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GEL Peer Educator Program

Our Mission: "As Peer Educators we work together with GEL students to empower them to successfully develop their academic and co-curricular experience."

Meet our 2017 GEL Peer Educators!

Yessenia Aguilar

Yessenia Aguilar

Minoring in Spanish

Hello! I am Yessenia Aguilar.  I am from Whittier, California and a sophomore here at CSUSM. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish.  I am the first person in my family to attend college.  On campus I am part of AlphaLambda Delta.  I am very proud of myself and my accomplishments so far.  I enjoy arts and crafts and building new friendships.  I love jokes, laughing, and dancing.  However, before letting myself have too much fun I make sure all my school work comes first.  I believe I am a very outgoing person and easy to talk to.  My goal in life is to make a difference with my community and help people succeed.  This year I am excited to be part of the GEL Peer Educator team and I cannot wait to see how the school year of 2017-18 unfolds for us!


Human Development, Child Services Concentration(minoring in Psychology)

My name is Alexis Arellano and I am currently a junior and plan on graduating in Fall of 2018.  I graduated in 2015 from Great Oak High School and decided to come to CSUSM because it offered a Children's Services concentration that resonated with my future plans and allowed me to stay within close proximity to my family.  I am currently a peer advisor for Undergraduate Advising Services and am excited to become a peer educator for GEL 101 in the fall.  I hope this will allow me to develop skills that will later in graduate school help me receive a teaching credential and Master's degree in order to become an elemtary school teacher.


Human Development, Counseling Services Concentration (minoring in Criminology and Justice Studies)

My name is Paulette Cruz and I am currently a junior at CSUSM, striving to major in Human Development with an emphasis in Counseling Services and minoring in Criminal and Justice Studies.  My goal is to one day become a prison psychologist.  I am involved in several clubs on campus, for example I am a peer leader for the Tukwut Leadership circle, I am also the Treasurer for Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Kappa Omicron Nu.  On my free time I love to hang out with friends and family and ride horses!  I am thrilled to be a part of the GEL Peer Educator Team this year!


Double major: Human Development, Health Care Services Concentration and Spanish.

My name is Alexa Diaz and I am a third year at California State University San Marcos. Currently, I am a Tukwut Leadership Circle (TLC) Peer Leader and Junior Advisor for the National Academic Honor Society for first year students. After my stay here at Cal State, I plan to pursue a degree in Post-Secondary Education at San Diego State University. As a GEL Peer Educator, I wish to share my personal academic and co-curricular experiences to encourage students develop their own. By providing positive feedback and guidance, I aim towards helping students discover their strengths and passions so they can reach their own career goals. Outside of class, I enjoy hiking, running, and traveling. My passion and dedication for this GEL Peer Educator Program grows everday!


Merari Valerdi 

Merari Valerdi

Psychology (minoring in Cognitive Science)

My name is Merari Valerdi, I'm a fourth-year student at CSUSM majoring in psychology with a minor in cognitive science. My future career goals involve doing cognitive psychology research related to academic interest and performance to make school more satisfying and joyful to future generations. My current involvement on campus includes volunteering as a peer leader for the Tukwut Leadership Circle, which is a certified leadership program offered on campus. Also, I work on campus as a math lab tutor for all math classes up to calculus II, and I work as a STEM ambassador. Now, I am very excited to begin working with the GEL peer educator program which I believe will be a wonderful success. In addition, during my free time I like to learn and practice cosmetology by myself and with friends.