Meet our 2022-2023 Peer Educators!

Olivia Romero


About Olivia

Hello everyone! My name is Olivia, I am a 4th year Psychology major and Education minor! I am thrilled to return another year as Lead Peer Educator and support the SSI space as well as my fellow peers! I am a first generation, low income student hoping to provide students of similar identities with advice, support and guidance.

Future Career Goals:

  • College or High School Counselor

Campus Involvements:

  • Lead Peer Educator
  • Peer Academic Advisor within the School of Social Sciences
  • Participant in Gateway Scholars program

Favorite Hobbies:I enjoy going to the gym, trying new coffee shops in my area and taking pictures at cute sceneries! I also enjoy spending valuable time with my family and friends. I love music and going to concerts! I just saw The Weeknd and attended Lovers and Friends in Vegas which was amazing!

Albert Huang

Gateway Initiatives

About Albert

Future Career Goals:

  • Academic Counseling
  • Therapy
  • Higher Education

Campus Involvements:

  • Resident Advisor
  • ASUCI – Media Director
  • Planning to do research soon!

Favorite Hobbies: I like taking photos, skating, going to libraries and coffee shops, and do visual and video editing for fun.

Aayushma Kayastha

Chancellor’s Excellence

About Aayushma

Future Career Goals:  I initially wanted to be a highschool math teacher when I was applying to colleges, but in literally one single year, I have received so much more information about all the different opportunities that are available to me. Therefore, I am still trying to figure things out as I go, but I would like to do something related to Data Science.

Campus Involvements:

  • SSI Chancellor’s Excellence Peer Educator
  • Social Media and Marketing Chair for Queer and Asian

Favorite Hobbies: I love watching anime and kdramas, reading books and mangas (have a slowly growing collection), listening to music, walking around our beautiful campus, hanging out with my friends, and going to the volleyball games at the Bren Center! (Reach out to me if you want to go to the sports games too! It’s always more fun going as a group!)

Carrisa Jacob

Chancellor’s Excellence

About Carrisa

As a first-gen low-income student myself who have found multitudes of resources through Summer Bridge and the SSI program itself, my goal is to share my journey and experiences with others who also want to grow and flourish in their own journeys. As an ambivert and a big foodie/Yelper, don’t be afraid to ask me where my favorite spots for food, coffee, or to have self-care dates as well as places to hang out with friends during study breaks! I prioritize mental and physical well-being of others and myself, so let me help you find resources that will put your well-being first. Other than food, I also love plants, Marvel, coffee/boba, sushi, and scenic picnics, so feel free to ask me for any recommendations on anything!

Future Career Goals: Though still narrowing my careers down, I hope to have a future in the world of international development, especially in the focus of social and education through policy. I am passionate in intercultural exchange and want to grow as a diplomat or foreign affairs officer who works diligently to prioritize the needs of developing communities throughout the world. I hope to also continuously share and exchange my own culture and language with others around me.

Campus Involvements:

  • Social events coordinator in Uniting Voices A Cappella
  • UCDC Fall 2022 cohort

Favorite Hobbies: As an ambivert, I have different ways to enjoy my leisure time. When I’m in need of some time to myself, I like to enjoy going on self-care dates by myself to the coffee shop or the park. When I need to fill my social battery, I like to enjoy picnics with friends, carpool karaoke with friends, or even have a home-made brunch with friends. Also love plants, Disneyland, live band concerts/events, and spending time at the beach or mountains!

Mellissa Escobar

Gateway Scholars

About Mellissa

Hi Everyone! I am overly excited to be a Peer Educator this year and guide you all through this year. You can ask me about why I chose Political Science, what it’s like doing hybrid classes, choosing classes, and over all how to branch out to clubs, organizations, and services on campus. Please feel free to reach out to me for any questions, because no question is dumb!

Future Career Goals: After UCI I plan to go to Law School in SoCal, or in Santa Clara, graduate, then take the bar exam to be a civil/ criminal lawyer.

After, start a non-profit organization in El Salvador to help children afford schooling and tutoring.

Campus Involvements:

  • Alpha Chi Omega (AXO) Sorority
  • Judicial Board for Panhellenic

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies: Shotput, reading and cooking!

Haide Gutierrez

Gateway Scholars

About Haide

Hi Everyone! My name is Haide Gutierrez and I am First Generation student here at UCI. I am a 4th year student double majoring in Psychological Sciences and Criminology, Law, and Society. I am incredibly passionate about supporting other students here at UCI so please feel free to reach out if I can ever help you with anything.

Future Career Goals: My goal is to become a Psychology Professor so that I can become a support system for other BI-POC students in Higher Education.

Campus Involvements:

  • SSI – Gateway Scholars
  • Peer Educator
  • Latinx Student Psychological Association – Marketing Committee
  • Research Assistant in Dr. Jeanett Castellano’s Lab
  • 2022/2023 Advanced Field Study Cohort

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:In my free time I love to Thrift, read, and hang out with friends. Also, I hate to admit it but I scroll through TikTok for hours. I also love to binge watch shows!

Jun Jang

First Generation

About Jun

Hi hi, my name’s Jun and I’m a third-year Political Science + Asian American Studies double major! I’m from LA’s Koreatown, so feel free to hit me up for good KBBQ places! As a first-generation student, I’ve had my fair share of difficulties trying to understand what’s going on at UCI, so I’m always down to help! Whether it’s a question about the transition from high school to college as a first-generation student, good resources on campus for pretty much whatever you may need (tutoring, cultural support, etc.), the best drink to get at the Student Center Starbucks (if your answer isn’t the pink drink, you may be objectively wrong :)), or anything else, I got you covered!

Future Career Goals: I’m still thinking about whether or not I want to go to law school, but I know that I eventually want to get into politics. I’ve always been passionate about helping others, and I feel like there’s so much potential in local and state politics to bring about positive tangible changes for those around me (despite how it looks nowadays). Wherever I end up, I want to continue advocating for underrepresented communities so that those that come after us can enjoy a better life!

Campus Involvements:

  • ASUCI At-Large Senator & Student Programming Funding Board Co-Commissioner
  • FRESH Basic Needs Hub Student Assistant (CalFresh)
  • Social Sciences Dean’s Ambassadors Council Ambassador
  • SSI First Generation Peer Educator
  • Student Fee Advisory Committee Chair

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies: If I’m not sleeping in, I really like playing games, reading Webtoons, and watching anime! From time to time, I’ll go to large club or AS events with my friends to hang out or visit the Esports Arena for a good game or two!

Alexandra Velasco

First Generation

About Alexandra

Future Career Goals: As of right now, I plan on using my degree to obtain a job that relates to the business side of psychology. I am also heavily considering obtaining a masters in Industrial/Organizational psychology.

Campus Involvements:

  • Hermanas Unidas de UCI
  • Latino Student Psychological Association
  • Student Psychological Association
  • Sigma Pi Alpha

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies: Some of my hobbies include: reading, painting, thrifting, and going to the gym. I also love going on beach trips, and enjoy traveling in general.

Mariden Odvina


About Mariden

Hi! My name is Mariden and I am a 3rd year Nursing Science major! I was a Pharm Sci major for the past 2 years but recently got accepted to nursing this past summer as a change of major, so if you have any questions about the process and need any advice, feel free to ask me! I am a first-generation, Filipino-American and my hometown is San Diego, CA. I have been involved in numerous student mentorship programs and value the importance of having a mentor(s) and finding a community you feel most comfortable and happy in. I am open to talking about anything, so don’t be shy to come up to me!!

Future Career Goals: I plan to become a Registered Nurse after graduation, work for a bit, and go back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner!

Campus Involvements:

  • Kababayan at UCI
  • SPOP Staffer
  • Mesa Court Center Attendant

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies:Outside of school, I enjoy dancing, roller-skating, thrifting, and trying new foods! I love spending time with friends and family as well! I recently got certified to become a tattoo artist for eyebrows so I have been practicing that on the daily!

Dulce Alcazar


About Dulce

Hello everyone! I am very fortunate to be a Peer Educator this year for the STEP program. I am a 4th-year first-generation low-income student double majoring in Psychological Sciences and Criminology, Law, and Society. I am very fortunate to be sharing spaces like these that help students navigate the complexity of higher education. I am passionate about helping my community and myself grow.

Future Career Goals: I hope in the future to dedicate a career to helping individuals learn about and work on their mental health, specifically POC and marginalized communities. I plan on attending graduate school to future my education and extend the ways I can support these communities.

Campus Involvements:

  • Counseling Center’s Life C.O.A.C.H.
  • Ballet Folkloric de UCI
  • SAGE Scholar

Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies: During my free time, I usually spend at the gym, watching movies, and going out to explore new food places! I enjoy doing arts and crafts like bullet journaling, crocheting, making earrings, etc. I also really enjoy readings and shopping, and I hope to get into cooking!