Ethnic Studies Education Pathways Project

Student Mentees 2021

Rene Arana

Rene Arana (he/him/his)
Chicana/o Studies

Growing up in a low-income community ethnic studies was never talked let alone taught. It wasn't until college in which I got introduced to it. My upbringing fuels my passion now to bring ethnic studies to marginalized low-income communities.


De'Zha BoyntonDe’zha Boynton (she/her/hers)
Minor in Africana Studies

I am a Mentor/Peer Advisor for a program called TRiO Student Support Services Program at CSUN. This program caters to low-income, first-generation college students. Aside from being a Mentor/Peer Advisor, I am also an English Tutor for the program where I help students with their essays, grammar, and research. I have been a part of this program for the past two years.

Malik CampbellMalik (Mac) Campbell (he/they)
Minors in Africana Studies and Psychology

I've had the privilege of learning in an Africana Studies class my freshman year (after being in white schools for part of K-12). Since then, it's continued giving me the tools I need to not only succeed but be great.

Desiree CuadraDesiree Cuadra (she/her)
Liberal Studies

I am the proud daughter of Salvadoran immigrants who came to the states in hopes of better opportunities. Because they grew up without many opportunities to access a quality education, education has always been something important to me as I know it is a privilege. This is what fueled my love for education & inspires me to be an educator who uplifts students of marginalized backgrounds and show them the power of education.

Sara Estrada-CooperSara Estrada-Cooper (she/her/ella)
Political Science
Minor in Sociology

Hello! My name is Sara, and I am a mixed-race abolitionist with a focus on disability justice and is in hope of becoming a social worker! Growing up in Kern County, I really want to bring back ethnic studies approaches that can be implemented in K-12 education in the area. During my personal time, I love to play tennis, meditate, go to the coast, and hang out with my cat. Rest is a radical act!

Anaya GalvesAnaya Galves (she/her/hers)
Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

I am deeply rooted in Student Affairs as I spent all my undergraduate years in student housing. My background in Africana Studies has granted me the ability to strive and work with students across all diasporas. I live to mentor, and be an aid to students academically and mentally.

Melanie JinezMelanie Jinez (she/her)
Early Childhood and Adolescent Development

I am a junior at CSUN majoring in early childhood and adolescent development. I hope to become a preschool teacher for a few years while incorporating ethnic studies in my teaching. I hope to teach children that they are each unique, beautiful, powerful, and important. I also want to help people and want to give a voice to those who are constantly being oppressed. 

Angelica Lara VelascoAngelica Lara Velsaco (she/her/hers/ella)
Chicano/a Studies and Sociology

I realized at a young age that I wanted to help oppressed and underserved communities, just like the one that I came from. Growing up in Compton, California shaped me into becoming a goal-driven individual willing to create a change in the stereotypes given to people of color. Realizing the need for advocates for marginalized groups, I decided to pursue my degree in Sociology and Chicano/a Studies at California State University, Northridge.

Holly LinHolly Lin (they/them/she/her)
Asian American Studies and Psychology

Holly is a child of immigrant parents and a first-generation college student. Their passion for community organizing led them to be involved in CSUN’s Asian American Studies Pathways Project (AASPP) which serves as a community building and retention hub for AAPI students. Currently, they serve as the Vice Chairperson of Anakbayan Los Angeles, fighting for the genuine liberation of the Philippines.

Nadine MartinezNadine Martinez (she/her/hers)
Minor in Chicana/o Studies

Nadine Martinez grew up in the public schools, which opened her eyes to all the flaws within the education system. This motivated her determination to become a teacher for English and ethnic studies.

Naim MuhammadNaim Muhammad
Africana Studies

I have been an active organizer at CSUN in fighting to keep ethnic studies in our university.

Bibiana MunozBibiana Muñoz (she/her)

I am going to school to become a school counselor to help advocate for students. I want to help stop the school-to-prison pipeline along with providing support to those children. Also, I want to be able to help those children in lower socioeconomic homes thrive to success.

Fabian PachecoFabian Pacheco (he/him/his)
School Counseling

Fabian possesses an unwavering belief that all students despite systematic racism and discrimination have the promise to pursue higher education. As an aspiring school counselor, I seek to create and sustain a college-going culture that promotes equity and recognizes student diversity and centers their experiences as a method of informing my practices.

Vanessa PantojaVanessa Pantoja (she/her)
Single Subject Credential Program

My name is Vanessa Pantoja, I am a first-generation Mexican-American, a first-generation college student and a proud Chicana from Oxnard, CA. I became determined to contribute my life to become a teacher with the purpose of encouraging students to pursue higher education when I was introduced to ethnic studies and discovered the positive impact it has on student's lives. Ethnic Studies has been transformative in my life by making me feel empowered, liberated, and inspired to help my community.

Emily Murrillo-Rivera.Emily Rivera-Murrillo (she/they)
Chicano/a Studies Social Science Subject Matter Waiver

I am a first-generation college student pursuing a career in teaching because I am passionate about working with students of color. As a future educator, it is crucial for me to center on Ethnic Studies and abolitionist practices in the classroom and beyond. I hope to inspire and empower students!

Yahana ThomasYahana Thomas (she/her/hers)
Multiple Subject Credential Program

I have worked as a substitute teacher for the Victor Elementary School District and Adelanto Elementary School District and completed over 120 hours of teaching. I hope to learn best practices and strategies to support students of color in the classroom. I hope to gain a deep understanding of Ethnic Studies Pedagogies and LESMC. I am interested in pursuing a career in education because I love to teach and learn. I am passionate about providing students with an Anti-racist education. I want to work with students of color and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. I want to support students in developing a growth mindset.

Tyra Darnell WhiteTyra D. White (she/her/hers)
Specialized Deaf and Hard of Hearing Credential Program

I am a proud product of a K-12 Resource Specialist Program (RSP). Currently in my second semester of the Specialized DHH credential program. President of the Black Signers Club on Campus. Jobs/projects include; student assistant for "Black Deaf California Project", peer tutor Africana studies writing center, and an SCIA for high school mod-severe program.

Nancy Roman ZavalaNancy Roman Zavala (she/her/hers)
Chicana/o Studies
Minors in Gender and Women's Studies and Civic and Community Engagement

I am a first-generation Chicana college student from Florence-Graham CA. I want to teach Ethnic studies to young students so that they can learn more about the real history of their people, connect their experiences and acknowledge their ancestors. My experience of tutoring young students of color has become my motivation for becoming a teacher so that they can also receive a higher education.


Mentees Not Pictured

Yoselin De Leon
Early Childhood and Adolescent Development and Central American Studies

Miguel Forteza
Anthropology and Asian American Studies

Jennifer Juarez
Minor in American Indian Studies

Carrolee Logan
Africana Studies

Bryant Martinez
English Subject Matter/ Chicana/o Studies

Fontae Smith
Africana Studies