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Georgia FirstGen Announces FirstGen Under 40 Class of 2024 Honorees

Georgia FirstGen is thrilled to unveil its FirstGen Under 40 Class of 2024 honorees. These outstanding individuals have demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication in advancing the FirstGen movement. The honorees will be celebrated at the upcoming Georgia FirstGen Benefit Gala.



The Gala, scheduled for April 12, 2024, will bring together FirstGen executives, educators, and community leaders for an evening of celebration and recognition. Alongside highlighting the achievements of the FirstGen Under 40 Class of 2024, the Gala will also honor the prestigious Dr. Bobby Gueh Leadership Award recipient for their ongoing inspirational contributions and commitment to improving first-generation students.


“We are thrilled to recognize these remarkable individuals making significant strides in advancing the FirstGen movement,” said Charbel Aoun, Founder & Executive Director of Georgia FirstGen. “Their dedication and leadership serve as an inspiration to us all, and we look forward to celebrating their achievements at the FirstGen Gala in April.”


Meet the FirstGen Under 40 Class of 2024 Honorees!




Angedith Poggi, DHSc, MPH, is a distinguished survey statistician and professor with over 10 years of experience. She is also an Academic and Professional Mentor, empowering students through mentoring programs and workshops. Dr. Poggi created the RETA Framework™ to guide first-generation Latino college students. She holds degrees in Chemistry and Public Health. In 2021, she earned a Doctorate in Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University. As a public health researcher, she coauthored peer-reviewed publications addressing issues in underserved populations. Dr. Poggi is the Hispanic Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs Member Relations Vice-Chair and contributes to the American Public Health Association.


 



Camilo Andres Hernandez, a first-generation student pursuing an MPH at Emory Rollins School of Public Health, holds a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences from PCOM and a B.S. in General Biology from Georgia Gwinnett College. Currently a Medical Assistant at Reagan Medical Center, he excels in patient care and innovative system development. Camilo aspires to attain a P.A. degree and a Ph.D., combining his passion for healthcare with academic excellence. Fluent in English and Spanish, he is dedicated to community engagement and future contributions to healthcare and academia.


 



Chelsea Wesnofske is the Assistant Director of Career Center Diversity Programs at the University of Georgia. She oversees diversity and inclusion programming, training, and office resources. She also coaches students in appointments to empower them to utilize their strengths to design the life they want to lead. She is a first-generation college student and will be a triple dawg upon completing her Ph.D. in College Student Affairs and Administration.


 



Genny Castillo is the Deputy Director of the Southern Economic Advancement Project, bridging the gaps for community members and policy impact in the South. Genny is the COO of BLUE Institute as well. In her career, Genny developed one of the nation’s most successful internship programs for the Georgia House Democratic Caucus. Genny holds a B.S. from Berry College and an A.M. from the University of Chicago. Genny received the 2022 Berry College Distinguished Alumni Award, the 2023 Aspen Institute BIG Ideas Festival Fellowship, Hispanics in Philanthropy Líder, and 40/40 for Georgia Trend Magazine.


 



Gerardo Rodriguez is a local educator in Marietta, GA. After completing his undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education with a focus in ESOL education at Georgia State University, he went on to receive his Masters in Education in Instructional Technology with a focus in Gifted Education. He is also a member of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc., and takes time to mentor other community members. As a teacher, he believes that community can be the strongest tool to help foster creative minds in and out of the classroom.


 



Dr. Jennifer Mitchell received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Georgia State University, a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Thomas University, and a doctoral degree from The University of Georgia. Dr. Mitchell is the Founder and CEO of Inclusive J.M. Consulting and Learning Institute, a pioneering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultancy firm that works with organizations worldwide to foster inclusive and equitable work environments. Committed to her mission of creating a more inclusive future, Dr. Mitchell continues to empower organizations with the knowledge and tools needed to foster diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplaces where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.


 



Leri Argueta serves as the Senior Assistant Director for Outreach and Access for the Georgia Institute of Technology. Through the Office of Undergraduate Admission, he oversees the support, expansion, and advocacy for a growingly diverse and underserved student population. Previously, he served as the principal investigator for the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) Scholarships (Becas) Program in partnership with the Consulado General de Mécxico en Atlanta. Mr. Argueta has served in several fellowship programs, including the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Policy Fellowship Program and the GALEO Institute for Leadership.


 



As the Managing Director of Youth Services at the Latin American Association, Luis Andino advocates empowering Latinos to adapt, integrate, and thrive. With over a decade of commitment, Luis’s journey reflects resilience and leadership. He actively shapes the educational landscape by hosting the 24th Annual Latino Youth Leadership Conference and supporting hundreds of students in DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Whitfield counties. Engaging with the FirstGen Movement, Luis celebrates the transformative power of education and mentorship in breaking barriers and fostering success.


 


For more information and to register for the Georgia FirstGen Benefit Gala, please visit https://www.georgiafirstgen.org/event-details/gala2024

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