2020-2021 Peer Educators:

Amy Liao

Biological Sciences Major
Psychology Minor

Ask Me About:
My transition into the UC system from my community college, my commute, and meal preps. I also have advice on budgeting as a low-income student living on her own. Furthermore, if you need any advice on different biological science or psychology classes-come on by! I am here to help in any way I can, so please do not hesitate to ask!

Future Career Goals:
I am unsure if I would like to go into a graduate program right after I receive my BA; however, I know that I would ultimately want to contribute back to my community by helping post-traditional and traditional students reach their academic goals. I have had the pleasure of meeting individuals that were my support system and I would like to be that support for others.

Campus Involvement:
-STEM Transfer Mentee
-Student Parents and Families Program

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
I am a total foodie! I love eating good food and I enjoy trying new cuisines! I also love watching movies, going hiking, museums, learning about different cultures, and dissecting psychological shows and movies.

Michelle Nguyen

Psychology Major

Ask Me About:
What I've learned transitioning from high school to college (academically, mentally, socially, and professionally), being a first generation college student, research, post-graduate plans (graduate school/gap year/career), how to take advantage of the resources in college, mental health management, and my thoughts on success, happiness, and financial independence/job security. I also do lots of food reviews!

Future Career Goals:
I want to become a researcher/professor in the future.

Campus Involvement:
-Gateway Scholars Program
-Medical, Educational Missions and Outreach (MEMO)

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
My hobbies include trying new food places, being in nature, and reading.

Cynthia Lumis

Economics Major

Ask Me About:
How to navigate campus life as a low-income, first-generation college student!

During my first year, I struggled to make new friends, find community in on-campus spaces, and find confidence within myself. I understand how these struggles may impact your university experience so please know that I’m here to help support you! You can also ask me about how to time-manage, get out of your comfort zone, and find helpful campus resources.

Future Career Goals:
In the future, I aspire to attend graduate school to earn a Master of Science in Education. I envision myself working with and supporting low-income, first-generation students in their pursuit of higher education.

Campus Involvement:
Outreach Coordinator at the Learning & Academic Resource Center (LARC)

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
I love to do tarot readings for myself and friends as a way to provide hope and guidance. I also enjoy journaling, trying out different tea recipes, creating music playlists based on my mood, watching K-dramas, and listening to NCT + WayV!

Nancy Hernandez

Biological Sciences Major
Psychology Minor

Ask Me About:
My transition into the UC system from my community college, my commute, and meal preps. I also have advice on budgeting as a low-income student living on her own. Furthermore, if you need any advice on different biological science or psychology classes-come on by! I am here to help in any way I can, so please do not hesitate to ask!

Future Career Goals:
I am unsure if I would like to go into a graduate program right after I receive my BA; however, I know that I would ultimately want to contribute back to my community by helping post-traditional and traditional students reach their academic goals. I have had the pleasure of meeting individuals that were my support system and I would like to be that support for others.

Campus Involvement:
-STEM Transfer Mentee
-Student Parents and Families Program

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
I am a total foodie! I love eating good food and I enjoy trying new cuisines! I also love watching movies, going hiking, museums, learning about different cultures, and dissecting psychological shows and movies.

Dion Medina

Social Policy and Public Service Major
Education Sciences Major

Ask Me About:
EDM, Kpop, Anime and also Food lol. I love EDM and love going to raves and festivals so if you have any questions about that let me know hehe. I have been a kpop fan since 2009 (although I slowed down after 2016, I still love it and can talk about it for hours). I love trying new foods so if you have any food recommendations or want to try food spots in OC/Bay Area let me know. I love anime so if you want any recommendations let me know.

Future Career Goals:
I want to work in student affairs and hopefully work in Outreach and Retention for First Generation Students in Community College. I also would like to start my own non profit organization to bridge the education gap in the Philippines. In the future, I would love to start my own business as well 🙂

Campus Involvement:
I am involved in Kababayan @ UCI, which is one of the Pilipinx-American Student Org here on campus.

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
I love EDM/Raving but sadly that has been put to halt because of the current pandemic. My favorite Dj’s are Porter Robinson and Excision. I also love going out to the beach/parks/hikes and just unwind from school. I love watching anime and my favorite anime is One Piece. I also love playing volleyball. 

Natalie Salgado

Psychology Major

Ask Me About:
I'd love to help in any way I can! As a first generation, low income, student parent, transfer student I can give advice on time management, study techniques, and resources on campus. I know first hand how difficult it can be to balance school and life. Feel free to ask me any questions. I am here for our students.

Transferred From:
Fullerton College

Future Career Goals:
I plan on pursuing my Master's after graduating as an undergrad. My end goal is to help my community of student parents and transfer students by helping them navigate their way to finding their path to success.

Campus Involvement:
-C.O.A.C.H. Program
-FYTE
-2YTE
-Student Parents and Families Program
-Summer Academic Enrichment Program

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
I love horror movies/shows and all things Halloween. I like spending time outside being around nature! Plants are my favorite. During my free time I practice my guitar, listen to 80's music, garden, rollerskate, bullet journal and do yoga.

Elmer Mateo

Psychology Major

Ask Me About:
Being first generation and the first in my family to go to university, professional development, finding a community on campus, internships, campus resources, or anything you may need! I am here to help you succeed and have a meaningful experience!

Future Career Goals:
I hope to attend graduate school and earn a Master’s in some field of psychology. I would like to work with students either as a counselor or educator. I want to help others enjoy what life has to offer.

Campus Involvement:
-Latinx Student Psychological Association (LSPA)
-COACH Program
-First Generation First Quarter Challenge (FGFQ)

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
I love spending time with friends and family. I enjoy running and going for walks. I am an avid Pokémon GO trainer and K-pop fan. I love learning about animals and movies. I am always open to trying new things

 

Santiago Alva

Political Science Major
Criminology, Law, and Society Minor

Ask Me About:
What is like to be a low-income first-generation student, tips on how to manage work and
school, study skills, professional development, campus resource, Orange County life, and really
anything, I will do my best to answer your question or point you to a resource that can help you. I am here to support you in any way possible to ensure that you succeed.

Future Career Goals:
After I graduate from UCI, I plan on attending law school. I hope to become a federal prosecutor
and then a judge to better our criminal justice system. I also want to get involved with a
non-profit organization to finds ways to give back to my community

Campus Involvement:
-TRIO Scholar

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
I enjoy going hiking, hanging out with friends and family, going to the beach, exploring new
places, watching movies, and volunteering in my community.

Miguel Ruiz

Earth System Science Major
Film and Media Studies Minor

Ask Me About:
The Earth; I can explain around 80% of all questions regarding our planet. Photography; I have been taking pictures since high school and can explain the basic fundamentals of photography. Lastly, as a fifth year at UCI, feel free to ask me any question about anything!

Future Career Goals:
Either go to graduate school and earn my PhD in Earth System Sciences or become a filmmaker who focuses on documentaries

Campus Involvement:
-Foster Student Ambassadors

-FYRE Ally

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
I enjoy Gaming, primarily Nintendo related titles. I also collect Pokémon cards; ask me about my card collection and I will show you. Lastly, I enjoy gardening and probably enjoy growing sunflowers the most.

Lily Rodriguez

Sociology Major
Public Health Policy Major

Ask Me About:
Being a first generation student parent, transferring from a CC to a 4 year institution, being pre-med with a non-science degree, my four year old daughter, maintaining multiple roles, my self-care practices, being vegetarian, how I started being physically active through exercise during the pandemic, and my various involvements/interests!

Future Career Goals:
I aspire to be a Medical doctor. I want to be the first in my family to take this route and also set an example for my younger siblings. After I am done at UCI, I aim to receive a Phlebotomy certification and work on medical school prerequisites at a community college or via a unstructured Post-Bacc program.  

Campus Involvement:
Transfer EDGE mentee and mentor, First Quarter First Generation Challenge program, Second Year Transfer Experience, a Research Assistant for the School or Education, Student Parents and Families Program, Student Parent Orientation Program Coordinator for 2020, SSI Peer Educator

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
Hiking, Roller Skating, Gym rat (lowkey), picnics at the park, going to the beach, exploring California! 

Alessandra Huamani

Political Science Major
Economics Major

Ask Me About:
My experience as a first-generation immigrant and low-income student. My experience with internships and how to find them. I am always here to help you with professional development, organizational skills, self-care and anything else about life you need advice on!

Future Career Goals:
I aim to one day lead a civil rights organization. In whatever capacity I hold, I plan to bring about necessary social change and justice to underserved communities

Campus Involvement:
- Dean's Ambassadors Council for the School of Social Sciences
- Global Refugee Organization Working Towards Health & Hope (GROWTHH) Club

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
I love spending time with friends. I love concerts and festivals. I love learning new ways to live sustainably.

 

Christopher Martinez

Educational Sciences Major
Social Policy and Public Service Major

Ask Me About:
Getting involved on campus, research, professional development, study skills, graduate school, and anything regarding academic or personal success.

Future Career Goals:
My future goal is to attend graduate school and attain a PhD in Education with a focus in Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice.

Campus Involvement:
-Peer Academic Advisor for the School of Education
-NUFP Fellow, Kappa Delta Pi Membership Chair
-Global Service Scholar at Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:
Listening to Kid Cudi, dancing, leisure reading, watching movies and TV shows, and going to the batting cages