Peer Mentors and Group Leaders

Senior Peer Mentors

Domenica DeMeyere

Domenica DeMeyere

Subjects: intro biology, intro psychology, holistics
Hometown: Brighton, Mich.
Major: speech-language pathology
Minor: statistics and data analysis
Year in school: junior
Interests: volunteering, hanging out with friends, running, drawing, trying new things, going on adventures
Why I want to be a peer mentor: The transition you have to make into becoming a college student is difficult and sometimes overwhelming. It is nice to know that there is someone who have been in same situation and experienced some of the things students are going through. This job allows me the opportunity to guide and reach out to others, and I hope that through this program I will be able to help students have a smoother transition and feel more comfortable and confident in facing the situations that arise throughout their first year.
Career goals: After completion of a master's degree in speech-language pathology, I hope to be working in a hospital with stroke patients, in aiding them to recover the ability to speak or communicate.
Advice: College is a lot of hard work, but that should never be intimidating. View that as a new challenge to grow and change. As long as you maintain a balance between work and play, this will be a positive experience you will carry for the rest of your life.
Quote: "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." – Thomas Edison

Annette Calvario Perales

Annette Perales

Subjects: psychology, sociology, criminal justice, Spanish, holistics, intro social work
Hometown: Walla Walla, Wash.
Program of study: Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision
Degrees earned: B.S. in psychology, M.A. in clinical mental health counseling
Interests: hiking, exploring, cooking, dancing, concerts, meditation
Why I want to be a peer mentor: Transitioning to college is a challenging and exciting process. Being in the helping profession has led me to explore various different roles where I can continue to help others grow to their fullest potential. As a mentor, I think it’s important to recognize that mentoring is beyond the title. It is work I am passionate about – helping students grow and strive in academia.
Career goals: After completing my doctoral degree, I hope to obtain a position as an educator to train future counselors. I would also like to have a private practice, counseling children and adolescents.
Advice: College can get hectic. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually. 
Quote: “Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.” – Frida Kahlo

Peer mentors

Ashlee Lambert

Ashlee Lambert

Subjects:  intro mathematics, intro biology, philosophy
Hometown: Flint, Mich. 
Major: interpersonal communication
Minor: non-profit leadership
Year in school: junior
Interests: playing trumpet, working out, serving God, volunteering, going on adventures, playing volleyball, spreading happiness, learning, painting, laughing
Why I want to be a peer mentor: College is difficult, especially for underprivileged students. Too many students drop out because of their circumstances and lack of support. I want to support students in reaching their full potential, during their college journey, by assisting them as we grow and overcome adversity together.
Career goals: Upon completing graduate school and Bible college, I aspire to start a non-profit organization that prepares high school students for college academically, socially, spiritually, and financially. Eventually, I hope to become a professional speaker and educator as well.
Advice: Do not allow anyone to hinder you from achieving success, not even yourself. Create a mindset that eliminates fear, self-doubt, preconceptions, and hatred from your life. Become open-minded, but define your beliefs, values, goals, etc. and STICK to them. Lastly, do not limit yourself to money and a good GPA; learning is a never-ending process that will greatly contribute to your success.
Quote: "To be successful you must be willing to, at any moment, sacrifice what you are for what you will become." – Eric Thomas

Andrew Larkin

Andrew Larkin

Subjects:  chemistry, mathematics, physics, Spanish
Hometown: Troy, Mich. 
Major: Spanish
Minor: chemistry
Year in school: senior
Interests: I enjoy cooking, hiking, relaxing, and listening to music.
Why I want to be a peer mentor: I think being a peer mentor will be an interesting way to participate in the campus community and get a new perspective on university life. I look forward to working with students and helping them succeed.
Career goals: I hope to complete another year of AmeriCorps as a construction crew leader. I am interested in serving with a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in one of the border states and working within a Spanish-speaking community. Later, I intend to pursue graduate school.
Advice: Measure success as a process and celebrate along the way, rather than focusing specifically on the end goal.
Quote: "I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." – Sarah Williams

Marilyn Laski

Marilyn Laski

Subjects:  psychology, sociology, gender and women's studies
Hometown: Saginaw, Mich. 
Major: behavioral science
Minor: sociology
Year in school: junior
Interests: traveling, watching movies, camping, and listening to music
Why I want to be a peer mentor: More often than not individuals with a nontraditional background are overlooked. Without a solid foundation or support system, even the most promising students can struggle academically and emotionally in college. I know that there are multiple paths in life and we all deserve the same opportunities.
Career goals: After completing my bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, my goal is to go to graduate school. I hope to work as a mental health counselor to some capacity.
Advice: If you are struggling do not be afraid to ask for help. Do not struggle in silence; there will always be people willing to support you. Even when it feels like it’s you against the world, be your best friend, not your worst enemy.
Quote: “Most great people have attained their greatest success just beyond their greatest failure.” – Napoleon Hill

Marcos Santiago

Marcos Santiago

Subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, Spanish
Hometown: Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico
Majors: biomedical sciences and biochemistry
Year in school: senior
Interests: reading, cooking, watching movies, exploring new places
Why I want to be a peer mentor: At some point in college, students will find themselves facing a difficult topic or class and to top it all off, the professor only knows one way to explain the material. As a peer mentor I want to be able to explain that knowledge from another point of view and assist them in any way that I can as well as teaching them some tips and tricks to succeed in their college career. The end goal is to always find improvement on work on achieving those objectives, both for the student and myself.
Career goals: After completing my bachelor’s degree, I plan to go to medical school and get my M.D. Following that, I hope to enter an residency program and with much efforts, fulfill my dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
Advice: If you are ever overwhelmed by college or life in general, try to plan things out and remember to always take some time to enjoy yourself and have fun. If you don’t, that extra stress you’re giving yourself is going to do more harm than good. Stress is part of everyday life; “extreme” stress is not.
Quote: “But I can say that life is good to me. Has been and is good. So I think my task is to be good to it. So how do you be good to life? You live it.” – Morgan Freeman

Arizsia Staton

Arizsia Staton

Subjects: intro biology, intro chemistry, intro mathematics
Hometown: Saginaw, Mich.
Majors: acting and biomedical sciences
Year in school: junior
Interests: Some of my interests are theatre, the study of life, crocheting, volleyball, reading, DIY arts and crafts, and movie-going.
Why I want to be a peer mentor: Reflecting on my educational journey, I’ve realized how important mentorship, leadership, and guidance are in the life of a student. Not only will I be able to help students improve and grow academically, mentally, and socially, but I  will also become a more well-rounded leader and individual. I look forward to helping students be the best they can be and make the most out of their college experience.
Career goals: Upon receiving my B.F.A., I plan to pursue my acting career in film and television and pursue graduate school for theatre in order to teach it as well. Also, I plan to open a nonprofit fine arts rehabilitation organization for delinquent youth in my hometown.
Advice: You are your own individual, and you must live your own life. No matter who or what the obstacle, do what makes YOU happy.
Quote: “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” – Kevin Durant

Group leaders

Christel Ciolino

Christel Ciolino

Subjects: biology, psychology, history, intro physics, intro statistics
Hometown: New Boston, Mich. 
Program of study: M.A. in speech-language pathology
Year in school: graduate
Interests: singing choral music, painting, playing piano, running, reading books, and walking dogs at the humane society
Why I want to be a group leader: I love working with people and this is a perfect opportunity to do so. I’m looking forward to learning and working with everyone in the program.
Career goals: After I complete my master's degree in speech-language pathology, I want to work with individuals on the autism spectrum and other developmental disabilities to help them develop career readiness skills. I would like to eventually go back for a Ph.D. so I can be a full-time researcher focusing on social communication disorders.
Advice: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It doesn’t degrade your achievement in any way. Collaboration is the key to success in any field and you’ll find a lot places to get help here at WMU. 
Quote: “You are not a single drop in the ocean, you’re an entire ocean in a single drop.” – Rumi