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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)

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.

ClaudiaClaudia Montalvan

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

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

Emily Photo

Full Name: Emily Ballesteros

College/University/Grad School: Glendale Community College (GCC), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California (USC)

Major/Degree: Associates of Arts in Sociology, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies, Master of Education in Educational Counseling (in progress)

Hometown: El Paso, TX 

Favorite snack/food: Fruit, Acai Bowls, Dark Chocolate, Thai Food, and anything vegan 

One interesting fact: I was once pranked on the Ellen Show by Emma Watson 

Piece of advice for FYE students: Be kind to yourself. Remember that this is YOUR journey. This is not a race and it doesn’t matter how you get to the finish line. Accomplishing your educational and career goals should come at your own pace. Utilize your resources and if you are unsure about what resources are available to you, ask us. You have a support system here ready to help you achieve your goals!