Our College Advisors

  • Jameia McDuffie

    • College:
      University Of Hawaii Hilo (BA) Communications
      Loyola Marymount University (MA) Guidance & Counseling
    • My biggest influence:
      My parents and the sport of basketball were two of the largest influences in my life. My parents always taught me the importance of education and self-respect. If you want to be anything in this world it starts with self. Athletics afforded me the opportunity to travel many places and overcome adversities at a young age.
    • Why I love my job:
      Providing opportunities for students to be empowered in their own education and self-growth is a job I take very seriously. The work I do as an academic advisor enables me to be a guiding light for many students.
    • My passions are:
      My passions are combating socio-economic injustice for Black and Latino communities. I am also very passionate about promoting veganism and leading a healthy balanced lifestyle.
    • Favorite Quote:
      Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for today- Malcolm X
      Consistent Action Creates Consistent Results- JM
  • Kelly Li

    • College:
      University of California, Berkeley (BA) Sociology
    • My biggest influence:
      My mother has always been my biggest influence. I’ve watched her overcome her struggles with tremendous strength and optimism and she inspires me to persevere and keep pushing myself.
    • Why I love my job:
      I recognized early on in my undergrad career the need for equity in our school systems, as opportunities and knowledge are not equally distributed. As an FYA, I get to connect students with the resources necessary to help them succeed in higher education and beyond every day!
    • My passions are:
      I am passionate about fighting to make higher education more accessible and social justice movements surrounding gender and LGBTQ+ equality.
    • Favorite Quote:
      Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. – Anaïs Nin
  • Autumn Cunningham

    • College:
      California State University, Northridge (BS) Biology
      California State University, Dominguez Hills (BA) Sociology
    • My biggest influence:
      My family is the one thing that drives me. All of my successes are tied into the support they give.
    • Why I love my job:
      I know what it feels like to think that you are not good enough to go to college, or to feel so lost that you would feel lucky just to graduate high school. I love my job because I feel like am making a real difference in the lives of kids who wouldn’t otherwise have the resource.
    • My passions are:
      My passion is education and the preservation of social justice. I feel strongly that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and succeed in higher education.
    • Favorite Quote:
      No problem can be solved from the same level of conscious that created it. – Albert Einstein
  • Sophia Lee

    • College:
      California State University, Northridge (BA) Child and Adolescent Development
    • My biggest influence:
      My mother is my biggest influence and inspiration. Her strength as a woman and power as a mother amazes me. I am humbled by all the privileges I have gained because of the sacrifices she made.
    • Why I love my job:
      I love working with students and helping bridge the gap between high school and college. GEAR UP is an amazing program that makes higher education accessible and college a reality for students.
    • My passions are:
      I am passionate about fighting for women and POC empowerment, combatting bullying issues in youth, and making higher education accessible.
    • Favorite Quote:
      Nevertheless, she persisted. – Elizabeth Warren
  • Yadira Bribiesca

    • College:
      University of California, Los Angeles (BA) Human Biology
    • My biggest influence:
      My younger brother is my biggest influence. Despite his numerous challenges, he is the definition of a warrior. I build from his strength and light.
    • Why I love my job:
      As a first generation college student, I lived through the barriers of not having enough resources in pursuit of my education. I love my job because it gives me the opportunity to address these barriers for students who come from similar backgrounds as mine. I am humbled to be an agent of change in the lives of hardworking, bright students by increasing their support system and connecting them to key resources that will allow them to succeed.
    • My passions are:
      I am passionate of bringing social justice in education and health to marginalized communities like South Los Angeles. For too long we have lacked access to equitable resources that are crucial to lead sustainable communities. I am passionate about increasing resources that will improve the mental health of communities of color given that this is the cornerstone of living a healthy productive life! 
    • Favorite Quote:
      Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it. – Buddha
  • Gladys Mendez

    • College:
      Mount Saint Mary’s University (Master of Science) General Counseling Psychology
      California State University, San Bernardino (Dual BA) Psychology and Human Development
    • My biggest influence:
      My family, without their love and support, I may not be here today!
    • Why I love my job:
      I love my job because I truly feel I am helping make a difference in our society by encouraging our youth to continue their education, and to build the confidence to overcome obstacles they may encounter on their road to success. The gratitude students demonstrate inspire me every day to continue to fight for equitable education for all. #LatinosInEducation
    • My passions are:
      I am passionate about taking every opportunity and making the best of it. I truly believe that in our daily life we have the choice to continuously learn and to use that knowledge to make a difference in this world. I feel it is important to fight for our youth, so that they are able to live in a socially justice environment that promotes them to be the best they can be.
    • Favorite Quote:
      There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle. – Dr. Deepak Chopra