Student Leadership Board

Student leadership group members smiling on campus

The mission of the Student Leadership Board is to build community within the Student Support Services Program and help foster the relationship between our program and the larger Brandeis community.

We organize events that support the experience of first-generation students, such as study breaks, the art gallery and the “I Am ...” events (including “I Am the First” and “I Am Present”). We celebrate our differences, achievements and struggles by unifying as one.

Each of us is not alone with our pursuit of education and our experiences that resonate with SSSP students. We connect, reunite and spread the word of family within the SSSP community.

Board Members, 2020-21

mesoud awol
Mesoud Awol ’23
Pronouns: He, him, his
  • Major: Business
  • Minor: Legal Studies
  • Hometown: Las Vegas

As a first-year on the Student Leadership Board, Mesoud is looking forward to making positive change, specifically by encouraging professional- and career-development programs for SSSP scholars. He is a huge NBA fan.

ceclina cao
Ceclina Cao ’22
Pronouns: She, her, hers
  • Majors: Health: Science, Society and Policy; Biology
  • Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

As a second-year member of the Student Leadership Board, Celina is excited about planning events that will bring the SSSP community together. She is also involved with the Waltham Group and the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children Club.

sandra casarez
Sandra Casarez ’21
Pronouns: She, her, hers
  • Majors: Health, Science, Society and Policy; Biology
  • Minor: Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Hometown: Santa Clarita, California

Sandra, a senior pre-med student from the Greater Los Angeles area, is the first in her family to attend college. This is her third year on the Student Leadership Board. She also participates in the SSSP's Peer Mentor program and in the Waltham Group.

Helen Lin
Helen Lin ’23
Pronouns: She, her, hers
  • Major: Computer Science
  • Minor: Education Studies
  • Hometown: Madison, Maine

Helen is a sophomore majoring in computer science with a minor in education studies. This is Helen's first year on the SLB and she is looking forward to planning events to bring the SSSP community together. Helen also participates in Waltham Group and is a member of the Fashion Design Club. In her free time, she enjoys drawing and baking.

jennifer manzano
Jennifer Manzano ’21
Pronouns: She, her, hers
  • Major: Health: Science, Society and Policy
  • Minor: Legal Studies
  • Hometown: Atlanta

Jennifer, a senior Posse Scholar, spent her summer as a research assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she will continue to work this school year. She spends much of her time working with the Brandeis Labor Coalition, taking part in actions particularly relating to immigration, health care and worker rights. She hopes to work within the field of law as an advocate for health care within immigration, disability, and low socioeconomic communities. This is her second year on the Student Leadership Board, and she is excited about the upcoming events that will educate and expand the SSSP family and Brandeis community.

markia neufville
Markia Neufville ’22
Pronouns: She, her, hers
  • Majors: Business, Sociology
  • Hometown: Portland, Jamaica

Markia was was born and raised in Portland, Jamaica, and now calls the Bronx, New York, home. She is double-majoring in business and sociology because she is interested in the human aspect of business. During her junior year, she looks to become more involved in campus life. She previously worked in the Division of Institutional Advancement's leadership annual giving office and served as an orientation leader for the Class of 2023. This is her first year on the Student Leadership Board, and she is excited to see what the team has in store for the upcoming year.

Zoë Pearce
Zoë Pearce ’22
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
  • Majors: Neuroscience, Biology
  • Minor: Chemistry
  • Hometown: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Zoë, a junior pre-medical student, is originally from Westmoreland, Jamaica, and now lives in Bridgeport, Connecticut. When she is not busy with classes, she spends her free time reading, listening to music and hanging out with her friends. This is her first year on SLB and she is excited to aid in the planning of events that will highlight the great work that the students of SSSP are doing on campus.

Diego Pereira
Diego Pereira ’23
Pronouns: He, him, his
  • Intended Major: Business, undecided
  • Hometown: Medford, Massachusetts

Diego is a sophomore with an intended major in business/undecided. This is going to be Diego's first year on the SLB, and he is looking forward most to seeing how he can help bring together the SSSP more often. Diego loves everything to do with geography, world history, soccer and current events.

Joao Rodrigues
Joao Rodrigues ’21
Pronouns: He, him, his
  • Major: Health: Science, Society and Policy
  • Minor: Legal Studies
  • Hometown: Brockton, Massachusetts

Joao, a senior, looks forward to taking an active role on the Student Leadership Board, especially planning the annual “I Am ...” event. Joao enjoys soccer and listening to rap music. After graduation, he plans to earn a master’s degree and embark on a career in health care policy, addressing inequities and disparities in the health care system. He has a specific interest in socio-determinants of health and how social factors impact both quality and access to health care.

irma zamarripa
Irma Zamarripa ’21
Pronouns: She, her, hers
  • Majors: Education Studies, Sociology
  • Minor: Social Justice and Social Policy
  • Hometown: Dallas

Irma is passionate about education, social justice and law. She hopes to one day serve as a member of the U.S. Department of Education to create beneficial and equitable policies for typically underserved students across the United States. She currently serves as president of the Brandeis chapter of Global Legal Empowerment Brigades and is excited to return to Honduras to provide legal education and financial resources to vulnerable families. Her involvement on campus would not be complete without highlighting her passion for the Student Support Services Program, where she has served as both a peer mentor and member of the Student Leadership Board for the past three years. A fun fact about Irma: She loves Mexican painter Frida Kahlo's life, art and legacy!