How can I become a Peer Mentor?

**If you are interested in becoming a Peer Mentor, more information can be found here.**

Mentor Bios

Jodecy Colon ‘15

Jodecy Colon

My name is Jodecy Colon and I am a rising junior at Brandeis. I am 20 years old and I am from Brooklyn, New York. I am Puerto-Rican and I have three sisters and two brothers. I am a Chemistry major and am interested in doing medical research and I hopefully plan to attend medical school back in New York, as I want to be a pediatric oncologist. I love sports (particularly boxing), reading, watching movies and spending time with friends and family. I also am a Christian and am very involved in my bible study group at Brandeis and my church in Cambridge.

Cristina Dones ‘14

Cristina Dones

Hi! My name is Cristina Dones and I'm a senior majoring in Women and Gender Studies and minoring in Theater. I'm a Bronx native, I love the color green and cooking with my friends! I do some slam poetry, plays, and I'm part of Brandeis Bhangra. I enjoy getting involved, so don't be surprised if you see me with my hair out of place on campus :)

Yesenia Herrera ‘15

Yesenia Herrera

I was born in Boston to a Guatemalan father and a Honduran mother. I am a hardcore Boston fan and watch all the sports, but especially love to watch football and soccer. I am very much involved in my church as a worship and youth leader, where my dad is a pastor, and absolutely love kids and youth! Mentoring them has always been my passion in life. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Elementary Education in the hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher. With God’s help, I will be graduating in 2015.

Zoha Hussain ‘14

Zoha Hussain

My name is Zoha Hussain and I am a senior majoring in Health: Science, Society and Policy and minoring in Islamic Middle Eastern Studies. I am a Pakistani American and was born and raised in Massachusetts. I am a huge Celtics fan, I could eat pints of Ben&Jerry's chocolate fudge brownie ice cream all day and I love dancing! I have been on the Brandeis Bhangra team for the past two years and I have also served as the President of the Muslim Student's Association. I aspire to become a Pediatrician. I am incredibly interested in studying health care disparities around the world and my goal is to one day provide medical aid to less fortunate communities anywhere in the world.

Nicholas Medina ‘14

Nicholas Medina

I am a Science Posse Scholar from New York City whose family is from the Dominican Republic. I currently study Biology and Environmental Studies and plan to graduate in May 2014. Throughout the past three years I have served twice as an Orientation Leader at Brandeis, worked and done developmental neurobiology research in the Birren Lab, been a youth program mentor for (and done environmental research with) the National Park Service, and have successfully studied ecology abroad in Panama with SIT as a Gilman Scholar. This summer I am happy to get to intern with Osa Conservation in Costa Rica as a 2013 WOW fellow. Oh, and I am proud to say that I survive Brandeis with the help of a wonderfully accepting and supportive community. Outside of class, I really enjoy playing tennis, dancing salsa, playing music on percussion or bass, and having fruitful one-on-one conversations with friends and strangers. Finally, I'm super excited to be a '13-'14 SSSP Peer Mentor and bond with the SSSP class of 2017!

Vinh Nguyen ‘15

Vinh Nguyen

Originally born in Indonesia, Vinh came to America when he was eight and has since been proud to call Worcester, Massachusetts his hometown. Majoring in Biology and minoring in Education, Vinh plans to become a high school biology teacher--but really that's just his excuse to wear cardigans and bow ties every day. When he's not in class, Vinh can be found volunteering with Brandeis Buddies, being creative with Fashion Club, writing for the Brandeis Hoot, getting lost in the MFA or daydreaming about being an Iron Chef. With SSSP close to his heart, Vinh is also part of the Student Leadership Board (SLB) and can’t wait to start a new academic year organizing activities for the SSSP community with his fellow board members. He is ecstatic to be a peer mentor for the first time and is greatly looking forward to meeting the incoming SSSP students!!

Brianda Penafort ‘14

My name is Brianda Penafort and I am 20 years old and form a part of the class of 2014. I am a double major in Anthropology and Hispanic Studies and a minor in Business. I am Mexican-American from the Bronx, New York. A majority of my time goes into volunteering, teaching English and tutoring kids. I hope to receive my Masters in Business and go into international business with a focus on research. With my Hispanic Studies major and my study abroad experience in Spain I hope to be able to use my Spanish in my future work environment. My years at Brandeis have been the best and I am excited to take on the future.

Lara Tavares ‘16

Lara Tavares

My name is Lara Tavares, and I am a member of the class of 2016. I am originally from Cape Verde, but I am currently living in Boston. I am also a Transitional Year Program (TYP) alum, majoring in Education Studies, and I am interested in becoming a college adviser.

Rupert Thomas ‘14

Rupert Thomas

I am a senior at Brandeis University expecting to major in Psychology and Sociology with the hope of pursuing a career in adolescent clinical psychology. I was born in Newark, NJ but currently live in Roselle, NJ with my mother and father, little sister and twin brother. In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, watching movies, going to the gym and spending time with my friends. I am a second year research assistant in Professor Rohleder’s Health Psychology lab and Head Coordinator of Operations for the Escort Safety Service.

Paul Vancea ‘14

Paul Vancea

Paul Vancea, Brandeis class of 2014, is majoring in business, economics, and film studies. Paul moved to the United States from Romania with his family when he was 14. In high school, Paul was MVP of his football, wrestling and track teams while working full-time with his family’s business and maintaining a nearly perfect GPA.

In his freshman year at Brandeis, Paul and a roommate initiated a student health and fitness club. In addition, in his sophomore year, Paul and another roommate started a media production company. Last summer, Paul interned at Albright Stonebridge Group, a global consulting firm in DC founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Segal Fellowship founder, Samuel “Sandy” Berger. In addition, as Segal fellows, Paul and Aaron Chalek used their lunch breaks and spare time during their internship in DC to make a pilot documentary about Eli J. Segal, a legend in politics and business.

Paul interned with Viewpoint Creative, a creative firm that offers marketing solutions for entertainment and lifestyle brands, during the spring semester of 2013. In the summer, Paul will intern with the startup tech company IRIS.TV to learn more about web and mobile video distribution and monetization in Los Angeles, and a film festival in Hollywood.