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2nd Year Experience Peer Mentors



Meet the amazing UC San Diego students serving as 2nd Year Experience Peer Mentors for 2020-21!

  • Viviana Balladares

    Viviana Balladares

    Third Year 

    John Muir College, Communication major and Business minor

    Hometown: San Diego, CA

    Advice to Second Year Students: Some advice I would give to second-year students is to remember to give yourself credit and be proud of making it through freshman year, especially since it was completely online! Your second year may be a bit intimidating, but you are not alone in your worries. There are so many resources and people here to help you, so be sure to take advantage of them. Although academics and your other extracurricular activities are important, don't forget to take care of yourself above all else.

    Drop-In Hours: Mondays 11am-1pm

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Monday 1-2pm (

  • Serah Bogale

    Serah Bogale

    Third Year 

    Thurgood Marshall College, Global Health and Biological Anthropology

    Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Advice to Second Year Students: I would advice incoming second year students to prioritize their mental health as they transition from virtual to in person classrooms. I would also suggest for them to find an outlet to relieve stress and anxiety such as doing yoga, meditations, taking naps, doing simple breathing exercises, watching TV/movies, drawing...etc. On the same note, I would encourage them to go to their professors or TA's office hours if they're having hard time with certain topics or if they're in need of extensions for certain assignments. Overall, I would like them to have fun and enjoy their second year at UCSD!!!

    Drop-In Hours: Thursdays 11am-1pm

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Monday 8-9am (

  • Ivy Chang

    Ivy Chang

    Third Year 

    Thurgood Marshall College, Microbiology with Double Minors in Global Health and Spanish Language Studies

    Hometown: Arcadia, CA

    Advice to Second Year Students: Go at your own pace; there is no such thing as a set timeline, and you're not behind. Just try your best and be comforted knowing that you put in all of your effort. Keep your head up and just keep swimming! :)

    Drop-In Hours: Fridays 9-11am

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Tuesday 12-1pm (

  • Ryan Chung

    Ryan Chung

    Third Year 

    Sixth College, Marine Biology

    Hometown: Highland, CA

    Advice to Second Year Students: Being a student is a big part of your life right now, but you are so much more than just a student. Also, college is so chock-full of challenging courses that you can forget about all of the fun experiences that you can take part in. So be sure to take some time each day/week to relax and do what you want. Most importantly, DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP and keep asking if you need it.

    Drop-In Hours: Thursdays 9-11am

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Thursday 1-2pm (

  • Bisrat Debele

    Bisrat Debele

    Fourth Year

    Eleanor Roosevelt College, General Biology

    HometownAddis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Advice to Second Year Students: Know that your presence at the University is meant to be and valuable. Make it a habit to go into each day looking forward to learn something new. Keep an open mind when interacting with peers and staff because there exists a diversity in upbringing, cultural background, beliefs and more. Watch the way you talk to yourself and take good care. At last have fun, be optimistic and pursue your dream.

    Drop-In Hours: Tuesdays 8-10am

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Tuesday 3-4pm (

  • Leonardo Diaz de Leon

    Leonardo Diaz de Leon

    Fourth Year

    Revelle College, Molecular and Cell Biology

    Hometown: Chula Vista

    Advice to Second Year Students:A piece of advice I would give second-year students is to not worry if their plans change. Live life day-by-day and everything will work out at the end. Everything happens for a reason and there is always someone going through something similar so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you really need it. That small step might bring about good life-long changes.

    Drop-In Hours: Thursdays 2-3pm & Wednesdays 1-2pm

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Tuesday 1-2pm (

  • Jessica Dominici

    Jessica Dominici

    Third Year 

    Earl Warren College, Public Health conc. Health Policy & Management

    Hometown: Riverside

    Advice to Second Year Students: That you are not alone, and that you are valid. There are so many amazing programs and people willing to help if you just reach out. Whether you think what you're going through is small or big, just take the step and reach out to someone. Whether it be campus resources, a friend, or even a professor, it can make such a big difference!

    2Connect Drop-In Hours: Thursdays 1pm - 3pm

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Wednesday 12pm - 1pm (

  • Daniel Flores

    Daniel Flores

    Third Year

    Sixth College, International Business & Education Sciences with a minor in Accounting

    Hometown: Los Angeles

    Advice to Second Year Students: Be yourself; you don't need to know everything you wish to know. Expect everyone not to care about you - so - understand who you want/what to be and work it! You will face many inadequacies/incompatibilities, however, don't compare yourself to others. You will have a vague idea of your surroundings and will forget who you are but, don't be afraid to ask for help. Overall, be yourself!

    Drop-In Hours: Tuesdays 1-3pm

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Tuesdays 11am-12pm (

  • Nancy Garcia

    Nancy Garcia

    Fifth Year 

    John Muir College, Structural Engineering

    Hometown: East LA, CA 

    Advice to Second Year Students: Regardless of your academic performance your first year, you can still make a comeback your second year. With that in mind, it is never too late to join new organizations or community spaces. Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out for help and have faith in the resilience that has brought you this far. Believe in yourself and keep pushing forward!

    Drop-In Hours: Mondays 2-4pm

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Monday 3-4pm (

  • Janet Le

    Janet Le

    Third Year 

    Earl Warren College, Math & EDS double major

    Hometown: Garden Grove, CA

    Advice to Second Year Students: Building a community is super important! Whether you find community through a student organization, group of friends, teammates, etc., surround yourself with people who have similar interests and care about you. It definitely helps you make the most out of your college experience knowing that you have a support system by your side and that you are where you truly belong, so don't be afraid to reach out to others and try out new things!

    Drop-In Hours: Tuesdays & Wednesdays 3-4pm

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Thursday 1pm-2pm (

  • Alyssa Martinez

    Alyssa Martinez

    Third Year

    Revelle College, Neurobiology Major & Cognitive Science Minor

    Hometown: Bakersfield, CA

    Advice to Second Year Students: Study often and early, sleep more than you study, and socialize whenever you can. Your personal well being is the highest priority, so practice self care often! I believe in you and acknowledge that you got through your first year online.

    Drop-In Hours: Mondays 1-2pm & Wednesdays 12-1pm

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Monday 1pm-2pm (

  • Eric Nguyen

    Eric Nguyen

    Fourth Year 

    Revelle College, Neurobiology/ Music

    Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga

    Advice to Second Year Students: College is an opportunity to learn and grow, especially if this is your first time on your own. However, as you continue to attend class, participate in extracurricular activities, explore new passions, and make new friends, things might get a bit hectic and perhaps uncomfortable. Remember that you're not alone in this journey, and that through challenging yourself, you might end up surprising yourself with what you can do!

    Drop-In: Monday 8-10am

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Friday 8-9am (

  • Hy Nguyen

    Hy Nguyen

    Third Year 

    Revelle College, Human Biology

    Hometown: Pomona, CA

    Advice to Second Year Students: Hey bosses! I just wanted to let you guys know that it's only your second year here and that you should take time out of studies or jobs to go have some fun. You can't develop a professional side of yourself without developing yourself along with it (hobbies, mental/physical health, etc.). And remember: Eat good food!

    Drop-In Hours: Tuesdays 10-11am & Thursdays 8-9am

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Thursday 10-11am (

  • Jasmine Perez

    Jasmine Perez

    OASIS Career Peer Educator

    Fourth Year 

    John Muir College, International Business/ Real Estate & Development

    Hometown: Ontario, California

    Advice to Second Year Students: Be comfortable with the uncomfortable! Don't be afraid to try new things and explore campus organizations because I can guarantee it'll be worth it. You'll find such great opportunities and friends. I truly think it’s one of the best ways to learn more about yourself. The more you go out if your comfort zone, the more you start discovering things you do and don’t like and in the long run get to know yourself in which will set you up for success, always!

    Click here to schedule an appointment!

  • Melanie Perez

    Melanie Perez

    Third Year 

    Eleanor Roosevelt College, Political Science-Public Law

    Hometown: San Diego

    Advice to Second Year Students: I think for most people it's difficult to feel proud of themselves, especially in a setting where everyone is doing their best to excel in their own journey. This can make it especially hard not to compare your success to that of others but always remember that someone else’s accomplishments don’t diminish your own! If it matters to you, celebrate your achievements whether they’re big or small.

    Drop-In Hours: Tuesdays 11am-1pm

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Monday 12-1pm (

  • Yvanna Ramirez

    Yvanna Ramirez

    Fourth Year 

    Revelle College, General biology and Global health

    Hometown: San Luis Potosí

    Advice to Second Year Students: Experiment and try new things! Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. College is a time of growth and discovery.

    Drop-In Hours:  Fridays 11am-1pm

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Thursday 2pm-3pm (

  • EmmaJo Spencer

    EmmaJo Spencer

    Fourth Year 

    Eleanor Roosevelt College, Theatre and Communication Double Major

    Hometown: Montclair, CA

    Advice to Second Year Students: Sophomore year is full of fun, excitement, and new opportunities, but there can also be uncertainty in what you want to do in the future. In these times of uncertainty, say yes to any opportunity that arrises and peaks your interest! Taking advantage of opportunities allows you to see what keeps your interest and what you're passionate about. And make time daily to do something kind towards yourself, you're doing great!

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Monday 11am-12pm (

  • Samer Zoukari

    Samer Zoukari

    Fourth Year 

    Sixth College, Psychology/ Human Health

    Hometown: Palm Springs, CA

    Advice to Second Year Students: The main piece of advice I would give to second-year students is to remember that you make your own college experiences. Focus on doing the things you like to do and study the things that you want. Remember that you are your own person and do the things that make you happy. Prioritize yourself, take care of your personal needs, and focus on the road ahead!

    Drop-In Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 10-11am

    Major/ Minor Office Hours: Wednesday 11am-12pm (