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First Year Experience

Meet the FYE team!

Academic Counselors

JessicaJessica Cerda

College/University/Grad School: Fullerton College, CSU Fullerton, University of La Verne

Major/Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Master of Science in Educational Counseling

Hometown: Whittier, CA

Favorite snack/food: Pappardelle Pasta and CHEESE!!!!

One interesting fact: I use to Hawaiian Dance for 8 years. 

Piece of advice for FYE students: Make sure to utilize the resources on campus, ask lots of questions and build relationships with students, professors and staff.


Eric Romero Professional PictureEric Romero

College/University/Grad School: Cerritos College, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Long Beach 

Major/Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Master of Science in Counseling, option in Student Development in Higher Education

Hometown: South Gate, CA

Favorite food: Egg (any style!)

One interesting fact: I have double vision so I have to wear glasses to see singular images.

Piece of advice for FYE students: Whenever you have a question, make sure to get up and ask for help. Also, don't forget to get involved on campus so you can make amazing memories!

Success Coaches 

Sasha PictureSasha Davila (2nd Year Coach)

Click the link to Schedule a Check In:

College/University/Grad School: San Diego Mesa Community College, UCLA, CSU Dominguez Hills

Major/Degree: Associate of Arts in Art & French, Bachelor's of Arts in Art History, minor in Chicana(o) Studies, Master's of Science in Counseling, College Counseling (in progress) 

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Favorite snack/food: Sushi, chilaquiles, pad thai, and anything from Trader Joes's

One interesting fact: I have 1 cat and 20 plants in my apartment=plant cat lady

Piece of advice for FYE students: I like the quote "Luck favors the prepared" so the more prepared you are the more successful you will be. If you need help with preparedness find the people that will guide and help you stay on track! Use a planner and always stay on top of deadlines and activities to have a healthy life balance.

irmaIrma Figueroa

Click the link to Schedule a Check 

College/University/Grad School: University of California, Santa Barbara, California State University, Northridge 

Major/Degree: Bachelor's of Arts in Sociology and Chicano and Chicana Studies. Minor in Applied Psychology, Master's of Science in College Counseling and Student Services (in progress).

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Favorite snack/food: Pizza, Tacos, Lasagna, Enchiladas, Sushi, Chocolate Shakes, Hot Cheetos, Ice-cream

One interesting fact: I went skydiving without having ever been on a plane before, so the first time I went on a plane, I jumped out of it!

Piece of advice for FYE students: Always ASK QUESTIONS and reach out for help! It's okay to not know everything or anything at all, however what is not okay, is to not ask questions. People are always willing to help, college is not meant to be achieved alone, support systems exist for a reason ....make the most use of the tools available and create your own personalized toolbox to navigate through the system successfully! 


ClaudiaClaudia Montalvan

Click the link to Schedule a Check

College/University/Grad School: Los Angeles City College, CSU Dominguez Hills, Mount Saint Mary’s University

Major/Degree: Associate of Arts in Psychology & Human Services, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Masters of Science in General Counseling (in progress) 

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Favorite snack/food: Sushi, Ceviche, Pho, and deserts.

One interesting fact: I have a sweet tooth

Piece of advice for FYE students: The secret to getting ahead is getting started. Don’t leave things for the last minute. When things get hard, don’t give up, keep going. Stay close to your professors. Make friends that you can do study groups with. We all view and understand things differently. Learning and working in groups can provide you a better understanding of things.  Remember that where there is a will, there is a way! Reach out for help.  


Bradnon 2Full Name: Brandon Trujilo 

College/University/Grad School:  University of Southern California 

Major/Degree: Masters in Educational Counseling  

Hometown: Bell, California 

Favorite snack/food: Chocolate  

One interesting fact: I’ve had the opportunity in living and working in 3 other countries.  

Piece of advice for FYE students: Don’t be afraid to reach out! It makes a huge difference when you connect with those around you. We are here to support 


Andrea G

Full Name: Andrea Garcia

Click the link to Schedule a Check In:

College/University/Grad School: Santa Clara University (SCU), University of Southern California (USC)

Major/Degree: Bachelor of Science in Child Studies, minor in Political Science, Master of Education in Educational Counseling (in progress)

Hometown: Dinuba, CA

Favorite snack/food: sopes and enchiladas, sushi, thai food, hummus & chips, and cereal

One interesting fact: I used to live on a dairy farm. It smelled awful but there was tons to do and explore!

Piece of advice for FYE students: Choose progress over perfection. Be patient and kind with yourself as you grow in the same way you are kind towards others. Don’t be afraid to define success for yourself, even if it looks different from what others are doing.


Stephamine MartinezFull Name: Stephanie Martinez

College: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) undergrad & University of Southern California (USC) graduate school 

Major/Minor: Bachelor of Arts in Chicana/o Studies and Spanish with an Education minor; Masters of Education in Educational Counseling (in-progress)

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Favorite snack/food: pasta, bagels, enchiladas, alfajores, medialunas 

Interesting fact: I have never had a pet. 

Piece of advice for FYE students: Never forget about the people in the back and where you came from. Try to be a support network to someone else because you wouldn't be where you are now without people in your life guiding you.

FYE Intern

Connie Photo

Full Name: Connie Wu

College/University/Grad School: UCLA, CSU Dominguez Hills

Major/Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Master of Science in Counseling

Hometown: Arcadia, CA

Favorite snack/food: sushi, popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, cheese puffs

One interesting fact: I love stand-up comedy

Piece of advice for FYE students: You are not alone in your educational journey. Don’t be afraid. Ask for help. Get involved. Connect with as many people as you can. It can lead you to amazing opportunities you didn’t think possible.

Student Workers

Katherine GFull Name: Katherine G Guemes

College: LACC/University: TBA

Major: Communication Studies 

Hometown: East Hollywood 

Favorite Snack/Food: Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers with Hummus, Vegan Burgers! 

One Interesting Fact: I am a cat lover! I have three cats at home and also becoming a eco-friendly person! 

Piece of advice for FYE students: Use a planner to help track your assignments, work, etc. Also go to office hours with assignments that you need help on, it helps a lot!!! Seek out resources on campus as they help you financially, academically, and personally . 


MarilynFull Name: Marilyn Martin

College/University/ Grad School: Los Angeles City College

Major/ Degree: Nursing 

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Favorite snack/food: Seafood, Fruit, Tacos, Sushi, Açaí bowls

One Interesting Fact: I used to have a pet iguana named Spike

Piece of advice for FYE students: One of the most important things I’ve learned is to ask help when you need it, use all of the resources the school offers. Also stay on top of your work because it makes life way easier and you’ll be able to live your life without worrying that your behind with assignments. 


jose picFull Name: Jose Ismael Chavez

College: LACC

Major/Degree: Computer Technology

Hometown: Los Angeles

Favorite snack/food: Pizza

One interesting fact: I'm a huge pokémon fan and my favorite pokémon is mudkip!

Piece of advice for FYE students: Take advantage of the resources that are available. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance! We're here to help!





Full Name: Ricardo Calderon

College/ University/Gradschool:Los Angeles City College

Major: Kinesiology 

Hometown: Los Angeles,CA

Favorite Food: Pozole burgers and tacos

One interesting fact: I once met snoop dogg and Dr. Dre while buying beats at the apple store 

Piece of advice for FYE students: Sometimes in life you do your very best to reach your goals but always remember to live your life and live every minute of