STEM VISTA Summer Associates

As part of the CSU STEM VISTA program, twenty-four AmeriCorps Summer Associates committed to 9 weeks of service at 8 CSU campuses – Bakersfield, Fresno, Monterey Bay, Pomona, San Marcos, San Diego, San Luis Obispo and Stanislaus. Summer Associates prepared over 550 virtual incoming students through advising, tutoring, online orientation, laptop and book distribution, and mentorship.  From direct phone calls to personalized email responses, Summer Associates provided intentional support for transitioning to college life during a pandemic.  Summer Associates also utilized their marketing skills to create online workshops on health and tips for academic success, department videos, brochures and website updates to better assist students with navigating campus resources.  They also created online materials focused on STEM activities to be utilized by local teachers.

Twenty-four Summer Associates combined with nine weeks of service on eight CSU campuses – the final outcome…a tremendous and lasting impact!

 
Image of Annabella Aguirre

"I make an impact by being an informed voice capable of understanding how to help others find theirs. My goal is to help strengthen our local education system to help our community be the best it can be. I educate the next generation of scientists to be advocates for the health of our planet for years to come."

— Annabella Aguirre, Monterey Bay student

 
Image of Astrid Herrera

"I make an impact by incorporating an intersectional approach to learning so that I may push initiatives that are serving our communities in the most effective way I can. Support and collaboration are at the forefront of what I do, and I hope to continue to demonstrate unity beyond the current scope of my work to help build an equitable and desirable future."

— Astrid Herrera, San Luis Obispo student

 
Image of Mayli Cabrera

"I make an impact by… speaking up and ensuring everyone's voice is heard."

— Mayli Cabrera, Bakersfield student

 
Image of Sheama Rafiq

"I make an impact by helping and sharing ideas for a brighter vision of the digital fabrication lab. A place where everyone in the community is welcome to create and design their ideas with fulfillment. I am here to help promote and present for students, organizations, events, and educational programs around the community. I want to guide and demonstrate a great example for present and future STEM students."

— Sheama Rafiq, Bakersfield student

 
Image of Carlos Antonio Rodriguez

"I make an impact by becoming a role model for younger individuals that are a part of my LatinX community. We should not settle, but rather achieve success outside of our set boundaries."

— Carlos Antonio Rodriguez, San Marcos student

 
Image of Emily Vidusic

"I make an impact by building an inclusive community that relies on sharing my passion for the sciences and the dedication I have for providing support and safety to those who are in need, no matter the situation at hand. I ensure the students at CSUMB know that their voice is heard, as well as the importance of speaking out. I believe and spread the notion that there is always someone who is there for them!"

— Emily Vidusic, Monterey Bay student

 
Image of Holly Davis

"I make an impact by being positive, encouraging creativity and spreading love. Everyone has a right to feel comfortable in their own body."

— Holly Davis, San Luis Obispo student

 
Image of Kailey Ornelas

"I make an impact by trying to make those around me feel welcome.. I aim to do this by making people feel welcome and comfortable around me, thus they feel good asking for any assistance they might need. I feel like this impacts those around me positively, and I hope that I can encourage others to never be scared or ashamed of asking for help."

— Kailey Ornelas, Monterey Bay student

 
Image of Kaitlyn Nat

"I can make an impact by listening to others and showing compassion. I love getting to know my peers and hearing their stories. I can use my work to turn their voices into positive change."

— Kaitlyn Nat, San Luis Obispo student

 
Image of Constanza Martinez

"I make an impact by providing academic resources to my underrepresented Latinx community. By doing so, I hope to increase graduation rates and promote educational equity."

— Constanza Martinez, San Marcos student

 
Image of Khadija Shafiq

"I make an impact by listening and acting upon the needs of the student body at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP). I focus on utilizing my personal experiences to resonate with the high percentage of underserved and underrepresented minority students at CPP. Ultimately, I aspire to create a more inclusive setting in research by ensuring that the OUR can cater to the needs of all students."

— Khadija Shafiq, Pomona student

 
Image of Karan Chattha

"I make an impact by influencing people with my energy and helping them feel more de-stressed so they are not alone in handling their academic obstacles alone. Not only do I hope to make a positive impact on College students, but also with the community which I serve for. I strive to make an impact with my enthusiastic energy to be social with people who are worn out after a hard time in their work life or personal life."

— Karan Chattha, Stanislaus student

"I make an impact by enhancing the design of a program meant to give all students at Cal Poly access to a hands-on experience in their major. I am working to make the Project's Hatchery program easier to work through and more accessible for students. I hope to impact students by enhancing their opportunity to get hands-on experience implementing the topics they learn in their courses that they can take with them into the workforce after graduation."

— Lauren-Taylor Pavlatos, Pomona student

 
Image of Lauren-Taylor Pavlatos

"I make an impact by enhancing the design of a program meant to give all students at Cal Poly access to a hands-on experience in their major. I am working to make the Project's Hatchery program easier to work through and more accessible for students. I hope to impact students by enhancing their opportunity to get hands-on experience implementing the topics they learn in their courses that they can take with them into the workforce after graduation."

— Lauren-Taylor Pavlatos, Pomona student

 
Image of Obed Meraz

"I make an impact by being an example for students that come from underserved communities. participating in my university’s outreach program, I demonstrate higher education is not out of their reach. As a VISTA, I develop activities that will inspire students to actively pursue learning."

— Obed Meraz, Stanislaus student

 
Image of Melissa Meza

"I make an impact because I’m passionate about reaching out to incoming students and making sure they feel welcomed, safe, and ready when they enter college! I want to make sure they know that someone will always be there to hear their concerns and that we welcome them. No matter what race, background, or sexuality they identify with CSUMB welcomes them with open arms!"

— Melissa Meza, Monterey Bay student

 
Image of Viola Wu

"I make an impact by creating various designs to enhance visual communication for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. I deliver promotional messages and abstract ideas in a creative, appealing, and effective approach. With the ability of bilingual-speaking and multicultural background, I’m capable of designing projects that communicate with different communities."

— Viola Wu, Pomona student

 
Image of Audrey Paris Chuakay

"I make an impact by helping incoming freshmen be informed and prepared for their first semester at San Diego State University. Making sure freshmen have the necessary placement exams and prerequisites needed for their first semester at college is essential for them to succeed in the future. I also make an impact by being a tutor and a teaching assistant to students participating in the LSAMP program by providing students extra help if needed."

— Audrey Paris Chuakay, San Diego student

 
Image of Paris Offor

"I make an impact by helping freshman transition into college smoothly. My goal is to email students and make phone calls to make sure that they are prepared for both the ALEKS Placement Exam and Chemistry Placement Exam. If possible, then these students can be prepared for the Fall of 2020 despite having been interrupted by COVID-19."

— Paris Offor, San Diego student

 
Image of Sandra Cortez
 

"I make an impact by using my bilingual skills. I help translate for my family, friends, and even community members. It’s a rewarding experience each time. So I make sure if I ever see anyone who needs help with understanding something in English, I make sure to reach out to them. I want to ease that fear of not knowing a language by helping to translate for whoever may need it at any given chance."

— Sandra Cortez, Stanislaus student

 
Image of Mayra Ortiz

"I make an impact by helping students from all backgrounds. As a first-generation student, my passion is helping other underrepresented, first-generation students succeeded in their academic career. My goal is to lead by example and help them become the leaders of tomorrow so that they may inspire future first-gen students to pursue higher education and give back to their communities."

— Mayra Ortiz, Monterey Bay student

 
Image of Sarah Michelle Alpuche

"I make an impact by being more than a statistic, I work hard to break the stereotypes of what a Latina womxn “should be.” I make an impact by making sure there is always a safe and inclusive space on campus for my peers. I make an impact by inviting my peers to keep fighting for what they believe in."

— Sarah Michelle Alpuche, Pomona student

 
Image of Lauren McMichael

"I make an impact by making my peers feel supported, empowered, and capable to achieve their goals in college and beyond. I encourage healthy behaviors and self-care to make college a good experience for all, even with challenges and changed plans."

— Lauren McMichael, San Luis Obispo student

 
Image of Stephanie Leon
 

"I make an impact by serving students from diverse backgrounds and providing the necessary support that they need when entering college. During their transition into their first year of college, I am able to connect students to the resources and tools available to them. I have the opportunity to create an atmosphere where students feel safe and welcome which allows them to flourish and be successful through challenging times."

— Stephanie Leon, Fresno student