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Student Committee of Project SPELL Overview Project SPELL Overview Marissa Mayeda - Presiden...

2015 – 2016 Student Committee of Project SPELL

October 13th, 2015
Marissa Mayeda – President

Marissa MayedaMarissa a fourth-year Psychobiology major and has been a part of Project SPELL for three years. Project SPELL has truly brought joy and new perspective to her college experience and life. She is confident that all of you will be inspired by your learners and impacted by the good you will spread in Project SPELL. She is so grateful for the contribution of your great energy and passion to our program. Thank you for your time and vision!

Ivonne Romero – Vice President

Yvonne RomeroIvonne is a third-year Microbiology major. Having joined Project SPELL in Fall 2014, this program has already become a very meaningful experience to her. Ivonne comes from a family of non-native English speakers and deeply understands the hardships of adults who have trouble communicating in English. Joining Project SPELL finally gave her the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people who want to learn English. Ivonne’s motto is that if we, as individuals, have the ability to help others, then we should. She is so proud of all of the Project SPELL tutors who put so much effort into their work, and hopes that everyone comes to know that they do indeed make a difference in the lives of their learners. She is very excited to see what Project SPELL holds for her in the following two years of her college life.

Jennifer Laborada – Secretary

JenniferJennifer  – Jennifer is third year Microbiology major who has been involved with Project SPELL since Fall 2014. Jennifer is very passionate about teaching and mentoring others. She strongly resonates with Project SPELL’s mission of building a community among UCLA employees and students. Thus far, her favorite memory as part of Project SPELL is helping her learner create a PowerPoint presentation on “Customer Service.” She finds it very rewarding when learners become more confident and comfortable with the English language.

Itzel (Izzy) Villagomez – Networking Manager

NatashaIzzy is a third-year Sociology major and Disability Studies minor who has been volunteering with Project SPELL since Fall 2014. One of her passions is education, particularly inclusive education towards individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Besides Project SPELL, Izzy enjoys volunteering and helping out the community in any way possible. She is part of several organizations that focus on children, teaching, education and disability studies. For example, Izzy is an active member and director for Best Buddies which promotes friendships with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Amigos de UCLA that focuses on educational enrichment with elementary and middle school children, and UniCamp which is 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.

Natasha Schimka – Materials Manager

NatashaNatasha is a fourth-year linguistics major with a computing specialization and a cognitive science minor. Although she only joined Project SPELL last fall, teaching and connecting with her learner has been a highlight of her experience at UCLA. In her free time, she loves skydiving with sharks and overthrowing local monarchies but mostly the simple things in life, like watching paint dry. She is also a writer of stories, a reader of fiction, a climber of trees, and a shameless nerd.

Jaycob Avaylon – Social Media Manager

JaycobJaycob is a third-year Biochemistry major and Biomedical Research minor who has been volunteering with Project SPELL since the Fall of 2014. He shows incredible drive and motivation to teach his learners English in the best way possible and help the program grow larger to reach out to more learners and tutors. This level of commitment extends to his volunteer work at the Emergency Room in UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center and his research resolving protein nanotube structures using cryo-electron microscopy. When not studying, you can find him playing tennis with friends, binge watching the latest TV shows, or dreaming of Project SPELL.

Nikta Kheiri – Student Committee Assistant


Nikta is a third-year Physiological Science major who has been volunteering with Project SPELL since Summer 2014. Having been born and raised in Iran, she understands the struggles of adapting to a new culture and language, and she uses her personal experience in her tutoring sessions. She is happy to be apart of Project SPELL because she can help the learners the same way she was helped when she moved to the US. Project SPELL has been more than a volunteering opportunity for her, and it has greatly influenced her undergraduate experience so she encourages everyone to join the program. She also enjoys reading books and watching foreign movies, as well as, volunteering at the Ronald Reagan Hospital.

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