OUR STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL
CAP's student advisors are active members of our I Heart College Program who wish to support their home community in meaningful ways through advising CAP's staff and board, helping them to be responsive to student needs, and by providing insight, expertise, and mentorship to younger CAP students as they navigate the college readiness process. They are all leaders who attend a variety of colleges throughout California and the country and who commit to a one-year term on the Student Advisory Council.
Juliette DerbyshireAzusa Pacific University
After graduating from Blair High School in 2014, Juliette went on to Pasadena City College for two years and has recently transferred to Azusa Pacific University where she will study Sociology. This last summer she had the honor of interning for CAP, and she’s thrilled to be an advisor and work with CAP once again! The experience she had with CAP is helping her to work towards her goal of becoming a guidance counselor to help high school students transition to college, or whatever may be next. She is excited to support CAP students and is open to any student questions concerning college, study abroad, transferring, and more.
Marisol is a first generation college student who graduated from Blair High School June 2016. She is currently a freshman at UCLA majoring in sociology with minors in education and Chicano/Chicana studies. When she is older, she plans to pursue a career in education as a high school principal. CAP supported her through test preparation, college applications, personal statements, and scholarships. Marisol learned that the steps to attending college can be rigorous and challenging, but with hard work, help from others, and dedication, anything is possible. Marisol is excited to serve on the advisory board to help promote the program to others who might need this resource, which helped her accomplish her goal of being the first in her family to go to college.
Rogelio FloresUC Santa Cruz
Rogelio is a first generation Mexican-American and a senior at UC Santa Cruz. He is majoring in Technology and Information Management with a minor in Computer Science. He stays highly involved with College Ten, one of ten communities that make up UC Santa Cruz where he holds two roles: Orientation Leader and Peer Facilitator. He has a growing passion for artificial intelligence and data analytics, he strives to learn more during his courses, and he works hard to create a future that will involve those fields. He is an alumnus of John Muir High School's class of 2013 and the Puente program. While attending John Muir, Rogelio was part of the Business and Entrepreneurship Academy and a tutor for El Centro's Youth Leadership academy. In high school, he was involved with CAP for two years and was constantly at CAP getting help with his college plans during his senior year.
Chelsea HoCSU Long Beach
Chelsea is a big fan of giant slices of pizza and is a slightly bigger fan of social justice and education issues. She likes to think she’s headed for a “Parks & Rec”/ “Veep”-like future in a combination of domestic and international socio-political affairs. Building this career path, Chelsea is currently a junior majoring in International Relations who recently transferred from The University of Redlands to CSULB after completing a Taiwanese study abroad program in the fall of 2016. At Redlands, she was deeply involved in diversity affairs, mainly through internship work at the Campus Diversity and Inclusion office and with the school’s Asian Student Association. She says that she never would have made it to this point if she hadn’t crossed paths with her CAP family at Blair High School, where she graduated in 2014. Chelsea is very proud to be CAP alumna and hopes that she can help pay it forward as a member of the student advisory council.
Kimberly MereneUC San Diego
Kimberly was born and raised in Pasadena and is a first generation college student. She participated in CAP during her junior and senior years at Blair High School, where she graduated from in 2016 as an IB Certificate candidate with honor roll standing. As a member of CAP’s Student Advisory Council, she aims to collaborate with board members and inspire students to strive for their career goals regardless of their individual backgrounds. She is currently attending the University of California, San Diego, as a freshman majoring in Physiology and Neuroscience. Kimberly has interned at Villa Gardens Health Center and volunteered at Huntington Memorial Hospital’s surgical unit. After acquiring her college degree, she plans to attend medical school and specialize in general surgery. Kimberly is motivated to explore the field of medicine to contribute to stem cell research, mentor young doctors, and care for and serve others to ensure a healthier generation.
Diego is a graduate of John Muir. While a high school student, he was an active member in his school’s newspaper, where he was the editor in chief for the 2015-2016 school year. He also participated in competitive swimming for four years and was a student ambassador for the 2016 Tournament of Roses. Diego now attends UCLA and hopes to major in English. While attending college, he hopes to become involved in UCLA’s student media and join the Bruin Swim Club. In his spare time, Diego enjoys kayaking, watching TV shows on Netflix, and listening to music. Diego first became involved with CAP by participating in their SAT prep course during his junior year of high school. He then became a regular attendee of CAP’s after-school drop-in program so he could receive help with his college apps. Diego is excited to be on CAP’s student council because he wants to be a resource for his peers who may need help applying for college.
Michael OconStanford University
Michael is a graduate of Pasadena High School and a freshman at Stanford University. He is attending his dream school on a full-tuition scholarship thanks in part to the support he received from CAP. Previously, he was a legal assistant at the Figari Law Firm, a student advisory board member of the California Judicial Council, and lead of four programs at PHS. It is his desire to direct his extensive knowledge and experience regarding high school and service towards efforts that will not only bolster CAP, but enhance each student’s experience with the program as well. He is a firm believer that education is the great equalizer that transcends race, religion and creed; in a time of limited budgets and underserved schooling, CAP empowers students to take part in that equalizer. In this way, we make the world a better place one student at a time.
Stephanie RetanaUC Riverside
Stephanie graduated from John Marshall Fundamental in 2014. At Marshall, Stephanie was involved in multiple clubs dedicated to helping the community such as Unidos, Puente, and National Honor Society. After graduating from Marshall, Stephanie took a year off but is now attending UC Riverside. She is currently a Pre-Business candidate and will be applying to UC Riverside’s business school in the Spring. She is also looking forward to majoring in dance and hopes to open a dance studio someday. Stephanie has a passion for helping others and plans to start her own non-profit organization. She is currently a mentor for first-year students at UC Riverside and for Level Up. When she is not studying hard, Stephanie enjoys being with her family, her best friends, and her pets. She is excited to be part of the CAP family so that she can give back to those who have helped her get where she is.
Julia SeeJohns Hopkins University
Julia graduated from Blair High School (go Vikings!) in 2016 with an International Baccalaureate Diploma and is attending Johns Hopkins University (go Hop!). She plans to major in behavioral biology and will hopefully double major in bioethics and visual art. Aside from her academics, Julia plans to join the wind ensemble, conduct research, and participate in various clubs. After getting her Bachelor's, Julia hopes to attend medical school. She was first introduced to CAP through SAT workshops, and CAP has helped her ever since with college applications, resumes, and more. Julia is excited to serve on the Student Advisory Council because it is a way to give back after CAP helped her get into her dream school.
Rebeca SouzaHumboldt State University
Rebeca Itzel Souza graduated Blair High School in 2013. Her relationship with College Access Plan can be described as appreciative. During her first year of college CAP was there for her emotionally and mentally. Rebeca is a first generation college student and is a senior at Humboldt State University. Class of 2017!! For the past three years, she has had two on campus jobs while being a full-time student. Currently, she works at the Humboldt State University’s Student Health Center and in Academic Technology – Moodle Support. She is majoring in Communication and minoring in Studio Art (having been obsessed with photography from a young age). Her natural penchant for knowledge and challenges has always been her motivation. Rebeca’s ambition is to teach and support college students to achieve their goals in their college education. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, playing with her pets, and going to fancy dinners with her boyfriend.
Derek Rooks-Taylor is excited to be a freshman at UCLA part of the Bruin class of 2020! He is a graduate of Pasadena High School and loves to dance, watch videos of the Royal Family Dance Crew, eat at Poke Salad Bar, and quote Joanne the Scammer. He is Beyoncé's number one fan, and that's honest. He is most excited to serve on the student advisory board to give back to his younger peers and help them get into their dream schools! He plans to invest in CAP when he becomes rich and famous, so watch out!
Liliana Velasco-GarciaMt. San Antonio College
Lily attended Pasadena High School and graduated with the class of 2015. She is currently in her second year at Mt. San Antonio College. At the moment, she is pursuing a degree in Marketing and Graphic Design with a minor in public relations. Jamba Juice and makeup are some of her obsessions. One of her goals in life is to be able to intern and work at either Urban Decay Cosmetics or Too Face cosmetics. Lily has participated in CAP for two years. She joined CAP’s student advisory council in order to give her opinion on what works from a student’s perspective. Not only that but also interact with others, give suggestions, and be able to be a voice in the community.
Jaela WeaverSan Jose State University
Jaela was born and raised in Pasadena and came from a single mother household. After graduating in 2014 from John Muir High School where she was a regular CAP participant, Jaela went on to further her education at San Jose State University, entering as a first generation student and majoring in psychology. After college, she has plans to obtain both masters and PsyD degrees so that she can pursue a career as a clinical psychologist with a specialty in either depression or schizophrenia. Looking back at her past two years at SJSU, Jaela believes that she has developed enough knowledge and skills to guide the underclassmen in the right direction. She is a very passionate and caring person and as a student advisor, Jaela will go above and beyond to help those who need her.
Dana ZambranaSan Diego State University
Dana is starting her second year at San Diego State University and is a graduate of Marshall Fundamental High School. She is currently studying Kinesiology with a focus on Physical Therapy, but is not 100% sure if she wants to be a physical therapist. She does have an interest in a few different things so she hopes that new experiences throughout her journey will expose her to more in the kinesiology field. She is the first in her family to go to college, so it was a bit tough to navigate through the all the processes until she came to CAP and found her way. She has had such a great time in college because she was able to experience and learn so many new things in such a short time and she can’t wait to see what the next three years will hold.