Transition Mentors

 

STARRS Transition Mentor Program 

The 2023-2024 Transition Mentorship Program Leadership Team

The Transition Mentorship Program (TMP as we call it for short) consists of 4 Transition Mentors, 1 Lead Transition Mentor, and a cohort of 121-150 mentees at any given time each quarter. Transition Mentors are current transfer students who provide a high level of support through one on one mentorship, from the time you are admitted, through the summer, and throughout your first year at UCSC. As STARRS student staff members they are thoroughly trained to answer questions, refer you to appropriate resources, and assist with financial planning, navigating the campus, acclimating to the quarter system, balancing family responsibilities, and connecting with the campus community.

The benefits of being a part of the TMP community are:

  1. Having an open line of communication with a peer who can offer academic and personal support.
  2. Getting personalized recommendations to events, workshops, work/internship opportunities.
  3. Knowing you're a part of a community that cares for your wellness, growth, and aspirations.
Please visit our webpage for access to the interest form. 
Email starpeer@ucsc.edu for more information.

 

 

Click here to fill out the interest form to join the Transition Mentorship Program.



 


    Jessica Parra Moya (she/her/hers)

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    TMP Coordinator

    Email: jparramo@ucsc.edu  


    Hola! My name is Jessica Parra Moya and I am thrilled to serve as the TMP Program Coordinator. I am originally from Autlán, Jalisco, México and moved to the United States in 2005. I am a DACAmented Undocumented Immigrant. I lived in the San Bernardino County area until 2016 when I transferred to UCSC from San Bernardino Valley Community College. I graduated UCSC in 2019 with a double major in Literature and Feminist Studies and a minor in Legal Studies. As a student at UCSC, I held several internships, one being the peer advisor position at STARRS before it became the Transition Mentor Program. My main focus is access to higher education for underserved and at-promised communities. It is something I have worked hard for as a student and now as a staff member at UCSC. I began my professional journey at UCSC as the Student Life Assistant for Rachel Carson College in 2019 until May of 2022. I then transferred to another department at UCSC to work as the College Scholars Program Coordinator. Now, I am here! 

    My passion for access to education is what brings me to this line of work at STARRS. I want to make sure transfer students from all walks of life have the support they need to succeed in their Higher Education journeys. As a former transfer student myself who benefited from STARRS and supported STARRS as a STARRS peer advisor, I know the impact this unit has on our students and the potential for growth there is, which is what drew me to the position. 


  • Marissa McGuire (she/her)

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    Lead Transition Mentor

    Email: starsm1@ucsc.edu 


    Hi y’all! My name is Marissa McGuire, and I am from Mountain House, California, which I refer to as “cowtown.” I am proud to identify myself as a first-generation, Mexican-American, transfer student at UCSC! My major is intensive psychology as I aspire to become either a therapist or a clinical psychologist. I want to be a listening ear and support individuals through their challenges while also trying to see the positive parts of life. 

    As a transfer student from De Anza College, I understand the challenges of imposter syndrome, managing work and school, while also trying to  maintain a social life. But as always, please remind yourself that you belong here at UC Santa Cruz! I am affiliated with College Nine and I am a Pisters Scholar here at UCSC. What I have learned from my first school-year here at UCSC is finding a community of people to have fun and feel comfortable around. Finding a community of students to share these memorable moments is something I value most while being here. 

    At STARRS, we are more than happy to assist you through the transfer navigation process. As a mentor here, I look forward to helping students through their academic and personal journey here at UCSC. I am excited to meet y’all and see you grow!

     

        Kindly, 

        Marissa McGuire


  • Bianca Aguilera Zavala (She, Her)

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    Transition Mentor

    Email: starsm2@ucsc.edu 

     

    Hola! My name is Bianca Aguilera. I was born and raised in the City of Watsonville, so I am very familiar with the surrounding areas! I am a first-generation Mexican-American (Michoacan to be exact) student, and a proud daughter of immigrant parents. I am a transfer student from Cabrillo College, and transferred with a Criminal Justice degree, but I am currently majoring in Sociology. 

    As a former field worker, I would like to advocate for farm workers out there for equal pay, better conditions, and better treatment. One of my biggest goals is to bring awareness to all of these issues, and create a place where farm workers can reach out with their concerns and have the peace of mind that everything will be solved.

    When I transferred to UCSC, I remember feeling overwhelmed, and to be honest, I didn’t know STARRS was a program that was available, but I am so glad I found out about it. They helped me achieve a very smooth transition, and I am honored to now be able to help other transfer students that might be facing the same challenges I did. Congratulations on your acceptance to UCSC, and I am very excited to be a part of your journey! You got this!

     

    Warmly, 

    Bianca


  • Steven Favela (He/Him/His)

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    Transition Mentor

    Email: starsm3@ucsc.edu


    Hello! My name is Steven Favela and I am a Latinx, first generation college student who grew up and transferred from Long Beach, California. I am a Business Management Economics major, BME for short, also pursuing a minor in Environmental Sustainability. I believe that we should interweave economic incentive and environmental sustainability in order to create a more viable world. My goal is to open up an eco-friendly laundromat that serves disadvantaged communities by helping them complete a simple task, like washing their clothes.

    When I transferred to UCSC from Long Beach City College, I felt pressured about many things; from getting good grades in my courses to meeting the expectations of my family. The support from STARRS gave me all the resources I needed to be successful and the validation I needed. Because of this, I wanted to become a mentor at TMP, so that I can help transfer students experiencing the same pressure. I have gone through a lot as a transfer student over the years and I can’t wait to help you as a mentor during your time here at UCSC! 


    Best, 

    Steven Favela


  • Krystle Pale (she/her/hers/Fefine)

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    Transition Mentor

    Email:starsm4@ucsc.edu 


    Mālō e lelei! Hi, My name is Krystle Pale. I was born and raised in South Sacramento. I am a proud student-parent, first-generation college student, and immigrant of Tongan descent. I transferred here from American River College with my Associate's degree in Sociology in the Summer of 2022. Before I came here, I worked full-time while going to community college. I realized that I needed to prioritize my education first, not only for me but for my children to have a better chance at life. I became president of the Student Parent Organization in my first quarter. Since then, I have fallen in love with advocating for the needs of student parents and building community. I continue to major in Sociology and would love to assist student parents, first-gen students and immigrants, underserved, and marginalized populations  in navigating the system. I am also an Underground and Renaissance Scholar. I am here to help! I want you to achieve academic success!


    Warmly,

    Krystle


  • Kimberly Porras (She/Her)

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    Transition Mentor

    Email: starsm5@ucsc.edu


         Hello! My name is Kimberly Porras. I was born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua and came to the U.S when I was 18 years old (not knowing the language at all!). I am a transfer from College of San Mateo (Go Bulldogs!) where I got an A.S in Biology. Currently, I  am pursuing a B.S in Environmental Science.  I am also pursuing research in  the environmental sciences field, and I am very interested in environmental justice and the disproportionate effects of climate change in disadvantaged communities. I am also passionate about POC representation in the STEM field as a Latina and an immigrant myself pursuing a STEM education.

    I worked in retail full time at the same time I was going to school full time, so I understand the struggles of transfer students who have to make ends meet at the same time they are trying to keep up with school. I have done two research internships, and I am very passionate about helping others find internships/ research opportunities in STEM. 

    To the transfer student reading this, you did it ! you transferred and I cannot wait to see the great things you will do at UCSC and that I will witness if you decide to join the STARRS program. We are here to support you in anything you may need. Be proud of yourself!


    Sincerely, 

    Kimberly Porras 


Student Resources 

  • STARRS Student Budget
    Financial tool to help assist you with creating a personal budget, with your income and expenses. Evalute how much money you have each quarter by reviewing your Financial Aid, income earned, family contrubutions, as well as quarterly bills and overall expenses.
  • Academic Support Resources
    There are a number of resources available at UCSC to support you in succeeding. Be proactive in seeking help when you need it, and remember that there are many people at UCSC who want to see you do well.
  • STARRS Counselors
    STARRS staff embrace and develop connections and cooperative relationships with colleagues and community partners to create a meaningful and personalized network of support for our students.