Peer Mentors

What is a Summer Academy Peer Mentor?peer mentor group

Summer Academy Peer Mentors are role models, peer advisers, and will be your go-to for all questions related to being a student at UCSC. Here to support your transition to academic and campus life at UCSC, Peer Mentors are second, third, and fourth year UCSC students who are experienced student leaders on campus or are students who went through Summer Academy programs themselves! They are passionate about working with students and will be available all summer long to provide support and guidance to Academy students on anything related to academics, UCSC resources, navigating the campus, college life, and the ins and outs of Santa Cruz.

“All three of our Peer Mentors were always available and happy to talk to each student. They always had a positive attitude and professional demeanor when I had a question for them."      
- 2017 Academy Student

Peer Mentors will also uphold housing policies, help to identify and address problematic issues and behavior in the residence halls and provide support in those situations with the goal of creating an inclusive, safe, and positive living environment for all. As peers who have been through the transition to college at UCSC themselves, they can share their personal experiences and will be happy to lend a helping hand to mentees throughout the summer. Peer Mentors also plan events, activities, and workshops for Academy students - so join in on the fun this summer, and get to know your Summer Academy Mentors.


Meet your 2018 Peer Mentors!


Kareem Bdeir (Lead Peer Mentor) [click here to read about Kareem]

Hello and welcome slugs! My name is Kareem and I'll be a Lead Mentor for y'all this summer! I am a biochemistry and molecular biology major from The Bay and I am elated and ready for another amazing summer at UCSC! I am involved in a few things on campus including residential life and undergraduate research. You can also just catch me studying because I sure do a lot of that. I'm definitely your go-to guy on any questions you may have about the classes, study tips, or just the university in general. I am here as a resource to you all and I can't wait to see everyone this summer!



Monica Estrada Arias (Lead Peer Mentor) [click here to read about Monica

My name is Monica Estrada and I'm a Peer Coach at Cowell College. I'm a third year majoring in Legal Studies with an Anthropology minor. In addition to being a Peer Coach, I am also an intern at SDIP (Student Diversity and Inclusion Program) and worked as an Orientation Leader over the summer. I'm originally from SoCal, although I now consider NorCal home too! I look forward to working with my fellow students.

Roquel Canton

Jasmin Ledesma-Villa (Lead Peer Mentor) [click here to read about Jasmin]

Hello, Slugs! My name is Jasmin Ledesma-Villa. I am originally from Fresno C.A. and I am currently in my fourth year here at UCSC. I am a first-generation Latina pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Education. I am affiliated with Oakes college and have worked closely with Oakes students in past as a Peer Adviser. I have also worked as a UCSC Tour Guide, Summer Orientation Leader, and a Peer Academic Success Coach on campus. Aside from classes and work, I intern at a local high school in their counseling office and I am also part of a UCSC research team through the Psychology Department. I am excited to meet you all and have a great summer!

Carlos Pacheco

Carlos Pacheco (Lead Peer Mentor) [click here to read about Carlos

Hello everyone! My name is Carlos F. Pacheco and I am a fourth year double major in Psychology and Sociology. I came to the U.S. in 2008 from Honduras, Central America. Relaxing in nature, listening to Classic Rock and Reggae, and helping others are some hobbies I am passionate about. As a Summer Academy Peer Mentor, I hope to help you with both academic and emotional support. I also work as one of the Oakes College Peer Advisers and am an active member of the Campus Sustainability Council (CSC). Helping you have a wonderful and easy transition from high school/college into UCSC is my top priority! I am an open person and willing to listen to any of your comments, opinions, and concerns. Welcome to the Summer Academy!

Chelsey Boykin

Chelsey Boykin [click here to read about Chelsey

Welcome, everyone! My name is Chelsey Boykin and my pronouns are she/her/hers and I am from Compton, California. I started at UCSC in the Summer Academy in 2016 and I am a 2nd year majoring in Intensive Psychology. I was the Chancellor Undergraduate Intern for Umoja which was an organization that host events to aid in the retention of African, Black, or Caribbean students. I am also a Research Student exploring first generations students and guilt. Also, will be heading off to do a Study Abroad Program in Barbados this coming Winter and Spring. I look forward to meeting you and creating a smooth transition into UCSC. If you have any questions about resources feel free to talk to me. Excited to see you soon!!

Aaron Cole

Aaron Cole [click here to read about Aaron

Hi everyone! My name is Aaron. I'm from Berkeley, California, and am going into my 3rd year here at UCSC as an Environmental Studies major / Spanish minor. This will be my second year being a Summer Academy Mentor. I was also an Academy student during my first summer here at UCSC! Summer Academy has been one of the best experiences I've had during my time here, and I hope everyone has a great time this summer!

Brittany Echevarria

Brittany Echevarria [click here to read about Brittany

Hello, I'm Brittany and am a proposed Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology major. My hobbies include playing water polo, listening to music, and reading. I was part of the First Year Academy and I loved it so much because I became comfortable with the campus and got a taste of what was ahead class wise. I made a lot of friends during Summer Academy so when school started I didn't feel alone. My main goal is to use my experience to help those who are transitioning into college.

Amber Gebert-Goldsmith

Amber Gebert-Goldsmith [click here to read about Amber

Hello! My name is Amber Gebert-Goldsmith. I am a second-year student affiliated with Porter College. I am a Theater Arts major with a passion for literature and technical design. I’m an out of state student from the rainy city of Seattle, Washington and was a part of the 2017 Summer Academy Program. This summer will be a monumental part of your time here at UCSC and I am so excited to share it with you!

Benjamin Gonzalez Cueto

Benjamin Gonzalez Cueto [click here to read about Benjamin

Hello! My name is Benjamin Gonzalez Cueto and I am a second-year Anthropology major. I was born and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I have already been a summer session student twice. I was able to have great peer mentors last summer, and I hope to be a good one this summer! Please feel free to ask questions and I look forward to getting to know everybody!

Hallie Holmes

Hallie Holmes [click here to read about Hallie

Hey slugs! Welcome to UCSC! I'm Hallie and I'm a second year Environmental Studies/Biology major. To help you get to know me, a few things I am passionate about are blueberry muffins, the ocean, the color blue, mangoes, and The Office (U.S.). Come talk to me about any of these things or help me expand my list! If you have questions about classes, campus life, or basically anything, I'm happy to help. Can't wait to meet you!

Pateley Johnson

Pateley Johnson [click here to read about Pateley

My name is Pateley.  For the past five years I have lived in San Diego, however, I was born in England and have lived in Santa Barbara and also Japan. I attended the First Year Academy in 2017 and had such a good time. I am a Film and Digital Media Major, so I am really interested in anything to do with film. I am also really passionate about musical theater especially when it is Disney related. So if any of you want to come and fan-girl with me about anything then I would not mind that. I can't wait to meet and get to know everyone over summer.  We are going to have fun!

Cate Luna

Cate Luna [click here to read about Cate

Hello, new Slugs! My Name is Cate Luna and I'm so excited to be your Peer Mentor! I can't wait to meet all of you and for you all to become a part of the UCSC community. I'm a Kresge affiliate double-majoring in Environmental Studies and Film & Digital Media. Winter Quarter I interned at the Kresge Garden and hope to continue working there in the future. Can't wait to hang out and get to know everyone!

Marc Peralta

Marc Peralta [click here to read about Marc

Greetings UCSC Summer Academy Students! My name is Marc Anthony Peralta and I am going to be one of your Peer Mentors this summer. I am a 3rd Year Student majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Applied Mathematics & Statistics. I am originally from East Los Angeles and am a really big sports fan - my favorite teams are the Green Bay Packers and the Celtics.

Questions for the Summer Academy Peer Mentors? Contact