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HOPE & Wellness Interns

Healthy Cougars
HOPE & Wellness Student Interns

Graduate Student Peer Intern 

Stephen Basubas


My name is Stephen Basubas and I am currently a graduate student in the Master’s of Public Health program, with a concentration in global health. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at San Francisco State University in 2016. I am a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and serviced Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

For my Thesis, I am currently researching the mental health impact of isolation and solitary confinement among justice-involved youth.  I enjoy and encourage others to engage in deep conversations and research current issues impacting our society. I take an interest in studying criminal justice issues and prison health. Some of my favorite  authors include: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Noam Chomsky, John Douglas, and Joseph Wambaugh. I look forward to engaging with the student body and welcome anybody to talk to me when on campus.



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.




William Burnham


William Burnham. I am a first year student at CSUSM, and I am a Psychological Science major. A little about myself, I enjoy traveling, and various outside activities. I have been to several places around the world, such as Thailand, United Kingdom, and many more. The outside activities that I enjoy are kayaking, biking, and hiking.

I am very interested in mental health, which explains my aspiration to become a clinical psychologist, more specifically with children and adolescents in crisis stabilization units. As a HOPE & Wellness Center volunteer, I am eager to take on this role because I can now gain experience in the mental health field, which will make me much more prepared for the career that I am pursuing. As a goal, while I am a peer educator, I want to reduce the amount of stigma around mental illness.

Vivian Intern
Vivian Chang


My name is Vivian Chang. I am a fourth year majoring in Human Development with a concentration in Health Services. My dream job is to be a nurse in either pediatrics or the NICU, and a major life goal of mine is to be able to do non-profit work overseas as a nurse. As a Peer Educator, my goals are to increase awareness of the amazing resources offered by our campus, break stigmas around mental health, and to become a stronger advocate for sexual violence and sexual health. I am looking forward to growing personally and professionally and am so grateful for the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people.

Some fun facts about me: I am passionate about self-care and helping others, and I love cooking, baking, and watching Netflix. Lastly, I would like to shout out my sisters in Alpha Omicron Pi for helping me to become the strong, confident woman that I am today!



Shyla intern
Shyla Everett


I’m Shyla Everett, a fifth year Psychological Science major. I transferred here from Mira Costa College. After this semester, I will be the first college graduate in my family. After I graduate (and after a gap year), I want to purse an MFT and become a therapist.

I currently work as a research assistant on campus, I am a member of Psi Chi and Psychology Student Organization (PSO), and I am a Peer Educator Intern. Bottom line, I’m on campus 24/7. I enjoy meeting new people, so if you see me, say hi! I love this campus. I’ve never felt a stronger sense of community, and I’m thrilled to be apart of it. I value this community and I want to give back. I have an interest in mental health counseling, as well as clinical psychology. As someone who has struggled with mental health issues, I want to spread my knowledge of mental health and support my community the best way I know how—as a Peer Educator! I’m so excited about the prospect of engaging more and speaking with the CSUSM community.



Paris Intern
Paris Gutierrez



My name is Paris Gutierrez. I am going into my final semester here at CSUSM as a Criminology and Justice Studies Major with a minor in Women’s Studies. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, hanging out with my little dog and reading books/articles on astrology. I am involved in many organizations on campus such as the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and my sorority, Delta Zeta.

I also work at the University Student Union as a student assistant. I wanted to be a peer educator this semester since I love helping people and creating awareness on topics that I am most passionate about. I am a people person so I’m super excited to be given this opportunity to make new friends, as well as educate myself and others.




Nika intern
Nika Plescia 


 My name is Nikalina Plescia but all my friends call me Nika. I am a fourth year majoring in Human Development with a concentration in Health Services and plan on continuing my education by going back to school after I graduate to work towards a Masters Degree in Public Health.

I have always loved advocating for positive mental health and fighting the stigma that surrounds it. There is always so much more to learn about this topic which led me to choosing my degree and this internship! Along with interning as a Peer Educator, I also work in the USU as an AV/IT Logistics Assistant. I am so excited for this year and if you ever see me on campus, feel free to say hi!


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.  




Juliana intern
Juliana Rodriguez


My name is Juliana Rodriguez and I am a first year student here at CSUSM. I am majoring in Psychological Science as well as a minor in Criminology and Justice Studies. I hope to get my bachelor’s and continue to get a Doctorate of Psychology, Psy.D, so I can be a counseling psychologist, specifically working with children and adolescents. My hobbies include swimming and going to the beach, as well as listening to music and reading.

Mental Health has always been a big part of my life and I want to use my own experiences to help others. Since I understand how it is being a college student, I know I can connect to others and bring helpful resources to them. As a peer educator, I expect to gain more experience working in a mental health field, and acquire skills I can utilize in my future work endeavors. 



Carmina Intern
Carmina Sanchez

My name is Carmina Sanchez and I am a fourth year Kinesiology major with an emphasis in Health Sciences. I plan on attending an accelerated nursing program once I graduate at the end of this semester. In addition to being a HOPE and Wellness intern, I am Vice President of CSUSM's Pre-Health Society and a Pathmaker internship alumni. When I have free time, I love volunteering, drawing, doing escape rooms, and spending time with my friends and family.

As a peer educator, I hope to help CSUSM become a healthier and safer place for all students. Whether the issue be everyday stress or a serious topic like sexual violence, I want to encourage students to seek resources that are available on campus and let them know that they're not alone.






Cyndy Intern
Cyndy Sanchez


My name is Cynthia but friends and family call me Cyndy. I am a fourth-year student majoring in Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies. I hope to continue with my studies in graduate school and become a counselor/mentor one day. I love working with different age groups from the youth to the elderly. I enjoy my time volunteering, baking, hiking, painting, watching movies, and listening to music. My favorite color is all shades of blue and I am a huge fan of poetry.

I am here today as a peer educator to empower students and my community about mental health. I am speaking into existence how important it is to take care of us in the aspects of wellness that is physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, financial, environmental and social health. I am passionate about helping others while inspiring and motivating social change. As a peer mentor, I stand in solidarity for people that do not have a voice and I genuinely hold a safe space for all.


Heather Intern
Heather Tougias 


My name is Heather Tougias and I am in my fifth year here as a Human Development major with a concentration in health services.  I am passionate about helping others and am excited to be a peer educator and advocate for fellow students at CSUSM. Our school has so many resources that aren’t as well-known as they should be and it is fulfilling for me to be able to make other students aware that there are places and people to go to when they may be facing any kind of adversity in their life. 


My ultimate career goal is to be able to do something like this full time either with a community clinic/health center or at another college. In my free time, I love to go hiking and explore nature with my daughter and our dog. 


Noelle Intern
Noelle Tyson 


 My name is Noelle Tyson and I am a fourth year at CSUSM studying biology with an emphasis in pre-medicine. I hope to be accepted into medical school next year and continue my path in becoming a doctor. 

I am involved in several on campus organizations including Pre-Optometry society, where I hold the positions of secretary and media head. I also work as a student assistant in Kellogg Library. I love interacting with people, going for runs or hikes, and overall being surrounded by my peers. 

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!