Each year, the Volunteer Center is fortunate to work with students from diverse backgrounds who share a love for service and community engagement. This spring, the Center celebrates the graduating seniors who have contributed to its programs and outreach efforts.
Student staff are an integral part of the UCLA Volunteer Center team. From leading service projects to promoting opportunities through the website and social media, students working in the office provide vital knowledge of campus and student interests. In the past year, the Center’s student staff has contributed greatly to many existing programs, making them more effective and inspiring for participants.
Jacqueline Adams joined the Center is the summer of 2015 as an External Affairs Intern and stayed on through the academic year as a staff Events Assistant. While at UCLA, she has been a sister of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, member of the UCLA Ski and Snowboard Team, and Executive Director for Project Literacy, a student-run service organization that aims to eradicate illiteracy in Los Angeles through one-on-one tutoring. For the Volunteer Center, Jacqueline has often served as Project Leader for One Bus, One Cause projects, and she played a key role in volunteer recruitment and management for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. After receiving her degree in Economics, Jacqueline plans to move to Austin to begin working for Oracle.
Aiko Marcial has worked as the Project SPELL Assistant since Fall 2015, supporting the program through a variety of projects, including event planning, website content development, and tutor recruitment. She will be graduating with a degree in Sociology and minors in African-American Studies and Labor & Workplace Studies. Aiko dreams of becoming an immigrant rights lawyer one day, and has participated in Law Fellows in addition to activism in the immigrant community. After graduation, she will be moving to Boyle Heights and preparing to apply to Law School.
The Volunteer Center Fellows serve as an advisory board that works with the Center to increase the accessibility of community service and civic engagement opportunities by creating and promoting resources, support systems, and projects for both campus service organizations and students. This year’s Fellows have contributed greatly to Volunteer Day, creating the first ever ServeFest, a post-Volunteer Day service organization fair; served as Operation Gratitude campus ambassadors; executed a series of events in celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Week; expanded Three Pillars, One University; and much more.
Arezou Akbarpour is completing her degree in Biology, having also served as a Resident Assistant and the Director for the Student Wellness Commission (SWC)’s committee SEARCH, which is dedicated to educating and relaying vital health information to the UCLA student body. In her two years as a Fellow, she acted as the board’s Residential Life Representative, co-chaired the Volunteer Appreciation Week Picnic Committee, and served as the campus ambassador for Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that serves members of the armed forces at home and overseas through care packages and letters.
Mario Enriquez is wrapping up his term as the External Chairperson of the Community Programs Office Student Association, an organization that oversees 31 community service projects that specialize in education, social justice, and health. He is also the Chairperson for the Student Risk Education Committee, which focuses on risk management and safety for student groups at UCLA. This year, he served as the Community Programs Office (CPO) representative to the Volunteer Center Fellows, promoting collaboration between CPO and the Center. Now completing his biology degree, Mario has been accepted into the police academy and plans to become an officer with the San Diego Police Department.
Joseph Tran is a Psychobiology major and a second-year Volunteer Center Fellow. He is the current Co-President and Co-Music Director of YOUTHphonics A Cappella, a service-oriented a cappella group that teaches weekly choir music lessons at Fairfax High School and sings and volunteers at various events around the UCLA & Los Angeles areas. He is also on the autism research team lead by Dr. Green in the UCLA Brain Mapping Center. In his time with the Volunteer Center, he chaired, presented, and performed at Three Pillars, One University events and was both a participant and coordinator of the Center’s Volunteer Leadership Program. After graduation, he hopes to to attend medical school and continue doing research.
Amanda Tapia is completing a Political Science Major with minors in both Education and Public Policy. One of her passions while at UCLA has been serving as Executive Director of the Community Service Commission (CSC)’s Project Bruins Reforming Incarceration Through Education (BRITE), a recent Mongelli Award winner. Through BRITE, Amanda has worked to break the school-to-prison-pipeline through education. In collaboration with the Volunteer Center, she chaired 2015’s Nonprofit Networking Night and served on the Volunteer Appreciation Week planning committee. Amanda has committed to continue service through Teach for America, through which she plans to be a Special Education Teacher in South LA starting this fall.
Andrew Rosenstein is a Pre-Med Film major at UCLA. He has worked with the Center since his freshman year by taking photographs and video at various service events, including shadowing the Chancellor at UCLA Volunteer Day. He also has been active since the beginning of the Center’s Three Pillars, One University (3P1U) program, which provides students with special needs the opportunity to attend a professor research symposium. Andrew served as chair for this year’s spring quarter arts and humanities-themed 3P1U. Andrew is passionate about the environment and helping others and plans to attend medical school in the future.
The Student Committee of Project SPELL (SCOPS) is responsible for promoting connections between students within Project SPELL as well as across campus. Their purpose is to create a tighter bond between tutors and to help Project SPELL develop and grow into a stronger organization. The Student Committee serves to provide a voice for the students in Project SPELL and to address the concerns and needs of the student tutors.
Izzy Villagomez will be completing her degree in Sociology with a Disability Studies minor. She has served as the Networking Manager for Project SPELL since 2015. She is also an active member and director for Best Buddies, a group that promotes friendships with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her other volunteer activities include Amigos de UCLA, a club that focuses on educational enrichment with elementary and middle school children, and UniCamp, UCLA’s largest student run charity organization that inspires nearly 1,200 children from low-income families to envision brighter futures by sending them off to an outdoor summer camp. In addition to her extracurricular activities, Izzy is a makeup enthusiast. She plans to pursue a post-graduate program in Speech Therapy at Eastern Washington State University.
Natasha Schimka will be receiving her degree in Linguistics with a specialization in computing and a minor in cognitive science. She has served as both the Social Media Organizer and Materials Manager for the Student Committee of Project SPELL. She recently presented a linguistics study on Spanish-English bilinguals during Undergraduate Research Week. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in Computational Linguistics in order to one day program robots.
Marissa Mayeda is a Psychobiology and English major and has been a part of Project SPELL since her first year at UCLA. She served as the Student Committee President for the 2015-16 academic year. She is a member of several student organizations, including Resonance A Cappella and Jumpstart, and volunteers at BunnyLuv Shelter. She also serves as an Undergraduate Assistant for Life Science Lab and Wood Autism Lab. She will be getting married next month and plans to join Teach for America next year as a Medical Science Biology teacher at Alliance Health Services Academy in Los Angeles.
The Social Media and Marketing Internship Program (SMMIP) provides students the resources to serve UCLA through cause-based marketing and social media. Interns used their new talent to bolster the online presence of an on-campus organization that they were paired with during their internship. In addition to assisting their respective on-campus organizations, participants also gained a better understanding of the Volunteer Center by participating in programs like One Bus, One Cause.
Mireille Keuroghlian is a fourth year Communication Studies major. This past summer she was selected as an intern for UCLA External Affairs through the Internship in University Advancement and Philanthropy and is also part of the Armenian Students Association and Kappa Delta Sorority. As part of SMMIP, Mireille used her new Adobe Photoshop skills to create recruiting materials for GRIT, a peer-to-peer coaching program. After graduating, she plans on pursuing a career in marketing strategy.
Daphne-Jane Dizon is a fourth year Economics major and Public Affairs minor at UCLA. She has been involved with Samahang Pilipino, HOOLIGAN Theatre Company, and BruinLIGHTS. Daphne has utilized her new design and media skills to generate flyers and digital invitations for the Undocumented Students Program. After UCLA, Daphne hopes to pursue a career in the business side of the entertainment industry, specifically in film and television.
Thank you to all of these outstanding graduates. Your dedication to serving the community has been inspirational, and the Volunteer Center celebrates your efforts. Congratulations!