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2021-2022 Cohort


Alexis Bautista

Being born and raised in the bay area by two immigrant parents I have a dream to be able to give back to the parents that gave me everything. I am working hard as a physics major at San Jose State University to get to the point where I can achieve that dream. I know with my love of physics and with Elevate giving me the tools needed to succeed I will achieve all my goals and more.


Brian Phan

Hi! My name is Brian Phan, I’m currently a first-year at De Anza and Foothill. I’m a Film and Engineering Double Major. I joined Elevate to give back and make a positive impact on these kids. Many of these kids need emotional support not just academic, I’d like to be that outlet for them. It would be an honor and a privilege knowing that I played a role in helping these students pursue their goals and dreams. My main life dream is to become a successful Film Director, and someday use my earnings to give back to my community. I am extremely grateful to Elevate for giving me this opportunity to give back to first-generation students like myself. Aside from academics, I enjoy working out and reading! Again, thank you Elevate for this opportunity!


Cheyenne Ferranti

Hi there! My name is Cheyenne Ferranti and I’m currently a 2nd year at San Jose City College as a Physical Therapist major specializing in sports rehabilitation. My goal in life is to become a Physical Therapist for an athletic team or individual athletes. I’m currently 21 years old and was born and raised right here in San Jose. I’ve been to many cities and nothing feels quite like the Bay. Throughout schooling, especially when I was younger, teachers neglected to help me privately or nor took the time to understand that homework wasn’t my only focus in life. Upon entering high school, I was completely stunned by the constant involvement of teachers in all aspects of student lives and their true desire to see each of us succeed. Those 4 years shaped my mind towards wanting to give that feeling of hope and support back to my community. We all deserve to feel cared about inside and outside of the classroom.


Christina Pham

Hello! My name is Christina and I am from San Jose, CA. Currently, I am a student at De Anza and Foothill College, where I hope to pursue mechanical engineering at a four-year institution upon transferring. I am also a second generation immigrant and a first-generation college student. For me, as well as for many other students that have a similar background as me, navigating education is no easy feat. However, I have been able to achieve higher education through mentors, friends, and family who are all supporting and pushing me forward. Similarly, I want to pay it forward to my community and become a resource for them to succeed. This is also why I wanted to be a part of Elevate and their mission connecting tutors with tutees to grow and succeed in life together!


Crystal Ramirez Morales

Hi! My name is Crystal! I am a sophomore at De Anza College and am majoring in nursing. I grew up in San Jose and love it here. Something extremely important to me is advocacy. There are so many underrepresented groups and individuals who are in need of advocates which is one of the biggest reasons why I’m a nursing major. This is also why I love Elevate. I get to practice that advocacy in a different way. I’m able to go into classrooms and help students who otherwise may not receive that help. I’m able to promote education for different students by simply assisting and helping them find methods to best complete their work. I enjoy the opportunity to pursue my own education while also being able to help younger students find their educational path.


Delilah Garza

Hi everyone! My name is Delilah Garza, and I was born and raised in San Jose, California! I am a junior at Santa Clara University and after several changes to my major, I have settled on a double major in Psychology and Child Studies. As a Child Studies major, the majority of my research interests center around educational inequalities and I love that I get to be a part of Elevate’s goal of closing that gap and breaking the cycles. Furthermore, I was drawn to Elevate’s mission to support students who look like me and who have had experiences similar to my own. As a first-generation college student myself, I love the model of coming back to support those who are in the same place I was just a few years ago. Overall, I am so excited and grateful to have the opportunity to work with these students!


Devin Bayliffe

Hello! My name is Chloe Tat, and I’m currently a second year student at Santa Clara, majoring in marketing and minoring in Japanese. I was born and raised in San Jose, and a first generation college student. I think it’s super important for students to have the opportunity to have the support and resources to succeed academically and in life, and Elevate provides that opportunity to so many students! When I’m not tutoring or studying, I like to bake and travel (when it’s safe!).


Elizabeth Chimalpopoca

Hi! My name is Elizabeth Chimalpopoca. I am a junior at Santa Clara University majoring in accounting and minoring in Italian Studies. I am the eldest sister of three born to Mexican immigrants and am born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. I joined Elevate to support young students academically who feel and look like me and be one of their biggest cheerleaders. I dream of earning my California CPA license soon after graduating in 2023 and building a stable professional career for myself as a tax professional that allows me to live my life by my values. I dream of exploring many Latin American countries firsthand and learning more about my family’s history and culture.


Elizabeth Meza

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Meza. I am currently attending my first year at San Jose City College with plans to transfer to a four-year university to complete my bachelor’s. I was born and raised in San Jose, CA. I joined Elevate because it provided me with a stage to give back to my community, which has played a significant role in shaping the person I am today. Joining Elevate also gave me the opportunity to directly participate in the process of making a positive change in the academic lives of students in my community. Empowering and supporting students has been extremely rewarding. Thus, I hope to continue doing so in the long run as I develop my skills and complete my education. Aside from my studies, I hope to travel and get a glimpse of the many serene places around the world.


Erick Sanchez

Hello! My name is Erick Sanchez, I’m a Sophomore at San Jose State University and I am currently majoring in Biological Science. I was born in Palo Alto, CA and have lived on the west coast my whole life. I am a middle child and a first generation college student and I’m striving to become someone who can help others in need. The reason I joined Elevate was for this exact reason of helping other people. I feel that I can become a resource for kids in need of help that require extra assistance when it comes to their work. I’m glad that Elevate Tutoring allowed me this opportunity of doing what I’m most passionate about.


Fernanda Palacios Martinez

Hello! I am a first year at SJSU hoping to major in Computer Science. Although I am only taking introductory classes at the moment, I am sure I would love computer science as a major because I enjoy theoretical thinking and its interdisciplinary nature. I truly believe it is a tool that could help us create a more equitable, imaginative, and overall optimistic society. Something I am liking about “college life” is the freedom I have to choose what I do with my time. Something that always interested me was tutoring and I get to do that at Elevate Tutoring. It is rewarding to see that one can spark interest in students’ intellectual curiosity with the right attitude!


Fernando Martinez

Hello everyone, my name is Fernando Martinez, and I am a current Junior majoring in Applied Mathematics at San Jose State University. I am hoping to secure a career in the Fintech sector. I recently moved to the Bay Area last semester from the Midwest so to say it has been quite the change is an understatement. I am really excited to be here because I came with the intention of increasing my network, building my career, and to become involved in the San Jose community. That’s where this leads me to Elevate. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to tutor underserved youth in STEM subjects, and I understand how much of a difference a mentor can make on someone’s life. So, I am hoping I can be that role model figure to these students and inspire them to potentially pursue careers in stem. I also view this program as a learning opportunity on how I could structure a future program of my own that would aim to teach financial literacy to underserved youth. Overall, I have a lot of ambitions and I am grateful Elevate is a part of my journey!


Jade Nguyen

Hi, my name is Jade, and I am a student at Mission college, majoring in Computer Engineering. I was born and raised in Vietnam. Being an immigrant and first-generation college student, I was drawn to Elevate for the opportunity to learn and help students that might encounter same challenges as I did in school such as: lacking instruction and connections.


Jason Calderon

Hello! My name is Jason Calderon, and I am a first-year at Foothill in pursuit of transferring to a UC to earn a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I was born and raised in Mountain View, CA. I am proud to be a part of Elevate because I am able to provide help and tutoring to schools and students who usually wouldn’t have access to these resources. Without all of the people in my life who have shared their experience and advice I would have never been able to get to the path that I am on today. In a similar way, I hope to become someone who is able to inspire and help students reach their full potential.


Karla Santos

Hello! My name is Karla and I am currently a second year at Santa Clara University majoring in Ethnic Studies with a minor in Urban Education. I am so excited to be a part of Elevate’s Spring 22 Cohort 🙂 As a first-generation student, education has always been a huge part of my life. I am very grateful to have discovered my passion for education and helping others in their own journeys so early on in my own life. I hope to one day work towards creating equitable and accessible resources for all, so I am so happy to align myself with Elevate as we work towards that goal, together.


Kelvin Chih

Hello! My name is Chen Wei Chih but I prefer to be called Kelvin. I am a freshman at De Anza College pursuing computer science. I was born and raised in Myanmar until I moved to the United States in 9th grade. Adjusting to the school life in America is hard as an immigrant but one thing that helped me during my highschool years is attending tutoring sessions. I took advantage of everything that I could get help to graduate high school and it paid off in the end as I am the first generation college student in my family. The reason I joined Elevate is because I want to help others to be successful in their academics just like how others supported me during my high school years.


Kimberly Doan

Hello! My name is Kimberly Doan, and I am in my 2nd year at Mission College. I am hoping to transfer to UC Davis in chemical engineering. I was born and raised in San Jose. I haven’t left the area since I was born, yet there are still so many places here I still don’t know of. Growing up, I never got the chance of having help on my schoolwork outside of school. After learning 8 hours from school, I was pretty much left on my own to study and do my homework. I can still remember struggling on the math word problems back in elementary and middle school. There was never someone who I could lean on for help outside of school. Hence, the reason why I wanted to become a tutor. I want to help those who might be going through the same struggle. I am very happy and grateful to be accepted into Elevate. I hope that being in this program, I can make an impact to other’s education.


Leslie Reyes

Hi! My name is Leslie Reyes and I am a first year student at San Jose State University. I am currently in the Pre-Nursing major in order to later apply to the Nursing major at SJSU. I love spending time with friends and families, going to concerts, baking, and just relaxing at home. As someone who grew up with the help of tutors, I love giving back as a tutor myself. Education is one of my values and I have grown to realize how important it is to take advantage of it. I have become an Elevate tutor in order to support those students who are in a similar situation that I found myself in when I was younger, a first generation college student who was lost in what steps to take. I want to be the resource students seek in order to achieve their academic goals.


Norma Lopez Sanchez

Hi everyone! My name is Norma L. Sanchez and I am a third-year student at San Jose State University, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. My interest in Business began with wanting to change the lack of representation of colored women in the Business field. In the future, I hope to form a non-profit organization that supports and improves the economic issues in the Latinx community. Even though my major is Business, I have always had a strong connection with activism and helping my community. As a low-income, first-generation student, I believe I share the struggles that many students face today. I love to volunteer, mentor and tutor students because I have had mentors and they have positively impacted me in many ways. Nothing would make me happier than being there for other students. Thank you Elevate, for giving me the opportunity to be that person for others!


Paulina Gonzalez​

Hello! My name is Paulina Gonzalez, and I am an English major at San Jose State University. I joined Elevate because I plan on pursuing a career in teaching. I was born in Mexico and migrated to the United States at the age of four. When I volunteered at the library in their Summer Reading Program where I worked with kids and as a Math Coach with SLED, I began to understand that I enjoyed working with students and would pursue a carrier in education. It’s an honor to work with Elevate because it provides an amazing opportunity for me to work with students and observe teachers’ teaching methods. Elevate allows me to assist students in need and help a community in need. Every day with Elevate provides a new learning experience that I can take with me wherever I go.


Ricardo Lopez Perez

Hello there! My name is Ricardo Lopez Perez, I am currently enrolled at San Jose State University majoring in Biological Science system of physiology. I’m a first generation student and planning to be the first in my family to graduate college. I joined the Elevate team because I loved how their job is to make students feel more confident and allow them to make mistakes using various tutoring skills. My life goal is to become an orthodontist in the future, to make people feel more confident about their smile.


Roberto Bautista-Gatica

Hi, my name is Roberto Bautista-Gatica. I am a sophomore at San Jose State University. I am majoring in Business Finance. Throughout my years in high school the help of tutors was crucial to my educational success. I have family that lives in the San Jose Area, Richmond area, and Oakland area who are some my age but not in college. They were always surprised at the opportunities I had in school which their schools lacked. My Junior and Senior years I decided to be an AVID tutor and give that help that I appreciated so much to those who look like me. I too was in AVID in high school, so I wanted to give back to that community. When I was going to SJSU I heard about Elevate Tutoring and decided to give it a shot to help those who are in a position of low income and a lack of resources at their school. I wanted to help those who look like me and make an impact in their life.


Safoorah Siddiqui

My name is Safoorah and I’m currently getting my associates in Math at Mission College and hoping to transfer to a 4 year university to get my Bachelors in Computer Science and minor in Applied Math. I was never strong in STEM courses growing up, especially in math, and it’s something that I got better at through practice and the encouragement of some of my mentors. I want to be able to not only tutor but be a mentor and build confidence the same way for first generation, low income, and minority students, which is why I really wanted to work with Elevate. As someone that has been in a similar position, receiving encouragement and becoming better at subjects you never really felt confident in is quite life changing in many different aspects.


Seungjoon Yang

Hi all! My name is Seung. I’m currently attending Santa Clara University majoring in Computer Science in Arts and Sciences! I thoroughly enjoy helping students with various subjects, and Elevate is the perfect place for me to continue what I really love doing. I also love tinkering with computers and making automation tools to make my life easier. In addition, I thoroughly enjoy being able to help students in academic subjects that they may be struggling with, because I frequently find myself in a similar position (even today and probably will later) and I want to try my best to alleviate that problem the best way I can, one person at a time. As a newcomer from LA, I’d like to actively participate in Santa Clara’s community to strengthen the learning environment to the best of my ability.


Thien Tran

Hi! I’m Thien Tran. I was born in a coastal city in the central part of Vietnam. Four years ago, I immigrated to the United States with my family. As a math lover, I chose to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. Now I’m currently a senior at San Jose State University. I spend my free time studying programming. I hope I will soon get a job as a software engineer after graduation. In addition, I started to be a private math tutor in Vietnam when I was in high school. Therefore, I know there are some myths that strongly affect one’s ability to study math. I hope I can do something to help students, especially the youths, study better, become a more independent learner and achieve more accomplishments in life. That is why I’m truly excited and grateful when chosen as a tutor of Elevate Tutoring. I believe this is a great opportunity to not only let me do what I love, but also help me improve my communication and tutoring skills, thanks to studying from and working with our program’s trainers, tutors and tutees.


Valentine Kofler

Hello! My name is Valentine Kofler, I am currently a student at West Valley College majoring in Engineering. I plan on transferring within the next year or two and double majoring in Aerospace Engineering and minoring in Business. Growing up I never really had a role model to look up to when it came to education, I am the first in my family to pursue a Bachelor’s degree just like many others that come from a background like mine. I hope to be that role model for the students that I’ll be interacting with through Elevate. Innately, I believe people are curious and creative but somewhere along the line either someone they value or the education system lets them down and they lose that quality. I hope that through this program I can reignite that in our students and give them confidence in education and life.


Vy Nguyen

Hello! My name is Vy Nguyen and I’m a first-year at De Anza College majoring in Biology. My future goals are to specialize in biotechnology and become a lab technician as I enjoy helping people and contributing to the community. I pride myself on working hard both individually and in a team. Being a part of Elevate will not only give me an opportunity to “teach” but also to learn. I genuinely feel that an individual’s academic and personal success comes from many different perspectives, and one should appreciate themselves more. Without the guidance and encouragement of my family, friends, and teachers, I wouldn’t be who I am today. It is about learning to surpass the challenges and gaining knowledge from what those challenges teach you. Through Elevate mission, I highly believe little changes can have a huge impact on these students’ lives.

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