Mentor Bios

Mentors are dedicated students who specifically want to support entering Hispanic/Latino students.  The group is very diverse, representing people of many Latin American and Hispanic nationalities, many ethnicities and linguistic backgrounds.

2014-15 Peer Mentors

 

Familia Bio’s

Alejandro’s Familia

Peer MentorAdriana Suarez 
Second year       
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in Psychology and Spanish.            
Cultural Background: I was born in Venezuela, but I grew up in Miami, Florida.
Career Aspirations: After college, I want to go to graduate school and get a degree in forensic psychology. My dream job is to work for a prison and/or to work for the government. I also want to be a translator/interpreter.      
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am a Hermana of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority Inc. I am also a Questbridge Scholar and a member of Salsa Club; I am part of the exec board for the Psychological Society at UVA. I work in a research lab in the School of Nursing and I am also a research assistant for the Promoting Healthy Adolescent Development Lab in the Department of Psychology.      
Tip to First Year Self: Have a "go-getter" attitude. Don't be afraid to try new things or to talk to random people!
Favorite TV Show: American Horror Story, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Girls, New Girl, Revenge, and the list goes on...      
Fun Fact: I love photography and I love to bake!

Peer MentorAlaina Martinez
Third year            
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in financial mathematics and foreign affairs. I am also interested in art history and Arabic.         
Cultural Background: I am Cuban and Italian; my entire dad's side is from Cuba, and the other half is all from Italy.       
Career Aspirations: I would like to eventually enter a field related to defense and security or finance. I'm not sure yet! But I plan to go to graduate school after UVA.      
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am a writer for the UVA sports website WahooWire, I work as an Event Assistant at Newcomb, and I volunteer with Special Olympics.            
Tip to First Year Self: Be involved and try new things.
Favorite TV Show: Arrow or Revenge

Peer MentorAlisha Ault
Fourth year        
Major and Academic Interests: Foreign Affairs and Spanish, but I also enjoy taking classes in the Music department.  
Cultural Background: My mom is from India and my dad from the US, but I spent a large part of my childhood in Guatemala and then mostly in Brazil. I am a mix of things but also feel Brazilian at heart.                    
Career Aspirations: I hope to work for some kind of international organization in the field of Human Rights or Development.  Working for some kind of NGO that works for these goals would be ideal to me.      
UVA Involvement and Activities: I have been part of the UNICEF club since my first year, and last semester served as treasurer.  I hope to hold another position next year.  I was also part of the Cultural Programing Board this past semester, which allocates funds to other CIOs.  I hope to become more involved with the Brazilian Student Organization next year, but have not been able to yet since I have been studying abroad.  I was also part of PMP this year :)                
Tip to First Year Self: Remember to always be yourself 
Favorite TV Show: New Girl and White Collar     
Fun Fact: I have had over 7 different kinds of pets, and multiple of each kind

Peer MentorAlvaro Contreras
Third Year            
Major and Academic Interests: I plan on majoring in Biology or Biochemistry. I am pre-med and I would like to attend UVA medical school after my undergraduate studies.                
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Lima, Peru. I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old and have lived in Virginia ever since.                 
Career Aspirations: I want to become a doctor and open my own practice. Before opening a practice, I would like to attend a program such as Doctors Without Borders where I can help people worldwide who need the most medical aid.  
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am in the Biology Society, Medlife Club, PMP and participate in IM soccer every semester. Also, last year I was part of the Blueprint Emerging Leaders Program and volunteered in the Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad.               
Tip to First Year Self: Don’t be scared to try new things from clubs and activities to classes. Look for what makes you happy and what you are good at, many times it will be the same things. Go to events and explore the University and its surrounding, but remember that your classes should be a priority, so do your best to stay on top of them.       
Favorite TV Show: That’s tough. I think it’s a tie between Sherlock and The Walking Dead           
Fun Fact: I am a certified Emergency Medical Technician  (EMT) – B Level

Peer MentorKaren Toledo
Second year       
Major and Academic Interests: I am a Mechanical Engineering major, but I'm also trying to obtain a Biomedical Engineering minor      
Cultural Background: I was born in Chicago, IL to Mexican parents and have lived there my entire life with the exception of two years when I lived in Morelos, Mexico.                 
Career Aspirations: One day, I hope to work for a company that allows me to work with medical machinery to make a real impact in the medial field without having to become a doctor. However, after a few years of working, I want to to go back to school and pursue a master's degree.           
UVA Involvement and Activities: Besides the Peer Mentoring Program, I am also involved with Quest Scholars at UVA, the Multicultural Greek Council, and the Latino Student Alliance. In addition, I am a proud sister and treasurer of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated.   
Tip to First Year Self: Don't be afraid to get involved; everyone at UVA is welcoming and friendly! Focus on your classes, but it's also important to let loose every once in a while!                
Favorite TV Show: Currently, Veronica Mars and Orange is the New Black            
Fun Fact: Living in the city of Chicago means taking the train and bus everywhere, so I still don't have my driver's license!

Peer MentorKelly Glitzos
Fourth year        
Major and Academic Interests: I am Chemical Engineering Major with a concentration in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering. I hope to work in the pharmaceutical industry after graduation. I am still trying to decide if I want to do research and development or manufacturing.        
Cultural Background: I am from Puerto Rican and Greek descent. I group up with a mix of both cultures and I love to share them with everyone!            
Career Aspirations: After graduating, I plant to work in industry for a few years. Depending on where I decide to go next, I may go back to graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. I would love to lead my own research one day.  
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am a member of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/ Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. I am also a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. I have been involved in research for two summers at the University of Virginia and hope to continue for the next year.               
Tip to First Year Self: Have fun, but make smart decisions!          
Favorite TV Show: Revenge         
Fun Fact: I love to travel!

Peer MentorAmalia Nataly Luque
Fourth year        
Major and Academic Interests: I'm majoring in Systems Engineering (finally) and I like Business so I'm taking a few classes in the Comm School.
Cultural Background: I was born in Culiacan, Mexico but raised in San Diego, CA!             
Career Aspirations: I'm looking into Consulting, Project Management, and into some Non-Profit Organizations as well. We'll see where life takes me! Whatever it is that I do, I hope to travel and be happy.           
UVA Involvement and Activities: I was the Latino Student Alliance (LSA) Cultura Co-Chair this past year and I'm hoping to be on the executive board for the rest of my time year! I was on the PMP Executive Board my second year as well! I'm also involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and AOE (Engineering Sorority). Lastly, I'm a Quest Scholar so I definitely recommend joining the Quest Scholars At UVA if you're a scholar!
Tip to First Year Self: There's a balance to everything in life. Study but always make sure to have fun and enjoy yourself along the way. You never want to graduate UVA thinking, "I wish I would've done that." Remember, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do."
Favorite TV Show: Don't care much for TV/don't want to dedicate time to it. I much rather do something outdoors!      
Fun Fact: In 6th grade I went to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama and I wanted to be an Astronaut so badly!

Peer MentorNicholas Farias
Third year            
Major and Academic Interests: Civil Engineering Major|Architecture Minor. Interested in learning another language, either Portuguese or Italian.    
Cultural Background: Mexican. Both my parents are from Michoacan, Mexico, but I was born and live in Manassas, Virginia. Been to Mexico 8 times and Mexican food is my favorite of course (tortillas with everything lol). 
Career Aspirations: I have always been fascinated in the art of designing and constructing buildings and other structures, and I hope to work for a civil engineering firm once I graduate. I plan to open up my own civil engineering company and to get a Contractor's Class A License eventually.  
UVA Involvement and Activities: I'm a Hermano and chapter president of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc., I drive buses for UTS, and tutor weekly at the Southwood Community Center. I'm also actively involved with the Latino Student Alliance and Peer Mentoring Program. I play intramural and pick-up soccer whenever I can as well.
Tip to First Year Self: Academics First! Be organized and manage your time wisely, it's easy to get behind. Get involved in the community there are all kinds of clubs and organizations for everyone. Have fun but know your limits!  
Favorite TV Show: That 70's Show, Workaholics, MythBusters, the History Channel and any soccer show/channel...soccer is life!         
Fun Fact: I can play Piano

Peer MentorNoemi Avila
Second year       
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently in the Engineering School and in between deciding to major in Civil Engineering or Engineering Science with a focus on Material Science.     
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Austin, Texas but my family is from Mexico.          
Career Aspirations: I hope to get a job that will pay well (of course) and allow me to travel. I would also like my future job to be focused renewable energy resources. The environment is important and it should be protected. 
UVA Involvement and Activities: I was a tutor in the Day in the Life program. I was also involved in Students Helping Honduras and am involved in Questbridge.                 
Tip to First Year Self: Don't be afraid to ask for help, whether it's from friends, professors, or TA's, go get help and don't wait till the last minute. Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way.
Favorite TV Show: Once Upon a Time and The Vampire Diaries (don't judge).

Peer MentorPatty Garcia
Second year       
Major and Academic Interests: I am interested in pursuing a degree in Commerce from McIntire. I want to concentrate in Finance and possibly Accounting or Management. I am also pursuing a minor in Systems Engineering. I also really like taking fine arts classes for fun like Drama and the History of Jazz.
Cultural Background: I am half Spanish and half Italian, Irish, and Blackfoot Indian. I identify most with my Spanish heritage (I love flamenco and paella!) but still love all my other cultural influences. I was born and raised in South Florida, and my stepmother is Cuban, so I also feel like an honorary Cuban.          
Career Aspirations: I want to work in corporate America with large Financial Services companies like JP Morgan, Barclays, or Goldman Sachs.               
UVA Involvement and Activities: In addition to PMP, I also participate in Cultura under LSA. I work at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. I am also a member of the sorority Alpha Chi Omega!       
Tip to First Year Self: I would tell myself to take time to relax and have fun, but also give yourself time to study and get work done        
Favorite TV Show: I love Friends, Castle, New Girl, and the Walking Dead (even though I just started watching)!              
Fun Fact: I can twerk. Really well.

Peer MentorPatrick Van Dam
Fourth year        
Major and Academic Interests: I am an Aerospace Engineering major, and I love space and building/designing/creating things.              
Cultural Background: I am half Colombian, on my mom's side, and I was born and raised in Virginia Beach.        
Career Aspirations: I would love to work with NASA, Lockheed Martin, or any other engineering firm, where I can utilize my skills and ideas to create new technology.        
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am currently a member of the Archery club, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Japan Club, Latino Student Alliance, and occasionally Kumdo. I play a lot of sports, especially soccer. I also am a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Tip to First Year Self: Get involved in clubs, and get to know your professors, because they are the ones that can help you find research positions, and even jobs.                 
Favorite TV Show: Recent: Dexter, The Walking Dead, Suits, Psych, White Collar, Royal Pains. Old: Monk, Lie to Me.     
Fun Fact: I love to travel the world, this past spring break I visited Jordan, and I have been to Italy, Germany, France, Croatia, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic.

Peer MentorSavine Hernandez
Third year            
Major and Academic Interests: I am a Biochemistry major in the College of Arts and Sciences. I currently work in a research lab at the UVA Medical School that looks at how genetics and cellular mechanisms affect brain tumors. I'm in a laboratory every single day of the week because I just love it. Even though my major is Biochemistry, I love learning more about math, psychology, and astronomy.                
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Miami, FL but my blood is from Dominican Republic. I come from a very traditional Dominican household so I hold my culture very close to my heart.          
Career Aspirations: I'm not sure what I want to do yet because I'm debating between 3 options. The first is to go to Medical School. The second to go to graduate school for Biochemistry and continuing doing research in my field. The last is to go to Pharmacy School and work for a pharmaceutical company to work on the development of medicine. Our goal in life is to be part of a team that discovers a new, more effective cancer therapy.
UVA Involvement and Activities: I LOVE working with prospective students and first years because I love sharing my experience at UVA so I always try to volunteer for Days on The Lawn and Panels and sometimes even do guest speeches. I am a dancer. I am part of the FUEGO family. Fuego is a Latino based dance team and we are FIERCE. I also go to dancing workshops hosted by The Mighty and I just love learning new dance techniques and just grow as a dancer.          
Tip to First Year Self: Don't be afraid to be who you are. Coming to UVA was a huge culture shock for me and I felt the need to fit in and be as "preppy" as everyone else. Now I've learned to embrace the fact that I am different and love it because I'd rather stand out than blend in a crowd.                  
Favorite TV Show: I just love TV. And movies. I LOVE MOVIES. My top 3 favorite TV shows are How I Met Your Mother, Vampire Diaries, and Scandal      
Fun Fact: I like to think of myself as a small mad scientist.

Peer MentorSebastian Lerner
Second year       
Major and Academic Interests: Computer Science, Commerce 
Cultural Background: My parents are from Colombia, but I was born in Fairfax, VA and have lived in NoVa my entire life.  I still have a lot of family back in Colombia and I love going back whenever I can to see them.          
Career Aspirations: I would love to start my own tech start-up right after college with some of my friends as it has always been a dream of mine to own my own company.            
UVA Involvement and Activities: Southwood Mentoring Program, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, UVA Triathlon Club
Tip to First Year Self: Have fun, but make sure you dedicate enough time for academics.  Ultimately, you are coming here for school, and that is the most important thing but definitely make sure you have a good balance.
Favorite TV Show: Psych, Arrested Development
Fun Fact: I have a twin brother!

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Ana’s Familia

Peer MentorAdrianna Gorsky
Third year            
Major and Academic Interests: Environmental Thought and Practice, BA Environmental Science              
Cultural Background: Born and raised in Arlington, VA. I am 50% Brazilian and 100% Jewish.     
Career Aspirations: I ideally would like to work in the environmental field for a few years and then go back to graduate school for either Environmental Engineering or Policy (You can tell I am still quite undecided).  
UVA Involvement and Activities: Student Employee with UVA Sustainability, Career Peer Educator, ASB Trip Leader, Green Dining
Tip to First Year Self: Don't be afraid to put yourself out there even if you are not comfortable at first. 
Favorite TV Show: Modern Family and Scandal 
Fun Fact: I have tri-citizenship! (United States, Brazil and Germany)

Peer MentorAlejandro Ramirez Disla
Fourth year        
Major and Academic Interests: Bachelor in Commerce with concentrations in Finance and Accounting. Minor in economics.  
Cultural Background: Raised in the Dominican Republic.              
Career Aspirations: Banker / Business Owner    
UVA Involvement and Activities: The Alternative Investment Fund at McIntire, McIntire Investment Institute, and The Washington Literary and Debating Society.                 
Tip to First Year Self: Join CIO's. They'll help you meet people with similar interests and are an effective way to use your time at the university.             
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad, How I met Your Mother, Family Guy     
Fun Fact: I've been to Cuba

Peer MentorAmelia Garcia
Second year
Major and Academic Interests: Pre-Commerce 
Cultural Background: Cuban       
Career Aspirations: To rise to a management position in a business field I enjoy.             
UVA Involvement and Activities: University Dance Club, Office of Admissions Outreach Office, Latino Student Alliance, and PMP
Tip to First Year Self: Get involved, in everything and anything. Drop activities later      
Favorite TV Show: Too many to count, maybe Scandal. 
Fun Fact: Love traveling. Have been to 23 countries and counting.

Peer MentorGabriela Ehrman
Fourth year        
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in Foreign Affairs. I am also interested in commerce and social sciences (econ, psychology, sociology)  
Cultural Background: Born and raised in Panama!           
Career Aspirations: I have no idea what to do after graduation, but I am definitely going to grad school. Maybe law school or get an MBA.
UVA Involvement and Activities: Transfer Student Peer Advisor – TSPA, Towards a Better Latin America – TBLA, PMP, VISAS - Volunteers with International Students and Scholars, and Staff Program, AMA, Smart Women Security.
Tip to First Year Self: Have an agenda so you can allocate your time wisely :) go to the activities fair and join organizations! That is a good way to making new friends. Don't be afraid to ask questions or seek help. Go to office hours, professors and T.A.s love talking to students.
Favorite TV Show: Friends, Modern Family, Revenge!

Peer MentorJennifer Baez
Second year       
Major and Academic Interests: Pre Comm (Marketing&Management) and Nutrition      
Cultural Background: Dominican
Career Aspirations: Incorporate marketing and nutrition to work for a company
UVA Involvement and Activities: Women’s Basketball Manager, Alderman Library Circulation Desk Employee, McIntire School of Commerce Help Desk employee, Quest Scholars Club,               
Tip to First Year Self: Don't always worry about getting work done or sleeping! Spending times with friends is important too.
Favorite TV Show: Scandal           
Fun Fact: Ellen Degeneres is my favorite person

Peer MentorJonathan Diaz
Second year
Major and Academic Interests: Pre-Comm           
Cultural Background: Dominican               
Career Aspirations: Management/Marketing/Possibly Psychology          
UVA Involvement and Activities: Entrepreneurship Group, PATHE Initiative       
Tip to First Year Self: It snows in Virginia more than you think!  
Favorite TV Show: The Regular Show      
Fun Fact: I love to skateboard!

 

Peer MentorKatie Huang
Fourth year                                                 
Major and Academic Interests: Linguistics and East Asian Studies, some Anthropology                 
Cultural Background: “Chinolombian": half-Chinese and half-Colombian, but born and raised in the U.S.             
Career Aspirations: Some kind of government career would be wonderful, but anything having to do with languages, cross-cultural communication, China, and/or South America would be nice. I have no specific plan, except travelling, perhaps by becoming a translator or ESL instructor. Still unsure.         
UVA Involvement and Activities: Crafting for Conservation, PMP, Chinese Bilingual Faculty Program, Outdoors Club, VISAS
Tip to First Year Self: Take up an instrument and dance skill, look at the syllabus before settling for a class, talk to professors more, do NOT procrastinate, choose your major earlier if possible, if not, no worries.              
Favorite TV Show: The Office and How I Met Your Mother              
Fun Fact: Australians call their flip-flops "thongs."

Peer MentorLuis Ortiz
Fourth year
Major and Academic Interests: Major in Commerce, with concentrations in Marketing and Information Technology and a track in business analytics. Minor in Government. I've taken a bunch of politics and public policy courses so feel free to ask me about those too!
Cultural Background: Born in Bogota, Colombia but raised in Maryland. I try to stay very in tune with my Colombian/Latinamerican roots.       
Career Aspirations: I'd like to someday own a business... perhaps a multi-national business. Long term, I hope to become a politician.              
UVA Involvement and Activities: Through Madison House, I volunteer as a Spanish interpreter for non-English speaking patients at the UVA hospital... I'm also the Program Director for this activity so if you're fluent and interested, let me know! I'm a brother in Theta Chi Fraternity and I have participated in Greek leadership activities such as Greek Advance. Throughout my first 2 years, I was really involved in LSA, being Advocacy Chair during my Second year. During my first year, I participated in the Blueprint Leadership program. In general, I love to check out random events on-grounds which brings me to my next point... 
Tip to First Year Self: Get out and check out some of the numerous activities that take place on-grounds every week. There's always something interesting going on.. whether it's a lecture series, cultural show, art exhibition, documentary screening, or just a general body meeting for a student organization. Go out to them when you have time! It's a great way to meet new people and explore your interests.    
Favorite TV Show: Pretty much any HBO series... Entourage, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, True Detective etc.                  
Fun Fact: At the time that I'm writing this, I'm in Santiago, Chile studying abroad! I have a backpacking trip planned throughout Latin America at the end of my semester so hopefully in a few months, I'll be able to say that my fun fact is that I backpacked through x number of Latin American countries.

Peer MentorMaria Dominguez
Second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently pre-comm so I'm very interested in business and finance. I am also very interested in helping other people, just trying to help some people move forward and find new opportunities that would improve their lifestyles. Furthermore, I am very interested in art, I feel it is a very important form of expression.        
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Cali, Colombia. I moved to the States for college.               
Career Aspirations: As of right now I am very interested in investment banking and private equity, so I basically see myself in an investment firm or something similar but at the same time doing something to help the world.            
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am currently involved in Towards a Better Latin America which is an organization to raise awareness about what is going on in Latin America and also raise money for a charity in one of the Latin American countries.           
Tip to First Year Self: Don't be shy.            
Favorite TV Show: Grey's Anatomy and Game of Thrones.

Peer MentorMaria Emilia Moyano
Second Year
Major and Academic Interests: I am a prospective student for McIntire School of Commerce, but I am also interested in Economics or Global Development Studies.
Cultural Background: I am from Ecuador, and I have lived there all my life.
Career Aspirations: I want to create my own business, and I am interested in anything related to the business world. However, through some volunteer work, I realized that service is also something I really enjoy and like. Therefore, my dream would be to create an organization that involves social work.
UVA Involvement and Activities: TBLA (Towards a Better Latin America) , LSN (Latino Student Network), CRU (Campus Crusade Christian Fellowship)
Tip to First Year Self: Do not be scare to make friends. Study hard and give it time, because UVa is nothing like high school.
Favorite TV Show: Pretty Little Liars

Peer MentorMaripaz Casas
Second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I am planning to become a Psychology Major as well as enter the Curry School's Special Education Program. Hopefully I am also looking to minor in Business or Sociology!
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in my lovely Costa Rica, but I have a really diverse background. My dad was born in the states, but his parents are Cuban. Then my mom was born in Costa Rica, but her father is Italian/Mexican. I consider myself to have a little bit of everything!     
Career Aspirations: I have always been interested in education. When I was in high school, I had to do a lot of community service in public schools. I remember the first time I entered a classroom of a very poor school that was situated in a difficult neighborhood. I saw the necessity that the children had as well as their terrible background stories. That was when I realized how teaching is a challenge: instructors put a great deal of effort into enriching their students’ knowledge, as well as into helping them discover their unique sense of individuality and purpose. My highest aspiration became to provide counseling and education for exceptional children that find it impossible to develop in most traditional school environments. All children, no matter where they come from or the amount of abilities they have, should at least experience what education offers them to learn, enjoy, and develop. I think about the realities of developing countries such as Costa Rica, in which many children with special needs and learning disorders are relegated to their homes, making them ineligible for future success. This is why I decided to double major in Psychology (counseling) and Education (special ed).
UVA Involvement and Activities: Aside from PMP, I am currently involved in many Hispanic/Latino programs. I am a member of LSA, The Latino Student Alliance, as well as part of its Cultura Committee (we plan events for people to learn and enjoy more of our diversity). I am also a member of two TBLA, Towards a Better Latin America, groups which focus on planning events for the outreach of the student community and also creating fundraising events. I also volunteer tutoring children through the Curry School's Day in the Life program!     
Tip to First Year Self: Being a first year international student is not easy. The whole adaptation process is not that simple for everyone. But you know what? There are a lot of people that can help you! Don't stress out about your grades and your work. You will learn to manage it! Remember it is a process so enjoy it and step out of your comfort zone! There are so many opportunities that UVA offers. Do things you've never done before and you will learn even more about yourself. Also, don't be afraid to talk to the people around you. You never know when a good friend may come along and supports/shares your interests!          Hmm this is a tough one.
Favorite TV Show: I really have three favorite TV shows: Game of thrones, The Walking Dead, and My Mad Fat Diary.  
Fun Fact: I live in Costa Rica, which is one of the best surfing countries, but I am REALLY bad at surfing. I tried for 30 min and I was done. Actually I am really clumsy you can ask my friends. I am one of those who "falls on flat surfaces."

Peer MentorNazgol Piechottka
Second Year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I am Pre-comm hoping to concentrate in either marketing or finance.  
Cultural Background: I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, however, I was raised in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. My father is Half German-Half Persian and my mother is Honduran.                           
Career Aspirations: I am currently undecided as to what my future plans are, however, I would like to stay in the U.S. for a couple years after I graduate in order to work and get an MBA.                    
UVA Involvement and Activities: In addition to PMP, I am currently involved in TBLA (Towards a Better Latin America) which is an organization that helps raise funds and create awareness about current situations in Latin American countries. I am also involved in LSN (Latino Student Network) which is an organization that builds a network of Latino students interested in applying to the Comm School.  
Tip to First Year Self: First year can be very overwhelming, both socially and academically.  The key for success is balance. Study hard, go to class, keep up with the readings, pay attention and don't be afraid to ask for help; but most importantly, enjoy every second of your first year because time flies and before you know it it'll be over.                              
Favorite TV Show: Grey's Anatomy, Lost and Vampire Diaries!

Peer MentorRandy Galindo
Fourth year
Major and Academic Interests: After initially thinking I was going to be an engineer, I bounced around in the college before I decided to major in Commerce.  I have a ton of academic interests, but I am specifically concentrating in Information Technology in the Comm School, with a focus on entrepreneurship and business analytics.
Cultural Background: Although I lived my whole life in Vienna, Virginia, as the son of two Salvadorian immigrants I am no stranger to re-fried beans, papusas, and Cola Champagne!                                  
Career Aspirations: Immediately after graduation, my goal is to work in the field of management consulting for several years before deciding what I will do long term. Whether it be working toward becoming a partner at one of the Consulting firms, Getting an MBA, or just living the dream of opening a business of my own, the last thing I want to do with my career is be bored.
UVA Involvement and Activities: Here on grounds, in addition to being a peer mentor I am a member of both the Entrepreneurship and Consulting Groups at McIntire, am a actively involved in the RUF Christian Ministry, and even lived at the Center for Christian Study during my second year! Off Grounds, I am certified by the ACCT to run challenge courses (high ropes, rock walls, etc.), coached varsity basketball at one of the local high schools, and referee soccer matches on Fall and Spring weekends. If I am not at the Comm School, you can usually find me hanging around Mem gym, playing any number of pick-up/or IM sports, or playing Super Smash Bros. with my house.
Tip to First Year Self: It is hard to pick just one, but definitely I would tell myself to take my time easing into college life. I made the mistake of thinking I had overload on credits my first semester, and it made my life far more stressful than necessary.                  
Favorite TV Show: Sportcenter or Spongebob... tough call            
Fun Fact: I have gotten to see more than 40 countries around the world, including many in many in Central and South America!

Peer MentorZachary Ackerman
Second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I'm currently Pre-Comm, interested in concentrating in Accounting and Finance. I'm also interested in a Film Studies minor due to my love of movies.                                 
Cultural Background: My mom is from Chile, and more specifically grew up in Santiago and Viña del Mar. My dad is from Peru, and grew up in Lima. I was born in D.C. and grew up in NOVA, but my first language was Spanish, and both the American and Spanish cultures have always been well balanced in my household.                                                                            
Career Aspirations: I hope to be able to get a job as an accountant after completing my education. After doing that for a while, and probably attending graduate school, I'd hope to be able to combine my love of numbers with my passion for movies by getting a job working in the accounting or finance departments of a Hollywood movie studio.                  
UVA Involvement and Activities: I'm currently involved in Business Ethics Society, CavDaily Video Journalism, and Madison House volunteering.        
Tip to First Year Self: Meet as many people as you can those first few days. Definitely try to touch base with friends from home, and hang out with them if you want, but also try to balance that with hanging out with new people.  
Favorite TV Show: At the moment, either House of Cards or The Newsroom. However, I'd have to give honorable mentions to Workaholics, Portlandia, Breaking Bad, LOST, Entourage, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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Andrea’s Familia

Peer MentorAbigail Gomez
Second Year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: So far the plan is a double major in Foreign Affairs and History.                 
Cultural Background: I'm from Brownsville, Texas which is made up of a large Hispanic community since it's so close to the U.S.-Mexican border. Both my parents are Mexican-American, and therefore I have been exposed to   Mexican American culture and traditions.        
Career Aspirations: Law school is a strong possibility. I would most likely focus on International Law and hopefully narrow a career choice to one within the State Department.                                             
UVA Involvement and Activities: I'm currently involved in volunteering for the Haven homeless shelter with Madison House. Also, I'm a part of the VISAS program as a Workplace ESL Assistant. I'm a member of the Monroe Society, as well, in hosting prospective students who wish to visit UVA. Most importantly, I was a mentee last year in the PMP program!
Tip to First Year Self: Don't procrastinate. Seriously, don't do it.                
Favorite TV Show: I love Family Guy, Ink Master, Scandal, Pawn Stars, House of Cards, South Park, Bar Rescue, and of course Spongebob. Also, most documentaries on the History Channel. Basically, my interests vary from the stupid to the highly educational. 

Peer MentorAna Cristina Derrick
Third year                                                    
Major and Academic Interests: I'm majoring in Foreign Affairs. I'm also interested in Global Development Studies!       
Cultural Background: I was born in El Salvador and have been moving around the world my whole life because of my father's job. My mother is from Spain and my father is American so I've had the privilege of being exposed to different cultures.        
Career Aspirations: I would love to work for the State Department or Private sector after I graduate. It would be amazing to have a job that would enable me to travel the world and contribute to social and economic development.                 
UVA Involvement and Activities: I'm involved with the Entrepreneurship Club, Women's Leadership and Development Program, Pause 4 Paws and Catholic Student Ministry.                                   
Tip to First Year Self: Get more involved in clubs that you are truly passionate about. This is a great way to meet new people and keep yourself busy. Also, time management is crucial so don't procrastinate!                 
Favorite TV Show: Friends!              
Fun Fact: I've lived in 5 countries and want to continue to travel!

Peer MentorBelen Vargas
Second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I came into UVA as a premed student but quickly discovered that it wasn't for me. I transferred into the School of Nursing and I'm so excited to start as an official nursing student in the fall! Nursing Class of 2017!        
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in San Pedro, California, but my mom is from Guatemala and my dad is from Mexico.          
Career Aspirations: I obviously want to become a nurse but I'm not sure which kind yet. I'm leaning towards pediatric, neonatal, or labor and delivery nurse. I still have three years to decide so hopefully I figure that out soon. I'm also looking into continuing my education to become a nurse practitioner but I also still have time to figure that out.
UVA Involvement and Activities: First of all, I'm in a Christian Fellowship called Cru. I'm a drummer and vocalist on the worship team and I'm also in a small group. I'm also a research assistant at the School of Nursing. I'm a Quest Scholar so I'm also involved in the Quest Club here. I joined many clubs last year as a first year but I quickly discovered that I didn't have time for all of them. I'm starting to realize that I really like dancing so if I have the time to do it, I'll add the Salsa Club to my list!                           
Tip to First Year Self: Go to Office Hours! I heard this tip many times as a first year but I didn't listen. I finally went for one of my classes and it helped me so much, so now I go every time I have to write a paper, when I'm having trouble with an assignment, or when a test is coming up. It pays off to do your homework a little bit early so you can get the help you need and get a good grade.              
Favorite TV Show: I don't watch TV when I'm at school but when I go home, I love watching How I Met Your Mother!      
Fun Fact: I have no brothers but I'm one of five daughters. My poor dad!

Peer MentorCarina Rodriguez
Fourth year                                                 
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently a Latin American Studies major, looking to double major in Foreign Affairs.  I have great interest in Latin America as a whole.   I really enjoy studying the laws and history of these countries.  And mainly discussing the room for growth that exists for Latin America.    
Cultural Background: I was born in Guatemala City and was brought to the States when I was about a year old. Even though I was raised in Virginia almost all my life I still consider myself 100% Latina. My parents decided to speak Spanish in my household up until I went to Pre-school, allowing me to become fluent in Spanish first.                                             
Career Aspirations: My ideal career would definitely have to be involved with the government somehow.  They have amazing benefits that are undoubtedly irresistible!  I have always had a passion for traveling and perhaps a job with the government could provide me that.  The ideal position I would like to acquire one day would have to be as an Ambassador of a Latin American country or even a position with the United Nations.                 
UVA Involvement and Activities: Just this year I became involved with LSA.  I am currently a part of the Cultura committee, where we are given the opportunity to bring awareness to the University about our traditions and culture.  I am also a part of the Community Outreach Program where we are able to tutor mostly Latino students at the Southwood Center.  I am also a part of the Planning Committee for the annual Paseo UVa event.   The VISAs program is a new program that I got involved with.  It allows me to interact with members of the University who are choose to get advice about the English Language.  This program has personally allowed me to meet a PhD candidate from China and a research student from Ethiopia.  It is truly a great program.  I recently began volunteering for the International Center, more specifically for a book discussion.  Here we not only discuss the book but we also learn about new cultures and help foreign members of community practice their English.
Tip to First Year Self: Don't be afraid to speak to strangers in class, making friends is such a great thing to do!  Not only do you begin to know people but this will also help you perhaps when it comes time to study for a final or even when discussing a piece of literature.   
Favorite TV Show: My weakness is definitely Bad Girls Club.  And I am so ashamed! I never miss an episode and am 100% focused on it when I am watching it.
Fun Fact: I always buy a new product when I go to grocery shopping.  It usually is a fruit or a vegetable. I love trying new things!

Peer MentorCatalina Pinto
Second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I am undeclared, but am on track to major in Foreign Affairs with a minor in Statistical Analysis of Social Behavior. I love so many different things, though, and like to take classes in economics, philosophy, and art history just to name a few!              
Cultural Background: I am 100% Argentinean, but have lived in the US practically all of my life (Illinois; Syracuse; Morgantown, WV; and most recently, Richmond, VA). I go back to Argentina every single year!
Career Aspirations: I plan on law school and then hopefully the Foreign Service. I also plan to start my own non-profit focusing on bringing education to rural places in South America.                  
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am in LSA, the Cultura subcommittee of LSA, Towards a Better Latin America, I interned for the Office of Dean of Students to organize La Gala, and PMP, of course!  
Tip to First Year Self: Get involved! Don't be shy because you will miss out on meeting truly amazing people and making long-lasting friendships.         
Favorite TV Show: Scandal!!! And Mad Men! And Friends!           
Fun Fact: I have two sisters: a 15-year-old who is my best friend and a 4-year-old who has surprisingly taught me so much about life. <3

Peer MentorClaudia Bonilla
Second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I'm looking to be a government major with maybe a minor in Greek classics or Latin American studies.               
Cultural Background: Both of my parents are from El Salvador but I was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia aka nova.           
Career Aspirations: Even though I'm not entirely sure what I want to do, it's always been a dream of mine to work in D.C. for the government. I would like a career that allows me to represent and empower the children and the Latino community at the national level.          
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am involved in Cavs in the Classroom with Madison House, Latino Student Alliance, FIFE, Baking Club, and Laxlite.                 
Tip to First Year Self: Take advantage of everything the university has to offer! There are numerous clubs and organizations that can help one grow and learn so much that you don't want to miss out on any of those opportunities!   
Favorite TV Show: So many to choose from but probably Pretty Little Liars, Reign, and, even though it's over now, One Tree Hill.            
Fun Fact: I went to the high school from the movie 'Remember the Titans.'

Peer MentorClaudia Castaneda
Second Year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I am planning on studying Foreign Affairs and Spanish.                   
Cultural Background: I am Peruvian but I was born in Northern Virginia.                
Career Aspirations: I hope to work in the government someday; hopefully working to help solve poverty.           
UVA Involvement and Activities: I tutor elementary school kids at a local community center and do Salsa on Mondays.
Tip to First Year Self: Don't be afraid to do anything. Whether it be going to a TA for help in a class, belting out a song even if you can't sing, saying hello to a stranger, going to CAPS if you're feeling stressed, eating that box of cookies because you love cookies, or breaking out into dance.     
Favorite TV Show: F.R.I.E.N.D.S.    
Fun Fact: I love popcorn and Samoas. I eat straight sugar packs (my record is 10 in 5min).

Peer MentorClaudia R. Fonseca
Third year                                                    
Major and Academic Interests: I am an Economics and Music double major with a potential minor in Global Sustainability.     
Cultural Background: 100% Honduran American! Both of my parents are from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, but I was raised in Alexandria, VA. I have actually never had the opportunity to visit Honduras, but needless to say, I am very attached to my Hispanic culture, as well as the Anglo culture in which I was raised.                
Career Aspirations: I am not entirely sure yet, but I am hoping to work towards sustainability from an economic perspective. I am considering studying public policy in grad school, or even going to business school. As for music, I am studying composition, so I hope to write music and possibly even attend grad school for music composition.
UVA Involvement and Activities: I have been a part of Cru Christian Fellowship since my First Year. I have loved being a part of this community, and how it's helped me grow in my relationship with Christ. I am also a part of the Latino Student Alliance, particularly the committee that helps plan Latino Week. And PMP, of course!
Tip to First Year Self: Don't forget about "me time". I cannot stress that enough! Everyone at UVa is so involved that we often neglect to do things for ourselves. It may be a bit selfish, but I think it's absolutely necessary. Also, don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone! Whether it's asking a question in class or seeking more information about a particular major, don't feel intimidated by professors, TAs, or fellow peers. No one at UVa knows everything, so it's okay to ask. And how else would we learn if it weren't for asking?              
Favorite TV Show: I have a couple favorites, but my current favorite is Switched at Birth. I am also addicted to crime shows (thanks to sister), including but not limited to Criminal Minds and Graceland.           
Fun Fact: I have never left the U.S., but I love learning about cultures and languages. I hope to travel extensively after graduation. And hoo knows, maybe even live in a different country?!

Peer MentorElisa Montealegre
Fourth year                                                 
Major and Academic Interests: Foreign Affairs and Latin American Studies, Academic Interest = Global Development
Cultural Background: Nicaraguan             
Career Aspirations: I want to get a masters in public policy and management. I want to work managing development projects in Latin America.           
UVA Involvement and Activities: Jefferson Public Citizen for 2013 and 2014 = Developed mentoring program in Nicaragua, Peer Mentoring Program since 2011, PACEM volunteer, ACC Leadership Conference UVA representative for 2014, Young Women Leaders Program
Tip to First Year Self: Don't worry if you get on the wrong bus - everyone does at some point. Don't worry if you don't remember everyone's name - they probably have the same problem
Favorite TV Show: Gossip Girl, Friends, Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, Revolution and so forth
Fun Fact: I was bitten by a monkey.

Peer MentorGabriela Macedo
Fourth year                                                 
Major and Academic Interests: I am a Spanish major and Portuguese minor. I love Latin American literature and to play with the Spanish and Portuguese languages.
Cultural Background: 100% Brasileira (Brazilian); 50% Jewish (but it feels like 100%); and my heart is divided among being Brazilian, Jewish, and American!  
Career Aspirations: I want to finish my undergrad education and go straight to grad school. My career aspiration is to be a college professor and, in the future, a grad school professor. My area of research will probably focus on Latin American writers from the twentieth century, such as Gabriela Mistral and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I love them because they are amazing and we have the SAME name).                 
UVA Involvement and Activities: PMP, IRC tutoring,BSO.               
Tip to First Year Self: YOLFYO (You Only Live First Year Once), which means that you should take advantage of the opportunities the University gives you to meet new people and learn about the educational system; so allow yourself to make mistakes because that's how we grow and learn to adapt ourselves to a new reality. Also, try to create a balance between school and social life. After this transitional year, the following ones will hopefully be much better!    
Favorite TV Show: OF COURSE IT IS SCANDAL!  Also... New Girl, Orange is the New Black, Baby Daddy, Saturday Night Live, and The Daily Show.                  
Fun Fact: The first time I got stuck in an elevator was during Spring Break '14 in Buenos Aires, Argentina... I have selfies to prove it!

Peer MentorJess Timana Gomez
Second Year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: Psychology and possibly Foreign Affairs.               
Cultural Background: Born in Maryland and raised in Manassas, VA. Both of my parents are Colombian!             
Career Aspirations: I plan on joining the Peace Corps after Grad School to improve education and youth development in other countries. I would ideally work as a clinical psychologist, in private practice or in a school, or work for the government alongside the military.      
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am in LSA, I have an adorable six-year old mentee, and I am in Salsa Club!  
Tip to First Year Self: “Education is the most powerful weapon for changing the world." -Nelson Mandela Do the things you have never done. UVA gives you so many opportunities and resources so take full advantage of them! Sign up for clubs, service events, and most importantly have fun! Step outside of your comfort zone!                                                               
Favorite TV Show: Spongebob Squarepants :)    
Fun Fact: I have a crazy obsession with learning different languages. I have studied German, French, Latin, Italian, and Spanish.

Peer MentorKaren Flores
Second Year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I'm undecided but possibly gearing towards the Comm School or majoring in Latin American Studies. However, I'm also interested in Sociology. I've taken a few Sociology classes already and have really enjoyed each one of them. As i said, I'm still undecided so bare with me as a figure out my life!                              
Cultural Background: I'm a proud Salvadorian! Both of my parents are from El Salvador but I was born in Arlington, VA and raised in Woodbridge, VA (All NOVA). I used to visit El Salvador once a year, every February, but then College happened. Haha              
Career Aspirations: I'm really interested in working in an Immigration Department, supporting and protecting the rights of immigrants everywhere, primarily the Latino community. That's why I've kept Latin American Studies on my list of majors because that could definitely help me pursue that career.              
UVA Involvement and Activities: In addition to PMP, I'm involved in the Latino Student Alliance (LSA), The Baking Club, I also volunteer through Madison House in the program called "Adopt-a-Grandparent," and I expect to volunteer in other Madison House programs next year as well.    
Tip to First Year Self: I would say to start off strong, meaning, join a few clubs that you're truly interested in and become really integrated in them. Clubs are a good way to meet tons of new people and create strong friendships. Meeting new people always makes the transition into College a lot easier. The reason why I say join a few Clubs is because some people tend to drown themselves in them and consequently do bad academically. We're all here for a common purpose, which is to do well academically, so I would say that you should also learn to manage your time. Make sure you have time to work hard but also time to party hard. Enjoy your first year; it really doesn't get better than UVA!              
Favorite TV Show: My current obsessions are Criminal Minds and The Walking Dead, despite how gruesome it gets sometimes. I also watch Modern Family and How I met your Mother. I would say that I prefer watching movies instead of TV shows but I enjoy both.              
Fun Fact: I've been told that I can be located anywhere by my laugh. I guess I have an extremely loud and unique laugh; I don't know if it's a good or bad thing. Haha

Peer MentorSiham Handal
Second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently Pre-Commerce expecting to concentrate in Finance and Marketing.        
Cultural Background: I am from San Pedro Sula, Honduras.          
Career Aspirations: After graduation, I hope to work for a couple of years before graduate school. I wish to obtain an MBA and after that go back to Honduras and contribute to its development.    
UVA Involvement and Activities: Since the beginning of my first year, I joined TBLA (Towards a Better Latin America) and LSN (Latino Student Network), and now I also am a PMP mentor.                      
Tip to First Year Self: Time goes by faster than you think; enjoy, get involved, and balance out your time!            
Favorite TV Show: Vampire Diaries, Sherlock, NCIS and Revenge.

Peer MentorSilvana Breton
Second Year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I am Pre-Commerce, hoping to concentrate in Marketing, and I would like to minor in Sociology.             
Cultural Background: I was born in Colombia but my family moved to Panama soon after that, and I have been living there since then.               
Career Aspirations: Get a Master in Business Administration.  
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am currently a member of TBLA (Towards a Better Latin America) and MRC (Minority Rights Coalition).          
Tip to First Year Self: Know how to allocate your time wisely. Go out, make new friends, and have fun but remember to do your work!                 
Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother, Friends

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Brittany’s Familia

Peer MentorAlexis Chaet
Third year                                                    
Major and Academic Interests: I hope to major in either Global Public Health or Human biology.             
Cultural Background: I grew up in a Peruvian-American household, and travel back to Lima to visit family every couple years.                  
Career Aspirations: I aspire to combine a career in medicine and global public health.                 
UVA Involvement and Activities: Tri club ; Madison House SISI volunteer ; Center for global health student advisory board ; UVA-Guatemala initiative               
Tip to First Year Self: Take chances, and don't be afraid to trip a few times along the way. Now if your time to explore!!!
Favorite TV Show: Big Bang Theory
Fun Fact: I am an avid unicyclist.

Peer MentorAmy Castillo
Second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I'm Pre-Vet and majoring in Biology.       
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Northern Virginia. My mom is from Florida and my dad is from Mexico.  
Career Aspirations: I love working with animals, and so I hope to go to Vet School and become a Veterinarian.                 
UVA Involvement and Activities: Besides being involved with the Hispanic Peer Mentoring Program, I'm a volunteer for Pet Pals and Gallaster Farm, both through Madison House.                                      
Tip to First Year Self: Join all the clubs that interest you and later on you can choose which ones to stay active in. Additionally, find the right balance between academics and extracurricular activities.           
Favorite TV Show: Grey's Anatomy, The Walking Dead, and Modern Family!

Peer MentorAshley Munoz
Third year                                                    
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently enrolled in the nursing school and am pursuing a bioethics minor             
Cultural Background:  I am from Austin, Texas and am half Hispanic (my dad is from Mexico) with the other half a mixture of Irish, German, Swiss and French
Career Aspirations: To become a neonatal nurse practitioner and serve in underprivileged areas of the world
UVA Involvement and Activities: Nursing Student Council, University Judiciary Committee, Honor Support Officer, Catholic Student Ministry, Nursing School Tour Guide, Days on the Lawn Team Leader, Chi Alpha, Summer 2014 Orientation Leader   
Tip to First Year Self: Get to know as many people as possible those first few weeks of school, I guarantee you will end up seeing them at some random event or club and who knows, they may end up becoming one of your closet friends!     
Favorite TV Show: Between school, clubs and fun with friends, I unfortunately do not have time to watch TV!

Peer MentorBijan Morshedi
Third year                                                    
Major and Academic Interests: Biochemistry, I am currently completing the Pre-Med course track and hope to attend medical school after my time here at UVa.                                                                            
Cultural Background: My father is from Iran and my mother is from Argentina so I have a unique blend of culture.          
Career Aspirations: I hope to attend medical school after college            
UVA Involvement and Activities: Hispanic/Latino Peer Mentoring Program; an excellent program you should be excited to be a part of! Cultural Programming Board, Peer Health Educator, Undergraduate Research in Public Health, Volunteer at the Charlottesville and Virginia Beach Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, Member of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Med Honor Society, Member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society
Tip to First Year Self: Work hard to find the balance of social, academic, and extracurricular balance as early as possible. The faster you figure it out the better off you will be                                                   
Favorite TV Show: House of Cards            
Fun Fact: I like soccer

Peer MentorBrent Nagel
Third year                                                    
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in Philosophy but am thinking about a minor or second major, probably in English, History, or Religious Studies.
Cultural Background: My dad is from Argentina and my mom is American, of Italian and Slovenian descent. I was born and raised in the DC area.         
Career Aspirations: Maybe Journalism, but I'm honestly not sure yet.   
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am currently involved in the Latino Student Alliance, Unicef, and the Jefferson Society.        
Tip to First Year Self: Try almost anything once, it doesn't hurt.                  
Favorite TV Show: Maybe White Collar or the Legend of Korra. I also liked Entourage.  
Fun Fact: I like peaches and watermelon but I'm allergic to both.

Peer MentorDebbie Ledezma
second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I'm really interested in forensic science so I plan to study biochemistry. I am thinking about an anthropology minor.  
Cultural Background: Both my parents are Bolivian. I was born in Virginia but lived in Bolivia until I was 6 before moving back.                 
Career Aspirations: I would like to be part of DNA analysis team for the FBI.       
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am part of UVA's Women's rugby team. I love sports so if you ever want to go watch a game, just hit me up. In addition, I am an official for UVA intramural sports. I also volunteer in the Adopt-a-Grandparent through Madison House. I am also part of the Latino Student Alliance (LSA)    
Tip to First Year Self: Unsubscribe to netflix. You'll thank me in the long run.      
Favorite TV Show: Modern Family!!! It's just so funny.

Peer MentorElvera Maria Santos
Second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: Undecided with a focus in loving life      
Cultural Background: Brazilian and Black              
Career Aspirations: I hope to graduate college and become a successful lawyer, editor, writer, publisher, dentist, or astronomer.  My aspirations are a little bit all over the place, but my goal, at the end of the day, is to help people and give back to my community.              
UVA Involvement and Activities: Madison House Medical Services UVA Auxilary Hospital Volunteer, UVA McIntire Music Department Usher, UVA Fralin Art Museum Docent, IJM (International Justice Mission)    
Tip to First Year Self: Try everything.  Don't be afraid to emmerse yourself in all the oppurtunities presented to you.    
Favorite TV Show: RuPaul's Drag Race, Psych, The Soup, HIMYM, Dance Moms
Fun Fact: I love playing cards

Peer MentorEva Melara
Third year
Major and Academic Interests: I am in the School of Nursing and I absolutely love it, even waking up early for clinical. I enjoy science classes, and I've also found that I have an interest in religious studies, so I'm considering minoring in that.
Cultural Background: I am half Hispanic, from Richmond, VA. My mom is from the U.S. and my dad is from El Salvador. I loved having different cultural influences growing up!                                                
Career Aspiration:  Of course since I am in the School of Nursing, I aspire to be a nurse. What kind of nurse, I'm not sure of yet. There are so many opportunities for nurses and so many options to choose from. For the longest time I wanted to be a neonatal nurse, working with newborn babies in the hospital. I know I really enjoy working with children though, so maybe pediatrics, pediatric oncology, or neonatal nursing would be areas I'm interested in. I'll have to see what I like as I go along and grow as a person in nursing school.             
UVA Involvement and Activities: In addition to being involved in PMP and LSA, I am also in baking club and a few of the nursing clubs, like Nurses Without Borders. I play soccer for an adult co-ed rec league in Charlottesville, and I was also in Air Force ROTC this year.            
Tip to First Year Self: Don't be hesitant. Try new activities and sign up for things you would have never thought to try. You definitely learn so much about yourself in your college years, finally being away from your parents and the people you have been around your entire life. It is time to fully explore your options and all the University and this world has to offer.           
Favorite TV Show: I enjoy crime shows, Friends, Gilmore Girls, and whatever is on Netflix basically.     
Fun Fact: I am obsessed with sloths and Lana Del Rey.

Peer MentorIsabel Jimenez
Second year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I want to study Commerce with a focus on Marketing. I also want a Minor in Fine Arts, specifically in Drawing.                 
Cultural Background: I'm 100% Panamanian and have lived there all my life.    
Career Aspirations: I don't really know what I want to do right now, but I think I still have a lot of time to figure that out. All I hope is that my career involves creativity.                                                    
UVA Involvement and Activities: I'm a member of The Human-Animal Support Service Club, and of course a PMP mentor.          
Tip to First Year Self: Try to be friends with everyone you meet, especially your roomate (or suitemates, as was my case), since you'll be spending a lot of your time around them. Get involved with clubs that you're interested in; it'll make your experience much more fun, and you'll meet people who have similar interests as yourself!                          
Favorite TV Show: I love sitcoms. Friends is probably my all-time favorite, but I love Modern Family and Community too.

Peer MentorJesus (Jesse) Dominguez-Becerra
Second year
Major and Academic Interests: Possible Math Major, I just really like math.      
Cultural Background: I am Mexican-American. Also, I have lived in Mexico for over two years when I was younger.         
Career Aspirations: At the moment, I do not know. For now, I am thinking of majoring in math, but I am also considering taking the LSAT in order to apply for law school.                                                           
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am in the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, volunteer at the LGBTQ Center, love running and going to the gym, hanging out with friends, and on occasion some leisure reading.                
Tip to First Year Self: Honestly, take advantage of all the programs and events the university has to offer. Talk to anyone and everyone! (Try not to procrastinate, but really, this is still a problem...)         
Favorite TV Show: Awkward and Teen Wolf!       
Fun Fact: I've met Brad Pitt, and no I am not kidding. Yes, he is a gorgeous man.

Peer MentorKimberly Rivera
Fourth year                                                 
Major and Academic Interests: I am majoring in psychology.  I am also currently on the pre-med track.                 
Cultural Background: Both of my parents are from Ecuador.  However, I was born and raised in Virginia.              
Career Aspirations: After college I hope to attend medical school and become a doctor.              
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am currently involved in American Medical Student Association and the Latino Student Alliance as part of the cultura committee.  I also volunteer at the UVa. hospital in the pediatric unit.
Tip to First Year Self: Don't be afraid to try new things!  The sooner you get involved the easier the transition into college is!
Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother

Peer MentorMegan Nieto
Second year                                
Major and Academic Interests: I will most likely either major in Foreign Affairs or Government with a Spanish minor. I am also interested in the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.       
Cultural Background: My grandfather immigrated from Spain as a teenager and much of my family still lives just outside of Madrid. As for me, I was born and raised in Fredericksburg, VA.         
Career Aspirations: To be honest I have no idea what I want to do with my life. However, I do know that after I graduate from UVa I want to go to graduate school and get my Master's in Public Policy (MPP). Ideally, I would love for the State Department or some kind of job in diplomacy to be in my future.               
UVA Involvement and Activities: I am involved in the University Democrats (UDems), First Year Players (FYP), and recently spent a week in the Amazon Rainforest with Alternative Spring Break!
Tip to First Year Self: Don't obsess over grades. Academics come first, but you are at UVa because of your intelligence (among other things, of course) so invest your energy into growing as a person, discovering new things, and having adventures. Because college really is the most exciting time of your life.   
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Girls, House of Cards, Downton Abbey, Modern Family, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report (clearly I'm bad at picking just one)

Peer MentorRoberto Rada
Fourth year                                                 
Major and Academic Interests: I am Cognitive Science concentrating in Neuroscience.  I hope to use what I have learned to help those out there in the medical field.                                                                
Cultural Background: 100% Boliviano!  
Career Aspirations: I aspire to have a career in the medical field, either through genetics or through pediatrics!            
UVA Involvement and Activities: Mentee, Mentor, and former Executive Board of PMP!  I am also part of the Executive Board of Autism Speaks at UVa!  I aim to be very involved in the multitude of organizations that UVa has to offer next year!               
Tip to First Year Self: To reach out more.  See, the concept of "networking" never really stuck to me first year.  I really wish I had gone out of my comfort zone to apply to programs and be more invested in my future.
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad and House of Cards are at the top of my list currently, but it's almost impossible to beat out Friends.                 
Fun Fact: I'm a thinker.

Peer MentorSamantha Glazer
Second Year                                               
Major and Academic Interests: I am currently looking to possibly double major in Commerce and History and I am also interested in the leadership minor.   
Cultural Background: I was born and raised in Dallas, TX, however my family moved last summer to Northern Virginia. My grandmother was born and raised in Peru, while my mother spent the early part of her life there.    
Career Aspirations: I'm honestly not quite sure what I want to do, but my interest lie in Law and Management.               
UVA Involvement and Activities: Besides being a PMP mentor, I'm a member of  the Business Ethics Society, Alpha Chi Omega, McIntire Latino Student Network, Latino Student Alliance, Jewish Educative Initiative and Outreach Student Admissions Committee. I'm also Fourth Grade Sunday School Teacher and Preschool Substitute at Congregation Beth Israel and involved with Madison Houses' Daycare Program and Challah for Hunger!                
Tip to First Year Self: Don't be afraid to try everything once. You never know what is out there and you can always say no later!              
Favorite TV Show: My favorite TV shows are NCIS and Greys Anatomy! 
Fun Fact: I have three amazing dogs (all upwards of 60 lbs) that I always look forward to seeing when I go home!

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You are welcome to let us know if you prefer to be matched to a specific familia above.  If this is the case, please email your preference to Roberto Rada from the Executive Board and we will try our best to honor your request.

We look forward to getting to know you in the fall!

PMP executive board and Dean of Students Office