Meet our 2023-2024 Peer Educator team!

Valerie Giron

Valerie Giron Headshot

Gateway Initiative 

About Valerie

Hello everyone! My name is Valerie and I am a second year Political Science major.

In the midst of deciding to commit to law school, my current career goals are set for becoming a paralegal after acquiring my undergraduate degree. In addition to my post-graduate years, I would like to spend my time traveling, hosting my own art shows, and volunteering for communities in need. My campus involvements and future commitments involve Gateway Initiatives, American Red Cross, and Phi Alpha Delta. In my spare time, I love to paint and draw, read books, drink coffee, go on drives and hang out with my friends! As a first generation, low-income, student of color, navigating resources on campus was a difficult transition. From SSI resources, to books, to your Starbucks order, (as an ex-barista, my go-to will always be a good Brown Oatmilk Shaken Espresso) I am excited to support students at UCI!

Lizbeth Ramirez

Lizbeth Ramirez Headshot

Gateway Initiative

About Lizbeth

Hi! My name is Lizbeth (she/her) and I’m a 2nd year Data Science major.
I’ve always felt the need to give back to my community via volunteering and mentoring and I’m really glad I have the opportunity to continue that at UCI as a Peer Educator! I’m a first gen, low-income student and I’ve learned so much about UCI’s resources via SSI and would love to share the things I’ve learned with other students. As for future career goals, I am aiming to work in tech as a Data Scientist. I’m also thinking of getting a minor in Biology and possibly develop programs for healthcare. My campus involvements are: 2022-2023 Summer Bridge Scholar, WICS member, Peer Educator. As for hobbies/pastimes, I love reading manga and watching anime. I also like learning to make drinks like smoothies, matcha lattes, iced coffee. Sometimes I go thrifting and I really want to learn how to crochet and sew (to make cute tops). I love all kinds of music (Spanish rock, k-pop, rock, k-indie, r&b, oldies, j-pop, alt metal), and I’m always in need of having new songs to listen to so I’m always open to hearing song recommendations!

Deborah Kim

Deborah Kim Headshot

Gateway Initiative

About Deborah

Hello everyone ◡̈ My name is Deborah, and I’m a 2nd year Business Administration major!
Although I am still in the process of uncovering my specific career aspirations, I hope to eventually work at an esteemed company completing projects that bring me joy and fulfillment. On campus I am currently involved in: Human Resources Management Association as a Vice President of Marketing, Lambda Phi Nu as a Recruiter, UCI Athletics as a Broadcasting Crew Member, and SSI as a Gateway Initiatives Peer Educator and Gateway Scholars Participant. I’ve had a multitude of various experiences attending UCI so feel free to ask me any questions you may have about receiving support regarding academics, career, or community! I also love eating, taking pictures, watching k-dramas, karaoking, and fashion, so feel free to talk to me about any of those as well.

Hillary Tang

Hillary Tang Headshot

Gateway Scholars Program

About Hillary

Hi everyone! My name is Hillary (she/her), a fourth year education sciences and psychological sciences major!
My future goal is to go into community college athletic academic counseling. My current campus involvement includes SSI, a peer assistant for Professor Johnston and I am planning on joining the UCI lacrosse team this season! I enjoy finding new coffee shops to try, going to the beach, and working out. I also love trying new activities and going on adventures!

Joshua Chong

Joshua Chong Headshot

Gateway Scholars Program

About Joshua

Hello, my name is Joshua Chong with my pronouns being he/him.
I am a psychological science major with a minor in sociology. I am in senior standing, but I actually am a second year transfer student. My academic goals are to get into grad school to be a school counselor fo rhigh schoolers and then after hopefully get a psy.d to become a developmental psychologist. I am in the msol lab with Dr.Campos. I love to play video games and love cooking for my friends. Please feel free to ask me anything and I am sure I can help you.

Toni Lee

Toni Lee Headshot

First Generation Program

About Toni

Hi everyone!
My name is Toni Lee and I’m super excited to be one of your Peer Educators! I am currently a second-year Public Health Policy and Psychological Sciences double major. While I am still exploring my interests, I am extremely passionate about healthcare accessibility and could definitely see myself working in healthcare management. Besides being a Peer Educator, I am currently involved in the Free Clinic Project and WISE PAC. In my free time, I enjoy visiting cafes with friends. If you would like any recommendations (or a buddy to go with), feel free to ask me! I am more than happy to help with anything!


Xitlali Curincita

Xitlali Curincita Headshot

First Generation Program

About Xitlali

HII Everyone, My name is Xitlali Curincita, and I am an SSI Peer a part of the First Generation Program! I am currently a 4th year studying Social Policy & Public Service! I plan to advocate for a more sustainable and equitable education system! Campus Environments: Sigma Pi Alpha DDI Alum DIRHA Alum UCI Financial Aid Peer Advisor Favorite Hobbies: I love going thrifting, reading, and LOVE traveling!

Samantha Peruch

Samantha Peruch Headshot

Chancellor’s Excellence Program

About Samantha

Hi Everyone! My name is Samantha and I am a second year Psychological Sciences major!
I go by she/her pronouns and I am from the San Fernando Valley. I am a first-generation student and come from a proud Hispanic family oriented background. I have always loved helping others and getting involved during my experience at UCI. Therefore, feel free to ask me anything about what it’s like being a psychological science major, getting around campus, or even finding good resources for school. I am more than happy to help and conversate with you all! Future Career Goals: I have always had passion for mental health ever since taking my first child development course at a local community college. I currently dream of becoming a child development psychologist or even a therapist. I wish to either work in my own clinic, at a school, or even at a hospital to help my community. Eventually, I hope to attend graduate school and complete a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology. Thus I would love to work with people from a Hispanic background and work towards breaking the stigma of mental health. Campus Involvements: SSI Chancellor’s Excellence Peer Educator, TRIO Scholars Favorite Pastimes/Hobbies: When I’m not busy with school, I enjoy drawing, watching movies, dancing, hanging out with my friends, and making puzzles. Once in a while I enjoy going out with my family, shopping, and having a good time playing volleyball.

Anna Barthel

Anna Barthel Headshot

Chancellor’s Excellence Program

About Anna

Hi everyone! My name is Anna Barthel and I’m a 4th year Psychological Science major who transferred last year to UCI.
As a transfer student I know how overwhelming making the transition to UCI can be. I hope to help students thrive and help them find all the resources they need. My future career goal is to receive my masters and become a therapist with a specialty is grief counseling. I have also heavily considered becoming a professor and teaching at a community college. Other than SSI some of my campus involvements include the Womxn’s Center for Success, Psychology Student Association, and Anteaters Sprinkling Happiness. On my days off I love playing tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons or getting boba with friends. Feel free to ask me any questions about resources around campus or anything else you may need!