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HOPE & Wellness Interns

Healthy Cougars
HOPE & Wellness Student Interns

Graduate Student Peer Intern 

Michael Jones
Mike is a graduate student in the Master's of Public Health program. He graduated in the Spring with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a concentration in Health, Education, and Welfare. He is committed to help promote healthy behaviors and practices. His dedication to help others stems from both internal and external experiences while serving as a Marine in the military, as well as his personal endeavors with family, friends, and communities. 

As a first-generation college student, Mike does not underestimate the power of education and loves to learn about anyone or anything! He enjoys that consistent pursuit to grow more wise in the the process and the self-reflection that results. Mike is currently studying to also be certified as an accredited American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer and dreams to one day work in law for health research and policy. In his free time, you can find him either working out at the gyms nearby, hanging out with his brothers of Sigma Chi, reading comics such as Sandman or Dark Knights: Metal, or trying new, delicious foods around San Diego.
Megan Young
Megan Young
My name is Megan Young. I am a  graduate student in the Master's of Social Work program. I graduated wiht a Bachelor's in Psychology in the spring.  I have had epilepsy since I was 3 years of age, which is the underlying reason I am interested in the well-being of others as well as myself. Due to many hardships in my life, ranging from sexual violence to mental and physical health issues, I feel I could be a great advocate for both; although I feel I could be an advocate for both, my primary interest is in mental health. 

Mental health has been my primary interest because of my trials and tribulations with epilepsy in tandem with depression and anxiety, which can be emotionally and physically debilitating. I believe being a peer educator would provide a voice for fellow students who have experienced some form of mental and physical health difficulties that feel they cannot share, as well as information on how to cope with what they feel, and helping students understand that they are not alone.

Peer Educators (Interns)

Genesis Barrera

My name is Genesis Barrera. This is my last year here as a Psychological Science major. I love to read, watch anime with my boyfriend, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and hanging out with my family and my dogs. I love dying my hair and spontaneously chopping off all my hair. I am a natural introvert, but once a conversation starts I'm all ears and am not afraid to talk. I am very hopeful about the future and very excited to volunteer as a peer educator with the HOPE & Wellness Center.

I wanted to become a peer educator because mental health is very important to me and I want to encourage more people to be mindful about their own mental health. Having that talk about anxiety, depression, suicide, and suicide prevention with people is very important to me because I would like to help those in need who have had similar experiences with mental illness. I hope to become a mental health counselor for teens to young adults struggling with mental illness or difficult situations in their life. I also have an interest as a peer educator to educate others about sexual health as it is a very important topic and becomes more prominent with healthy sexual relationships. I also hope to gain much learning experience and work skills that will help me prepare for real world situations and for my future career.

Melissa Canales

My name is Melissa Canales. I am a fourth year Human Development major, with a concentration in Health Services. I have a passion for advocacy, food, traveling, and helping others. As a peer educator, I hope to give other students encouragement and the knowledge that they are not alone in their struggles because there is an entire campus community here to help them. At the end of this year I will be applying for the Accelerated Nursing Program with the goal of becoming a travel nurse.  

Sarah Eltiste

Hi my name is Sarah Eltiste and this fall will be the start of my second year at CSUSM. I am studying biology with an emphasis in pre-medicine. In a couple of years I hope to continue my education at a medical school and eventually become a doctor. I also work on campus at the Kellogg Library as a student assistant. I wanted to become a peer educator to help share accurate information about many health factors consisting of mental health, sexual health, alcoholism, and more to help my peers on campus be hopeful and aware of the resources available to us. On my free time I enjoy listening to music, going outside for some fresh air, going on hikes, conversing with people, and spending time with my family. 

Anne Fite

My name is Annie Fite and I am a second year transfer student majoring in Psychological Sciences. I plan to attend graduate school to further my education and pursue a career in counseling. Personally, I have benefitted greatly from my own experience with individual and group therapy so my ultimate career goal is to provide the same professional support and guidance to others who may need it. I am very excited to have a position at the HOPE & Wellness Center because I believe it will give me the opportunity to meet more of my fellow students and begin to give back to a campus community that has had such a positive impact on my life.

 A few of my hobbies and interests include travelling, hiking, going to the beach, listening to music, cooking (and of course eating), writing, and watching every episode of The Office over and over again! The most important things in my life are my relationships with friends and family, practicing healthy living, and connecting with others around me.

Robyn Gogue

Hello my name is Robyn Gogue. I am a fourth year student here at CSUSM and majoring in Psychological Science. I am also a transfer student from MSJC. In my free time I enjoy being with my family and going camping at the desert in the winter and being around the water in the warmer months. My career goal is to help firefighters, veterans, military service members, and first responders with mental health issues that may arise during their careers. Families of these professions are affected by mental heath and I feel that there is a need to give not only the individual the correct tools but the family members as well. I wanted to be a peer educator because I feel that this is a stepping stone into my future plans, I want to be able to provide the resources to students on campus. I am very excited to see and meet new people on campus during the events we have!! 

Cayla Haupt

My name is Cayla Haupt and I am a fourth year Human Development major, with the hopes of attending nursing school immediately after I complete my bachelors in December.  I enjoy going to music festivals, being outside, and helping others.  I chose to be a peer educator because I can sincerely relate to the struggles and stress of being a college student and I want students to know that they are not alone.  My goal as a peer educator is to be present in my everyday trials throughout my last semester of college as well as inform, educate, and connect with diverse individuals across campus.  Mental health is extremely important to me and I want to share my knowledge on this topic with others.      

Brittney Oberding
Linda Puebla

 My name is Linda Puebla. I am majoring in Psychology in hopes to become a marriage family counselor. I want to be a marriage and family counselor because, being a daughter of two marines I did struggle with my mental health when I was younger and my therapist helped me tremendously. I can only hope I can make a difference in someone’s life as my therapist did for me.

I am a transfer student from MiraCosta. I plan to graduate CSUSM in the spring of 2020. My goal is to transfer to UC Berkeley after my time here at CSUSM. I decided to go to CSUSM not only for their amazing psychology program but also for a sense of community. My hobbies include reading, dancing, and kickboxing. My identities include being a big sister, granddaughter, daughter, and Grey’s Anatomy enthusiast.  
Rupali Sant
Taylor Stark

My name is Taylor Stark. I am entering into my last semester as a human development major. I hope to enter into a nursing program after graduating. I love being outside and active whether it be hiking or with friends at the beach. I have a passion for helping and educating others on how to be healthy in every aspect of their lives and being a peer education will allow me to help many of those who struggle on campus with various issues. I am excited to have the opportunity to make a difference.  

Wendy Vu

My name is Wendy Vu and I'm a fourth year Kinesiology major with an emphasis in Health Sciences. After this year, i'm hoping to get into a Master's Physician Assistant program and pursue a specialty in Pediatrics or Family Care. I am passionate about disease prevention, sexual violence advocacy efforts, and breaking stigmas around mental health issues. As a peer educator, I hope to promote holistic wellness on our student body and increase awareness around current health care issues by utilizing my experiences and knowledge I've gained from my past years at CSUSM from being a Resident Advisor in Housing and volunteering in the Urgent Care at Kaiser Permanente. 

On my free time I'm a photographer hobbyist and coffee-shop enthusiast! I love finding aesthetic places to finish homework and I tend to be around the USU studying or somewhere on higher ground people-watching. I love meeting new people so if you ever see me around on campus, don't be afraid to stop me and say hi!