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Project SPELL, a free tutoring service for UCLA employees, loves to acknowledge individuals who advo...

Project SPELL Volunteer Spotlight: Marissa Mayeda

December 7th, 2015

Project SPELL, a free tutoring service for UCLA employees, loves to acknowledge individuals who advocate, work hard, and dedicate themselves to the program, which is why we chose to celebrate Project SPELL’s 2015-16 President, Marissa Mayeda. Currently a 4th year student and a double major in Psychobiology and English, Marissa plans to teach after she graduates. She was recently accepted into the Teach for America program, which is a two year commitment. She will teach chemistry to high school students in Los Angeles and is looking forward to the new and exciting experience.


Marissa is one of Project SPELL’s most hardworking tutors. She discovered SPELL through an Applied Linguistics mailing list her freshmen year, making her the current tutor who has been with the program the longest. Her learner this quarter is Alba Roche, a Senior Custodian at UCLA who wants to improve her oral communication and listening skills. With Marissa as her tutor and Alba’s determination to learn, her English skills have vastly improved this quarter.


When asked what she loves most about Project SPELL, Marissa states that she enjoys working with people who are eager to learn and grow. She loves seeing the learners’ confidence grow as they progress through the program with their tutors, and she is genuinely grateful for the large number of dedicated students who work together as volunteer tutors. “Having the chance to help someone else can be inspiring,” Marissa explains, “…whenever we give, we receive so much more.”

About the Author

Izzy Villagomez 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.

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