Chicke N. at soledad st.
The Service Learning Institute is excited to have 12 Service Learning Student Leaders working in classrooms and community partners this year!  Below is a short bio and picture for each of our wonderful 12 students.



Elizabeth Medina

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Elizabeth joined the Service Learning program in Fall 2013 working alongside El Sausal Middle School as a community based service learning student leader. Although Elizabeth just started the Student Leadership Program, she’s worked closely with the AVID program in El Sausal Middle School since 2011. Elizabeth has a strong passion with her community helping first generation students aim for higher education, as well as exposing students to the East Side community and changing misentrepretation.




Margarita Vidales

Insert a description of the image here. Margarita Vidales is Majoring in Collaborative Health &Human Services with an emphasis in Social Work and a minor in Service Learning. Margarita first entered the program in Fall 2013 working with the Central Coast Citizenship project. The project was built to help the people in the community become citizens and inform them about different government positions they could hold. The Citizenship Project also informs them of their rights before, and after becoming a citizen; for themselves and the generations to come. One vote can make the difference. Margarita's hope is for her service learners is to become more open minded about the community they are working in, and to be able to break stereotypes that they have before they enter the site.



Kristen O'Hare

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Kristen O’Hare is a Cinematic Arts and Technology major with a Service Learning minor. She is currently in her fourth year and is expecting to graduate in May 2015. Her experience with Service Learning is a long one. Kristen began her freshman year in the fall of 2011 as a lower-division service learner at Peacock Acres in Salinas. Their mission to serve foster youth and their therapeutic approach to mentoring and relationship building was inspiring to Kristen and allowed her to stay connected with them after her service was over. That connection led Kristen to the Student Leader position and she officially joined the Service Learning Student Leadership program in the fall of 2013 working with Peacock Acres. As a past Service Learner for this site, Kristen has insight into what it was like as a student and what things could be like as a leader. She hopes to bring both experiences into her work and help the service learners build strong relationships with the youth at Peacock Acres through mentorship, tutoring, and activities. As an aspiring filmmaker and storyteller, Kristen tries her hardest to incorporate creativity into the learning experiences that the service learners have at Peacock Acres. She is hoping that what they get out of their experience is similar to the love and connections that she got out of her experiences working with such an amazing organization.




Tyler Gidney


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Tyler is the is the Service Learning Student Leader for the Chinatown Community Learning Center in Salinas. Tyler is also an HCOM major with a concentration in Creative Writing and Social Action and a minor in Service Learning. With any luck (and maybe some Spanish tutoring) he'll be graduating in the Spring. This is Tyler's first year as a Service Learning Student Leader, but he has been in the Chinatown community for almost 2 years.Tyler started at Dorothy's Place as a service learner teaching Creative Writing classes. The following semester, he moved the Creative Writing class to the Learning Center as a volunteer and started enlisting the help of other Service Learning students to teach classes. Tyler's hope for service learners in the Chinatown community is that they are able to establish sincere relationships with people from the community so that both the students and the folks they serve can learn, grow and be changed by the experience. In the future, Tyler hopes to obtain a Ph.D and return to the CSU system as a professor while he continues to work in under-served areas such as Chinatown.





Brigette Johnson

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Brigette Johnson is currently in her Senior year here at California State University, Monterey Bay. She is majoring in Psychology. She is originally from Long Beach, California and chose to attend CSUMB based on the small class sizes and location. This year is her second year as a Service Learning Student Leader. Last year, she had a hybrid position which allowed her to be in the classroom and at a community site. She worked with Professor Deb Busman’s HCOM 307 Social Impact and Mass Media Service Learning class as a co-facilitator and  with the site, The Village Project. She completed her service learning at The Village Project two years ago and was inspired to go back and continue working with them. This year, she is classroom based with Dr. Pam Motoike in her SL200 Education Equity Class. Bridgette has a strong passion for social justice and equality along with working with youth.  Brigette is hoping to go to grad school and pursue a career in Marriage and Family Counseling. She would also like to work with foster youth and "at risk" teens.




Brittney Aubin

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Brittney Aubin is the Service Learning Student Leader with Dorothy's Place. She is also a Psychology major completing her senior year here at CSUMB. She plans to continue on to Graduate School in pursuit of a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Brittney would like to work with Veterans who return home with PTSD and/or work with inmates in the prison system. She was inspired to join the Service Learning Leader program after her experience with service learning at Dorothy's Place last spring. Brittney hopes to support service learning students in experiencing all of the wonders of service in the hopes of fostering future advocates for social justice, as well as, provide service to the guests of Dorothy's Place.




Nate Pardini

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Nate is a 4th year business major with a service learning minor who has been with the Service Learning Student Leadership Program since August of 2014. He is currently working a hybrid position where he serves as a liaison between students and Service Learning Faculty, and at Tiburcio Vasquez Elementary School, where he had completed both his upper and lower division service learning requirements. In working with the kids at Tiburcio Vasquez, he hopes to accomplish a growing understanding of the complexities of educational equity, and all that entails. Nate hopes to pursue a career as a Non-Profit analyst after he graduates from CSUMB.




Aidan Shands

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Aidan is a third year biology major studying at California State University Monterey Bay expecting to graduate in Fall of 2016 with aspirations of becoming an ecologist. He joined the Service Learning Student Leadership program this past summer of 2014 and serves at the educational non-profit MEarth in Carmel Valley. Aidan discovered MEarth when he was a service learner his spring semester of 2013. Aidan absolutely fell in love with the site and continued to volunteer there for the next year. Aidan's goal as a Service Learning Student Leader is to share the importance of non-profits such as MEarth, their mission, and how it can bring positive change to the way we educate youth and the community.




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Austin Smith

Austin Smith is a Business Major deciding on a marketing concentration or entrepreneurship. Austin joined the Student Leadership Program in the Fall of 2013 and is expected to graduate in spring of 2016. Austin works with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey Bay (both the Salinas and Seaside clubhouse). His future career goal is to start his own business with his twin brother.







Nicole Suther

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Nicole is a Human Communication major with a concentration in Practical and Professional Ethics. Nicole joined the program in the Fall of 2014 and plans to graduate in Spring 2015. Nicole works with Everyone's Harvest, recruiting service learners for both the Farmer's Markets and the Shoreline Community Garden. Nicole hopes to bring awareness to the issue of food justice and to motivate Service Learners to be aware of the foods they buy and consume. Eventually, Nicole hopes to go onto graduate school for marketing.




Angel Morris

Angel Morris is a Business Administration major with a minor in Service Learning Leadership. Angel is currently a junior here at CSUMB and is expected to graduate spring 2016. She joined the SL2 program fall semester of 2013 and has loved it ever since. Angel works in the Service Learning Institute alongside Andrea Monroe. Angel creates collaborations with other clubs on campus such as the Catalyst Center. This semester, Angel wants to create a space where students with out an SL student leader at their site can access opportunities for reflection. She also wants to create events that benefit students in the choosing and signing up for sites process. She was a SL student once so she knows how tough that process can be! Angel loves business. So in the future, she will eventually want to manage a corporation, and use her social justice background to implement corporate social responsibility by seeking to have the corporation be a support system for the community.




David Nixon

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David Nixon is in the process of receiving a degree in Human Communication with a concentration in Creative Writing and Social Action, with Service Learning, Spanish, and Visual and Public Art as his minors. He is expected to graduate at the end of the spring semester of 2015. He first joined the SL2 staff in 2012 as a sophomore, and was involved, side by side with Pamela Motoike, in a Building Healthy Communities course available to incoming freshmen. After leaving briefly to study abroad, David returned to the program as a co-facilitator in a Service Learning Oral Histories course, where
he now works with Rina Benmayor. It is his goal to help make the connections between the fields of oral storytelling, language, and social justice work, and make these devices and knowledge available to his service learners. After graduating, David plans to continue his social justice work by establishing programs that provide free American Sign Language workshops and courses to marginalized and under-resourced communities, and to communities that do not speak English as a primary language, bridging the gaps between the Deaf cultural community (in which he grew up) and other cultural and ethnic communities. He, too, hopes to participate in language revitalization and decolonization efforts, as well as immigration activism and social justice focused creative literature.





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