Kaylynn Nicks is a graduate of Immaculate Conception Academy in San Francisco. During her time there, she participated in the Academy’s corporate work-study program, which allowed her to gain two years of entry-level work experience while still in high school. Kaylynn was accepted into universities after her senior year, but she chose CSM for its beautiful campus and dedication to excellent student services. Kaylynn is a nursing major in her second year at CSM. Her goal is to transfer to a 4-year university to earn her bachelor's degree in nursing science. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, practicing film photography and volunteering at various non-profit organizations.
Alexis Madayag is a graduate of Carlmont High School and San Francisco State University. He is currently a graduate student at Notre Dame de Namur University. “I was able to work with the best professors and instructors in the Human Services department who taught me real-world case scenarios in the industry and I learned professional counseling skills to help serve others in need,” he says. Along with his work as a Student Ambassador, Alexis has interned for KCSM-TV and performed at Electronic Music concerts. When he’s not helping students or studying, Alexis wears many hats. He enjoys being a DJ, volunteering at local non-profits, and shooting and editing video pieces. Alexis is an Ambassador at Burlingame, Carlmont and Mills High schools.
Proud Benyasri has completed her studies at College of San Mateo. She began her time at CSM in the Concurrent Enrollment Program while attending San Mateo High School. In addition to being involved with the Student Ambassador program, she was also a student senator, cheerleader and a member of both campus honor societies. She is fluent in Thai and her goal is currently a media studies major at UC Berkeley.
After graduating from San Mateo High School, Arianna Vega Avendaño was drawn to CSM because of the wide array of programs and support services such as EOPS and the Transfer Center. “The knowledge I am gaining at the college, I hope to pass on to a future student as a Student Ambassador,” Arianna said. Now student at Cal State East Bay, the Psychology major served as the first Lead Ambassador for the program. One day she hopes to work as a therapist with a focus on life coaching and anger management. When she’s not working or going to school, Arianna enjoys scrapbooking, watching movies and spending time with family.
Jenna Finegold completed her second year at CSM in 2009 and is a graduate of Mills High School. Jenna is leaning towards pursuing a degree in psychology from a four-year university. Her hopes was to someday go to dental school and become an orthodontist. Jenna enjoys cooking and dining out with friends on her spare time. She was also an active member or the Associated Students of College of San Mateo and coached a middle school volleyball team. Jenna attributes most of her growth since high school to the opportunities and support that is given at CSM. She believes that attending a community college has allowed her to mature and choose the goals that she would like to pursue. After her time at CSM, Jenna studied abroad in Spain.
Shawn McGriff Jr. completed his studies at College of San Mateo. A graduate of Hogan High School in Vallejo, CA, Shawn came to CSM upon the influence of friends on the football team. On his experience at CSM, Shawn said, “I have loved every moment at CSM since I have been here.” Shawn graduated with an A.A. in Social Science in May 2011 and now attends San Francisco State University. His goal is to eventually teach. When he’s not studying or working as an Ambassador, Shawn enjoys spending time with his family and playing sports.
Up until his junior and senior year in high school, Justin Hoffman did not care much for school. He turned it all around by realizing that he had the potential to become a great student. When reflecting upon his experience, Justin said, "I went from having a GPA below 2.0 to earning a 4.0 for the first time in my life." Justin was an honor student and student senator at College of San Mateo. He is now a senior at UC Berkeley and his career goal is to work as a social entrepreneur in the developing world. In his spare time, Justin enjoys exercise, reading and researching.
Thanks to advice from a friend and her sister, Hillsdale High School graduate, Sandie Bello, decided to return to school to pursue higher education at College of San Mateo. “It has a great reputation for academic excellence and is a beautiful campus. The instructors at CSM are top notch, very helpful, wise and enouraging ,” Bello said. In her time at CSM, Sandie has taken advantage of support programs like EOPS, counseling and the career center. Sandie is a senior at Cal State East Bay as an Anthropology major.
After graduating from CSM in 2006, Eric Thurston transferred to UC Berkeley and earned a bachelor's degree. He returned to CSM to take Fire Technology courses and has interned as a student professor for the Philosophy Department. As a Student Ambassador at CSM, Eric felt that he was able to make a meaningful contribution to others. He plans to pursue graduate studies iand hopes to become a firefighter. Eric's other interests include yoga, rock climbing, archery, painting and cooking.
Following the footsteps of her brother and cousins, San Mateo High School graduate, Anna Keilo, decided to attend College of San Mateo. After her second year at the college, the Psychology major and was admitted to UCLA. When asked why she chose to become a Student Ambassador, Anna said, “I was confused as a senior, not knowing what college to go to and how to go about it. I would love to help students out so they don't have to feel the way I felt.” In her spare time, Anna enjoys reading, watching movies, exercise, shopping and playing softball.
Jacqueline Guilbault is a Mills High School graduate and plans on pursuing a career in marketing and public relations. Her previous experience includes volunteering for Congresswoman Jackie Speier, writing for The San Matean and interning for the marketing department at AAA. Jacqueline transferred to and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno after completing her studies at CSM in 2009.
Melissa Vizcarra graduated from San Mateo High School and is studying administration of justice at CSM. She hopes to one day be a social worker and in the Fall of 2010 transferred to San Francisco State University with a major in Criminal Justice. Presently, Melissa works for a mental health agency called Edgewood Center, facilitating two groups: Women's Group and Anger Replacement Therapy. She's also involved in California Youth Connection, a group that discusses governmental policies and is run by foster youth. Aside from this, Melissa enjoys watching movies and "cooking up a storm in the kitchen."
CSM student Yesenia M. Aviles hopes to someday become a professor of Latin American studies. She already possesses two human service certificates: one in community health and the other in family development. "I hope to contribute and give back to the community, especially to low-income single parents and high risk youth," she says. Yesenia is a single mother herself, raising three children. She enjoyed her work as a Student Ambassador where she educated high school students who, Yesenia says, "are our future leaders." The next step on Yesenia's educational journey has begun at UC Davis.
Lina Li enrolled in summer courses at CSM while she was attending San Mateo High School and, upon graduating, decided to continue taking courses at CSM because she loves the diverse environment and professional, caring faculty. She has completed her second year at CSM and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English. As a Student Ambassador, Lina felt that she can gave something back to CSM because she "gained priceless knowledge that better prepares (her) for future challenges." She enjoys spending time with friends, swimming, photography, and karaoke.
Upon graduating from high school in Hong Kong, Sunny Shek wanted to enroll in college courses at a school in the United States. Based upon a recommendation from his high school teacher, along with encouragement from a friend, Sunny decided to attend CSM and major in economics. Sunny settled into the CSM environment by taking advantage of services offered by the International Students office as well as the Writing Center. As an ambassador, Sunny enhanced his communication skills, especially public speaking. Sunny enjoys watching movies and traveling. In the fall of 2009, Sunny has traveled south to Los Angeles to pursue his bachelor's degree in Economics at the University of Southern California.
A native of Brazil, Heliane Marlowe chose to attend CSM after relocating to the Bay Area and earned an associate's degree in Business Administration in 2006. "CSM offered all of the support I needed to take classes," she says. Heliane is completing additional courses at CSM and plans to transfer to San Francisco State University. She hopes to become an ESL instructor. In her spare time, Heliane enjoys participating in outdoor activities such as rock climbing and hiking, as well as spending time with her children. She hopes that they will attend CSM after graduating from high school.