbathing, and going on long walks. A big welcome and hug to all the incoming FYRE students <3 <3 <3

Sammantha's portrait

Sammantha Garcia (she/her/hers)

sammanthagarcia@college.harvard.edu

Hi everybody! My name is Sammantha Garcia and I am a current junior at the college studying Sociology with a secondary in Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights! I have been in South Texas, my hometown, since March 2020. Besides coursework, I spend my time PAFing, working my two sociology research jobs, and studying for the LSAT! I am also the VP of Community Engagement of Latinxs in Finance and Technology. Anytime I am free, I spend my time visiting the gym, eating sushi, and hanging out with my family. This is my fourth (and last, sad face) doing FYRE and I am sooo excited!!!! Please hit me up if you have any questions about any of the above.

Alfonso's portrait

Alfonso Godinez Aguilar (they/he)

agodinezaguilar@college.harvard.edu

Hi everyone! I’m Alfonso (they/he), and I’m a rising sophomore at the College concentrating in Chemical & Physical Biology with a Secondary in Global Health & Health Policy! I’m originally from Guatemala City, but I grew up just an hour south of Seattle! On campus, I’m a part of the Cheer team, write for the Arts section of the Crimson, and am a photographer for Humans of Harvard College! I’m also OBSESSED with baking, cooking, photography, talking about music for hours and hours and I am also SUPERRR excited to be a part of FYRE this summer! <333

Alexandria's portrait

Alexandria Ho (she/her/hers)

thuongho@college.harvard.edu

Hello lovelies, my name is Alexandria. I’m a first-year, studying History and Literature with a potential secondary in EMR/Educational Studies and a possible citation in either Korean/Latin/Vietnamese. I was born and raised in Sài Gòn, Việt Nam, and immigrated to St. Louis, Missouri in August 2016. I am passionate about social justice and am involved in TAPAS, AAWA, HVA, HCJI, and Flyby Blog on campus.

Kyra's portrait

Kyra March (she/her/hers)

kyramarch@college.harvard.edu

Hey y'all! My name is Kyra (she/her), and I'm a rising senior at Harvard from Florence, SC studying African American Studies and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality with a language citation in Gullah! On campus, I'm a member of the Association of Black Harvard Women, and I dance with Omo Naija x The Wahala Boys and the Eleganza Show (s/o to The Black Effect). I love painting, going to museums, dancing, and watching Marvel movies, and I hope to become a professor and museum curator. I'm excited to meet y'all soon!

Alaha's portrait

Alaha Nasari (she/her/hers)

anasari@college.harvard.edu

Hello everyone! My name is Alaha Nasari and I am a rising sophomore at Harvard College. I am originally from Long Island, New York. I've had an amazing experience on campus so far (I was here during both the fall and spring of my freshman year), and I am so excited for our return next school year. I am planning to concentrate in History and Science on the pre-medical track. Some of the activities I'm involved in here at Harvard include the Crimson Editorial Board, FIMRC, MEDLife, and HUPPA. FYRE was definitely one of the highlights of my freshman experience and I hope it will be one of yours too!

Nadya

Nadya Nfaoui (she/her/hers) 

nadyanfaoui@college.harvard.edu 

Hello!! My name is Nadya Nfaoui and I am a junior concentrating in the History of Science on the Mind, Brain and Behavior Track with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy and a citation in Spanish (oof that is such a mouthful but I have also switched through a lot of majors so if this is something y'all are interested in knowing more about please reach out!). I'm a first-generation, low-income Moroccan who has spent most of my life in the Mile High City (Colorado reppin'!). On campus, I am a Student Coordinator with the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, a Research Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, and a Peer Advising Fellow (PAF). My favorite place to be though is FYRE, FYRE is my life *In the Vine Chipotle Boy Voice*. My weaknesses are dark chocolate, cold brew, and weirdly, old-school romantic comedies. If you wanna know where to find the best coffee in the Square, or just want a friend coming into college please reach out!! [Please reach out, I swear I'm funny sometimes :)]

Truong's portrait

Truong Nguyen (he/him/his)

truongnguyen@college.harvard.edu

Hi y'all! My name is Truong and I am a sophomore in Leverett concentrating in Psychology with a secondary in Educational Studies (low-key pre-med). I am from Houston but was originally born in Saigon, Vietnam, and moved to America with my family in 2013. I am interested in education and involved with a few education outreach groups on campus such as @harvardhuse, @hcauscr, @harvardjapan, and @hvietsummerprogram. In my free time, I enjoy planning ahead, playing video games (league of legend), and watching anime, Korean-dramas, and youtube videos on how to take aesthetic notes & be more productive while being unproductive.

Wonuola's portrait

Wonuola Obasa (he/him/his)

wonuolaobasa@college.harvard.edu

Hi everyone! I'm Wonuola and I'm a rising junior studying Environmental Science and Public Policy. I'm from Cleveland, Ohio, but was born in Lagos, Nigeria. On campus I'm involved with the Nigerian Students Association and IOP Policy. I like to exercise, watch K-dramas and anime, and love music. Talk to me about anything rap, R&B, and afrobeats! Excited to meet you all!

Elizabeth's portrait

Elizabeth Ogolo (she/her/hers)

elizabethogolo@college.harvard.edu

Hey y’all! I’m Elizabeth, a Houston hottie and sophomore in Adams House, and I’ll likely be concentrating in Neuroscience or History and Science with a citation in Spanish! I’m Nigerian and a first-generation low-income student so chileeee I know the struggle. On campus, I’m the treasurer for the Association of Black Harvard Women (ABHW) and the social chair for the Nigerian Student Association (NSA), have a Harvard podcast (look up “Dear Harvard” on Spotify!), and am involved in many other black, pre-med, and STEM orgs as well! Somehow I know so many things and nothing at all so if you want to put me on to anything (music, tv shows, movies, food, etc.) my dms are always open lmao. I tend to write full-length essays for things as simple as FYRE bios so I’ll stop now, but reach out if you have questions about literally anything!!!

Emily R's portrait

Emily Ramirez (she/her/hers)

emilyramirez@college.harvard.edu

Howdy y'all! My name is Emily and I'm from Houston, TX! I'm concentrating in Government, with a potential secondary in Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights. I love to work out, watch movies, and hand letter, and on any given day, you'll probably catch me rewatching New Girl for the millionth time. On campus, I work for the Harvard First Generation Program and I'm on the Act on a Dream board!

Taina's portrait

Taina Rico (she/her/hers)

tainarico@college.harvard.edu

Hey, my name is Taina! I grew up in a very diverse city called Brockton, which I'm very fond of. Some of my hobbies include working out and being active, listening, dancing, and singing to all different types of music, and trying new experiences and food. I'm on the pre-med track and am really interested in studying neuroscience as of right now, but I'm keeping an open mind for other concentrations. I'm really excited to meet everyone, feel free to dm me if you have any questions or want to chat @taina.rico

Emily's portrait

Emily Sanchez (she/her/hers)

emilysanchez@college.harvard.edu

Hey everyone! I'm Emily, 100% a Capricorn and Colorado native. I'm passionate about the intersection of medicine with society and addressing health inequities. So, I spend my time outside of the virtual classroom interning for the CDC as a health scientist, researching public health in Honduras, as a leader with the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), empowering Latinas as a co-executive director for LEAD, planning fun events and spending money with Adams HoCo, and directly serving high school students through the Pre-College Research Institute (PCRi). When not in meetings or class, I enjoy being outdoors running, biking, or playing soccer. I also love ending my days playing Mario with my roommates and watching sitcoms!

Aaron's portrait

Aaron Shirley (he/him/his)

aaronshirley@college.harvard.edu

Hey everybody, my name is Aaron, I'm from Chesapeake, Virginia and I'm a sophomore living in Quincy House. I stay out of trouble on campus by hurdling and sprinting for the varsity track team (#GoCrimson), researching at the Radcliffe Institute, directing the Deaf Awareness Club, and napping during any free time I have! I'm a pre-med student joint concentrating in History & Science and Sociology with a citation in American Sign Language. I'm currently trying to fold 1000 paper cranes before my next birthday, but I think the paper cuts might take me out before then…

Birukti Tsige (she/her/hers)

btisge@college.harvard.edu

HI!! I'm an incoming junior from Malden, MA (I get wayyy too excited if I meet someone nearby so tell me you're from here at your own risk), and I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (if you're Habesha, I will legit drown you in hearts, I swear).

I'm concentrating in Neuroscience, I'm involved in several cultural (African and Habesha) groups, and in my free time, I write fiction and watch shows that give my heart joy like Community and The Good Place.

I love you. Jk, that's too soon right......unless?

Malika's portrait

Malika Umar (she/her/hers)

mumar@college.harvard.edu

Hey FYRE fam!!! My name is Malika and I'm a sophomore in Pforzheimer House studying Anthropology. I am Generational African-American and Muslim, and I'm originally from Albany, NY. On campus, I'm involved in the Harvard Islamic Society, The Crimson, and the Harvard College Women's Center. I also love photography/film tings, cooking, listening to Solange, and hanging out with my 5 cats. SO excited to meet everyone in August!

Lucy's portrait

Lucy Wickings (she/her/hers)

wickings@college.harvard.edu

Hi! My name is Lucy, and I'm an FGLI rising senior (omg) joint concentrating (aka double majoring) in Social Studies and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality with a citation in Spanish. I’m originally from Michigan, but live on campus usually throughout the year bc of homelessness. I've been a volunteer (except I get paid for it through a scholarship program hmu for details on that 0.o) for Mission Hill After School Program (MHASP) / PBHA for all three years of college and just spent the past year directing virtual MHASP. I used to be pre-law lol but I think I'm more like pre-education (like teaching???) now, but could def talk to anyone who's on the fence about either of those things!! I did FYRE as a first-year and was a TL last year and love this community so much <3 so excited for this year!!!

 

Julia's portrait

Julia Welsh (she/her/hers)

jwelsh@college.harvard.edu

Hey FYREflies! My name is Julia, and I'm a rising junior in Quincy House and originally from the incredible city of Philadelphia. I'm studying Neuroscience and Psychology on the pre-med track, and I plan to pursue a surgical specialty. Outside of FYRE, I'm involved with public service through PBHA, advising first-year students as a Peer Advising Fellow, and neuropsychology addiction research. Welcome to the FYRE community, and I can't wait to meet you all soon!!!