Peer2Peer Program

Contact Information

Old Gymnasium, Floor 2
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
Phone: 402.280.2749
Fax: 402.280.5579

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

TRIO Programs - Student Support Programs

All About Peer2Peer

Peer2Peer is a mentoring program designed to support first year SSS participants with the transition to college life through the guidance and assistance of upper class SSS students. Peer2Peer combines one on one meetings between mentors and mentees with group activities and meetings.

The primary goals of the Peer2Peer mentoring program are to enrich the personal and academic development of first year SSS participants while building the leadership skills of upper class SSS students.

The objectives of the program are:

  • To assist new students in their transition to Creighton by broadening students' knowledge of a variety of academic and university resources.
  • To develop a solid relationship between upper class students and first year students with similar interests.
  • To provide a strong foundation of support to ensure the success of first year students.
  • To develop life-long friendships.

View the Peer2Peer Brochure   

Application and Selection Process


Mentors must submit a complete application, which includes areas of interest, major, career goals, extra-curricular activities, and a short essay explaining why he or she wants to participate in the program. In addition, a mentor applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Strong interpersonal and helping skills
  • Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing
  • Be in good academic standing
  • 3.0 GPA or higher


Mentees must submit a complete application which includes areas of interest, major, career goals, extra-curricular activities, and a short essay explaining why he or she wants to participate in the program. In addition, mentee applicants must meet the following criteria: Be a first year SSS student and possess a sincere desire to meet with a mentor.

Both mentor and mentee must meet twice a month for at least one hour at a location that is convenient for them. Mentors and mentees must also attend all group activities and meetings as planned. Activities and meetings are held two to three times per semester.

Meet the Peer2Peer Mentors

Denisse Navarro-Perez, Omaha, Nebraska

Hello! My name is Denisse Navarro-Perez and I am from Omaha, Nebraska. I am a junior pursuing a degree in the business school where Iím double majoring in Marketing & Management with a Human Resources focus. Iíd like to graduate from law school one day and help others in the field of law. In addition to being the President of Peer 2 Peer, I am involved in the Father John P. Markoe Leadership Program, the Dean's Fellows Program, and in Residential Life as an Assistant Resident Director. I am also the Director of the Connect at Creighton Conference. I enjoy running, reading, shopping, and gardening. This summer Iíve also been teaching myself to rollerblade! Iím very grateful to be part of the wonderful community of SSS and having a group of students to be able to connect with. Iíve learned to be very resilient as a first-generation, low- income student. Iíve worked very hard to be at the point where Iím at, but I also know Iíve worked too hard to simply stop at that point. Iíd like to offer a kind heart and listening ears to anyone who needs it to hopefully help with the college transition (especially over a cup of coffee). I am also super excited for the events we have planned and look forward to making even more memories with the program! Something you may not know about me is that I love cats and have three of them!

Angelina Manasan, San Diego, California

Hey, my name is Angelina Manasan and I am a double major in Spanish & Hispanic Studies and Theology with a double minor in Women & Gender Studies and Justice & Peace Studies. I am looking into going into advocacy work, so working with marginalized communities or going into education for high school students. I am involved in TRiO Student Support Services, Peer2Peer, Hui O'Hawaii, Creighton University Latino Student Association, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Creighton University Dance/Theatre Department, and Creighton University Asian and Pacific Islander club. I am a hula Tahitian and Polynesian dancer, I love to read, binge Netflix, eat (especially ice cream and Mexican food), and nap. Being a part of Student Support Services has been really helpful to me by providing different study rooms, computers, printing, and especially the tutors. Not only is SSS supportive of my academics but life skills as well, like learning how to change a tire or self-defense.

Being a first-generation college student, low-income, and disabled can be seen as something that holds me back, but I like to think of it as a door of opportunities. I am able to have access to a community that can identify with me and the struggles of being low-income, I get to hold my head up high when I get to say I am a first-gen college student and will not be the last in my family, and I am able to educate many people about disabilities and accommodations. For this upcoming school year, I am excited to help plan and participate in the fun activities that are in store for the mentors and mentees. Some fun facts about me is that I work in the Theatre Department where I do Theatre/Special Affects Makeup, costuming, and hair and my mom was my donor for my liver transplant.

Alexia Sanchez, Kailua, Hawaii

Hello my name is Alexia Sanchez and I am in the College of Arts & Sciences. I am majoring in Chemistry. I would like to work as a pharmacist either retail or possibly in hospitals. I am involved with the Hui O' Hawai'i club. I am also a social chair in the Pre- pharmacy club. A few hobbies I like to partake in during my free time would be watching Netflix, looking for new recipes to either cook or bake and definitely hanging out with friends. I also love watching sunsets and going to the beach. I enjoy being a part of SSS because the SSS community is tremendously helpful and positive. It makes me feel like I have another community to share with and get close to. As a first-generation college student, I like being a part of the SSS community because they are so helpful. I am most excited about meeting everyone and being able to find and create a bond with them.

AJ Jayakody, Kansas City, Missouri

Hey, my name is AJ Jayakody and I plan on majoring in Exercise Science or going down the Pre- med track. Eventually I want to work with people in the healthcare field, helping them live healthier and longer. Some groups that I am a part of are SSS, NSW, and Delta Chi. In my free time I like soccer, I am a soccer fanatic, can talk about anything related to soccer, and being active and watching good tv shows and having a good time. I want to help other students get acclimated to Creighton the same way I was helped out. I want to give back. Being a first-generation college student means that I have an extremely special and rare opportunity and I have to make the most out of this gift. I am most excited to to teach a fellow freshman how to adjust to Creighton because this is a big step in their lives, and I want to help make the transition smooth as possible.

Andrťs FernŠndez, Minneapolis, Minnesota

What's up!! My name is Andres Fernandez and I am majoring in Marketing and minoring in Economics but eventually I'd like to own my own thriving business that allows me to provide for myself and my family as well as give back to my community. Some organizations that I am in are Alpha Kappa Psi (Business Fraternity), Creighton University Latino Student Association (CULSA), and Residential Life. I love yoga and working out, I enjoy reading, music is my favorite thing in the world, I enjoy going to coffee shops, YouTube and Netflix are cool. I love being around individuals who are different, like myself. People who come from different backgrounds and unique experiences. I like that we use our adversities as motivation to push ourselves outside the status quo. Being a first-generation college student means pressure. We are the chosen ones of our family and perhaps community. It means we must always remember where and who we come from, as this will ground us in times of stress and doubt. Being first- generation means that I must not only make my family proud, but myself. Some interesting facts about me are that I was born in Venezuela, I've been to Spain, music is my favorite thing in the world, I've been to a lot of places in the US, and I am allergic to shrimp.

Binyam Ware, Sioux, Iowa

Hey, my name is Bin Ware, I am majoring in Computer Science and Health Administration, and I want to be another helper in the world. I have not decided on a certain career for my future not because I am not interested in anything but because I am interested in too many things. I hope at the end of my Creighton journey I will have a good idea of what my career is going to be. I love to stay busy, so I am involved in a lot of different organizations and clubs. I am the President of the African Student Association here on the Creighton campus. I am a Creighton Student Union representative and also the Director of Diversity and Inclusion in the Union. I am also the director of Marketing and engagement for the Connect at Creighton Conference, which is a conference that brings past students that are a minority with minority students that are currently attending Creighton. I am a part of the Creighton's TRIO system which is called SSS. I am a mentor for Presidential Scholars, which is a program set up to serve the Omaha youth community. I love playing and watching sports especially basketball. I am a people's person so anything safe that brings people together is something I consider my hobby. I enjoy reading and spending time outside. I am a huge believer in happiness being achieved by serving those around you. Peer2Peer is another way that I can serve those that are around me. Especially since SSS student share unique stories, having some who understands that as well as understands the ins and outs can be a great asset for the mentee. Being a first-generation college student and low income, there is a tremendous amount of pressure on being successful; not only for myself but also for my family. Being a first-generation college student also means that I have the opportunity to be the first in my family to graduate college, which I know will make my family and friends very proud. I am excited to meet serve my mentee! I will be teaching them as much as I can while also learning from them. A fun fact about me is that I was born and raised until the age of 10 in Ethiopia.

Brisa Banuelos, Denver, Colorado

Hello! My name is Brisa Banuelos and I am a Marketing & International Business Double Major with Minor in Spanish & Hispanic Studies. My dream job is to someday work for the Walt Disney Company in their international marketing department. This combines my appreciation for different cultures around the world and my love for Disney! Some organizations that I am a part of include Pi Beta Phi Sorority, Panhellenic Council, Creighton Latino Student Association, Anna Tyler Waite Leadership Program, and Women in Business. In my free time I like to bake, cook, read, watch Netflix, Disney+, and travel. I like being part of SSS because it provides me with a great support system on campus. Being an out of state student with no family in Omaha it has helped me find a community to be a part of. I enjoy being part of peer2peer because it gives me the opportunity to get to know some of the underclassmen outside of the business school that I would have a smaller chance of meeting. Being first-generation to me means that you appreciate your education on a different level than those who have had parents that went to college or student who may take it for granted. Being a first- generation student means that you have to seek opportunities where you find them and step up to things that may challenge you and try new things. Ultimately, I find being a first-generation student to be very empowering. I am excited to help students navigate through Creighton life. Additionally, I look forward to helping my mentee step up to things that may challenge them and be there to support them whenever or wherever they may need it. I studied abroad in Spain and traveled to 10 different countries while in Europe. I have never seen a Star Wars movie but I LOVE Disney movies and all things Disney.

Jaquelin Gomez-Alcala, Omaha, Nebraska

Hi! My name is Jaquelin Gomez-Alcala and I am double majoring in Psychology and Spanish. The two main career aspirations I have are to become a bilingual counseling psychologist and to be an advocate for women all over the world. I want to offer free and affordable consultations that are easily accessible to minorities. Especially, offering support for women. I hope to create a foundation for women to help other women in need. This foundation would extend to helping women all over the world with all kinds of resources. Some groups and organizations that I am involved in are CULSA (Creighton University's Latino Student Association), TRIO's Student Support Services, Peer2Peer, and Creighton University's Campus Ministry. Some hidden talents would be I have double-jointed thumbs. I speak Spanish quite well. I am very good at singing and it's a hobby of mine as well. Another hobby would be fashion and interior designing. I see these last hobbies as my platform for self-expression. What I like about being a part of SSS and Peer2Peer is that I don't feel alone here at college as a first-generation college student. Not only has SSS and Peer2Peer helped me with college but life itself. They have helped me become into the individual I am now. Being a first-generation student and having a low-income background means that I have a different perspective in doing things. My perspective of college, its costs and my future are different, but it does not set me at a disadvantage. I might have had to work hard and continue to do so but it makes me appreciate everything I have so much more. My mom says that its' hard to take things for granted when it was achieved by your own work and I really believe that. What I am most excited about for this upcoming year has to be meeting all the mentees and working together to make this an overall great year. Even with given circumstances there is still so much we can do! I can't wait to meet all of you! A fun fact about me is that I have never read any Star Wars or Harry Potter books.

Janeth Arvizu Rivera, Phoenix, Arizona

Hi, my name is Janeth Arvizu Rivera and I am a Psychology major. This year has been a year full of questions, changes, and experiences that have been great and not so great. I came to Creighton much like every freshman being pre-med and an undecided neuroscience major. But through my service and justice trips, an advocacy trip to Washington DC, and this EDU 170 course I learned that this might not be the path I meant to follow. I have a fire inside me that is oh so passionate about standing up for the rights of others and speaking up about the injustice that people face. Yet I am timid, and shy and a little bit sassy and still building up my confidence to stand up to those who try to hold me back. But I am certain that I want to major in psychology and have these conversation with children struggling to find who they are and assure them that to have questions is not something that will derail or upset the parents we try so hard to make proud. From experience I know it's difficult to have the conversation of not wanting to pursue medical school and thinking about pursuing law or graduate school and I think it makes it that much easier to connect with others and allow them to open up and share the internal struggle which leaves them restless at night. Promoting justice in the field of psychology or law for me will begin with sharing my experiences and providing assurance that expresses how we live in an unjust world full of inequality but we can do everything in our power to make our voices heard and educating others on the importance of seeing others first as humans and open the conversation that we are so much more similar than one thinks aside from that which makes us different. Some organizations that I am involved in are Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority, SCSJ Service and Justice trip Participant, Eucharistic Minister, Cortina, and SSS. I love to read, watch movies, binge watch TV on Netflix and Hulu, and am a major foodie. I did some pretty out of the ordinary things in high school like trap shooting, robotics, rowing, and band. Shooting a shotgun is so much fun and playing the clarinet will always have my heart. SSS is an organization made up of students that are feeling or have felt a lot of the emotions that come from moving away from college and making decisions for one's own well-being. I loved being a mentee, i had a great coordinator who helped me through my first year of college by being like a sister and assuring me that everything would work out. Being a first- generation, low income students has a lot of pressures because theirs this cloud which constantly reminds me that I have to succeed in order for my parents sacrifice to mean something. I am proud of being a first gen student and have never been ashamed of being of low income because I take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. Although I feel some pressure I dont let it get in the way of my self- discovery journey being away for college has showed me just how independent I can be as well as helped me gain confidence. I am most excited about building that initial connection with my mentee and assure them that although scary and hard at first freshman year opens up a new door of self-discovery and opportunity.

Jasmine Chee, Honolulu, Hawaii

Hey! My name is Jasmine Chee and I am currently a part of the 2-4 pre-pharmacy program. In the future I hope to either work as a pharmacist in a hospital setting or open my own practice! On campus I am involved with the CAAS Dean's Fellows, Pre- pharmacy Club, Alpha Phi Omega, and the Hui O'Hawai'i Club. When I'm back home, I enjoy going to the beach and hiking. In Omaha, my hobbies consist of drawing, painting, trying new foods, and going on Target runs. I like being a part of SSS because it is such a welcoming community of students who come from the most diverse backgrounds. I feel that our differences bring us closer together. It is a program filled with people and resources that support your education and well-being. Peer2Peer made my transition into college a little less hectic. My mentor checked up on me frequently and did her very best to answer all the questions I had. I hope to be there to guide my mentee and make their transition into college fun and insightful! Being a first-generation student increased my worries about the unknown variables of college, but also my excitement and gratitude for this opportunity. SSS made my first year in college a wonderful memory by providing me resources for studying, and by allowing me to form relationships with people who encourage all growth. This upcoming year, I am most excited about meeting and helping out the new students on campus. CU soon!

Jessica Gonzalez, Fort Collins, Colorado

Hey! My name is Jessica Gonzalez, I am from Fort Collins, Colorado and I am in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am majoring in Journalism and following the pre-OT track. I started my time at Creighton as a Global Scholar meaning I actually spent my first semester of college at the University of Sydney in Australia. On campus I am involved with HCOP, and Upward Bound. When I am not studying, I tend to be volunteering, watching countless hours of random YouTube videos, taking pictures, or playing soccer. As a first-generation student, I have discovered that Student Support Services has become my home away from home. I love that no matter what I am dealing with, I can always find a sense of comfort and guidance at the office. I'm super excited to meet all of the mentees and help you all find a way to smoothly transition onto campus.

Kelly Nguyen, Wichita, Kansas

Hey! My name is Kelly Nguyen I am majoring in Exercise Science on the pre-dental track with the aspirations to become a dentist. I participate in Alpha Phi Omega, which is a Co-Service Fraternity, Pre-dental society, Creighton University Asian and Pacific Islander club, and Hawaii club. Some of my hobbies are traveling, I even studied abroad in Japan, I love matcha, videography/photography, hiking, gymnastics, cooking, and ceramics. Coming into college I had so many questions and felt lost, but SSS has provided me with many resources and a great staff that has helped me throughout my collegiate career. SSS has provided me a support system away from home with peers, mentors, advisors, and friends that are always there for me. Being a first-generation, low-income student has taught me perseverance and dedication. Coming into college as a first-generation student is not easy and may come with many hardships, but with a great support system and determination you can jump over any obstacle. As a mentor for this upcoming year, I am excited to share my experiences with the incoming students and be able to motivate them through their collegiate career.

Loren Ortiz, Kansas City, Missouri

Hi! My name is Loren Ortiz. I am a Cultural Anthropology and Spanish major. I want to work at a nonprofit that helps the Latino community or people in other countries, a travel company that helps schedule trips for students, or just something where I can be creative and love my job. On campus I am involved with CULSA, Tri-Delta, Medical and Cultural Anthropology Association, and Creighton College Democrats. I like drawing, painting, embroidery, sewing, makeup, and pretty much anything where I can be creative. I love shopping, but I prefer thrift stores because I can upcycle clothing into something new. I also love watching Netflix and Youtube and listening to music. I love musical theater, but I don't have the talent to be in one I just like watching them. I also play tennis and was on my varsity high school team. I like being a part of SSS/ Peer2Peer because it's an amazing community of people who are like me. Everyone in SSS is so nice and welcoming. They are such an amazing support system, and I made many friends through SSS. Being from a first-generation low-income background has taught me to always work hard for what I want and never give up on my dreams. It's definitely hard to go into college not knowing anything about it, but I get to make my family proud by graduating college which is amazing. I'm excited about helping my mentee adjust to college comfortably and pass down knowledge I learned from my mentor and SSS. I'm excited to help my mentee with anything they need and be there for them to talk to, or to go out and grab something to eat. Some fun facts about me are that I have traveled to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and France. I love all types of music. I'm sort of into astrology, and I love reading my horoscope even if itís really cheesy and broad. I'm a Pisces! If you ever want to go out and grab some food or a coffee I am down!

Lucy Sanchez, Omaha, Nebraska

Hey, Iím Lucy Sanchez and I am a Computer Science Major and Biology Minor. Early in my career I want to work in a well-known tech company. Later, I want to code remotely and travel a ton. In my later career, I would either want to be a product manager at a tech company or a professor. Some of the clubs and organizations that I am involved in are Young Democrats, Coffee and Conversation, Delta Zeta's Philanthropy, COB, and Website Chair, Campus Ministry, and Computer Science Club. I love cooking traditional Mexican dishes, making and buying thrifted jewelry, going thrift shopping in general, and having themed photo shoots with friends. I also love going to quirky coffee shops to study, chill, or consume over-priced coffee. My favorite foods have to have some spice to them. My friends are my main hobby since I love hanging out with them! I like being part of a community that I do not have to explain my background. I also love being part of a group that is motivated and desires my success in a wholistic manner.

Our advisors also are a great resource and so reassuring when college gets overwhelming. It means having grit and being resourceful, because being initially disadvantaged in the race of life has made me fight for what I truly passion. With that said, such experiences have given me an advantage as I progress through my career because it has made me grateful and ambitious. It also reminds me the importance of a supportive family as I navigate through jobs, school, and life. I am excited to help a newbie college student navigate through the weeds of college. I always wanted someone that I could have as resource, and as that resource I hope to ease you into the transition of college. l also just love new people to hang out with, because new people bring new ideas and ways of seeing the world!

Makala Smith, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Hi! My name is Makala and I am currently a Junior in the Heider College of Business. I am double majoring in FinTech and BIA and minoring in Mathematics. On campus, I am in a sorority, Delta Delta Delta, and I am in Women in Business. I love playing with new makeup and clothes, going out with friends, taking pictures, shopping, and finding new music/going to concerts. I like being a part of Student Support Services because everyone is so welcoming and open and available if I need someone to talk to. From other members that I hang out with to the writing help that Dr. Longo has provided, SSS is there for anything that I might need help with. As a first-generation, low-income student, SSS has always helped me with the things that come with being a college student, such as FAFSA and searching for scholarships. I am super excited to get to know all the incoming freshmen and give them the support that I needed when I was a freshman. Feel free to say hi if you see me on campus!

Malorie Wolf, West Bend, Wisconsin

Hey, my name is Malorie Wolf and I am a Medical Anthropology and HAP major with a Public Health minor. I want to take a gap year following graduation to volunteer before continuing on to graduate school. I'm uncertain of my career path, but I wish to advocate for change in the healthcare system. Some things I am involved in are a psychology research project, Tri-Delta, and I enjoy service trips with the SCSJ. My hobbies include reading, knitting, and binge- watching Netflix. I enjoy traveling and trying new coffee/teas. SSS is an amazing support system of mentors and advisors that help navigate the college experience and connect with students of similar situations. Being a first-generation student, I've seen how overwhelming it can be trying to navigate college, and I am grateful for the community and support in SSS that has made it possible for me to have success academically and adjust emotionally. I'm excited for the incoming freshman to have their first year of college and be able to offer any support as a mentor to make the transition easier. I'm excited for the incoming freshman to have their first year of college and be able to offer any support as a mentor to make the transition easier

Marissa Romero, Denver, Colorado

Hello! My name is Marissa Romero and I am double majoring in Psychology and Social Work with a minor in Health Administration and Policy. I want to be a psychologist and work with kids and teens with disabilities. On campus I am involved with SSS and Sigma Lambda Gamma. I love to paint (follow my art Instagram account rissaa_art1957), I love to go hiking, and I can play 6 different instruments. I love being a part of SSS and Peer2Peer because it is such a great group and community to lean on when you are stressed, down, struggling etc. They are 100% a great support system especially being first-generation and not knowing what you are doing half the time. I am both first- generation and low-income and honestly, I say to embrace it. I am not ashamed of coming from a low-income family as it just pushes me to work harder so I can help my family in the end. Being first-generation can be stressful sometimes but it feels good to know that you are setting not only yourself, but hopefully other family members, up for success. You are being looked on as a role model. I am excited to expand my social connections and gain another friend in this process. I am excited to help someone make this big transition to college knowing from experience it isn't always easy. Some fun facts about me include that I love to paint, I have been to Italy, and I work at Dairy Queen.

Mayela Hernandez, Omaha, Nebraska

Hi! My name is Mayela Hernandez and I am Double Majoring in Political Science and Justice & Peace Studies with a minor in Spanish. I would like to work in politics hopefully in DC. Ideally, I would like to work in Congress and work towards a more just and equal system. On campus I am involved with the CSU Board of Reps and Iím in the sorority Pi Beta Phi. I spend lots of time watching Netflix and TikTok and trying new things I see on TikTok (except the dances because I have no coordination). I also enjoy going on walks and chatting with new friends. I like being a part of SSS because I have found a support system and really awesome people who want to help me be at my best throughout my time at Creighton. Being a first-generation student means that I have the responsibility of working hard to break the cycle that I was born into. I have the chance to change not only my quality of life but also my parents who have given me everything. I know to get the job done I need to be dedicated, consistent and have a strong support system. I am excited to actually be on campus and get to meet all the new students. I want to be a part of your support system. I am looking forward to helping them get used to their new environment and help them with anything they might need! Fun fact, my favorite place I have ever visited is Switzerland!

Monica Bradley, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Hello, my name is Monica Bradley and I am a Sociology major with a communications minor. I aspire to open my own business in the field of child development, I have yet to decide if I want to do something like a group home, or like a Boys & Girls Club. I have always loved working with kids and from my background I know there are so many helpless children who do not have the positive guidance from their families or communities. I believe that change in the world begins with the kids, thus I will do my part in changing the world by reaching as many children as I can and help guide them down a path of success. But until I am ready to start that business, I plan on going into Human Resources upon graduation and working on learning the ropes and behind the scenes of a business. I am currently only involved in Peer2Peer, I have not been in a group or organization consistently. I have a shopping addiction that some find funny, and others not so much, but I still love it. I am also into crafty activities such as painting or bullet journaling. I am a very active person, all my life I have played sports, so I really enjoy going out for a nice jog or playing a good game of volleyball. SSS has been such a helpful resource when it has come to having people by your side when you aren't sure where to go. My advisor, Karen, is such a blessing and without her and all the connections and resources she and SSS have gathered, I don't know if I would have been as comfortable with the transition to being a first generation, out-of-state college student. My freshman year I was a part of the Peer2Peer program, and I enjoyed having a mentor, who was really more like a friend. Being first generation means breaking the cycl e, I come from a background where graduating high school was a big deal, because not many finished, and if they did, they didnít finish in the light that I had. Going to college, and finishing college, will be the greatest success story in my family, and I, being the oldest of my generation, am setting the example for my siblings and cousins to follow. My goal as a mentor this year is to get involved, alongside my mentee. While I haven't been the most involved student around campus, I'd love to help someone else try something new and get involved, making their college experience the best it can be. I love to cook, so if you ever get tired of Brandy just let me know, you're free to come over for a good meal!

Nathan Zimmerman, Yankton, South Dakota

Hey, my name is Nathan Zimmerman and I am majoring in Biology and planning to minor in Science and Medicine in Society. I am currently on the pre-med track with plans to attend medical school and pursue a career as a cardiologist. After completing medical school, I hope to accept a job in a rural community that lacks widespread access to healthcare. I am currently a member of the pre-med society here on Creighton's campus. I also assist Dr. Brian North in his research throughout the year. I enjoy taking part in a number of different intramural sports including soccer, football, volleyball, and basketball. My favorite teams to watch are the Minnesota Vikings and Paris Saint Germain. My hobbies include playing pickup soccer or basketball games, watching Netflix, trying out new restaurants around Omaha, reading, and attending the different Creighton sporting events throughout the year. I feel that the SSS does an excellent job of assisting incoming students and current students with adapting to the new college environment. The SSS and Peer2Peer groups are always there to support students that are in need whether that be a late-night review session before a terrifying biology final or just a home cooked meal because you miss home. As a first-generation student, I have always felt that there was additional pressure on me to succeed. I feel that this pressure has had a positive impact on my academic and social endeavors. I am looking forward to meeting the incoming freshman as well as sharing advice about life at Creighton and all of the new opportunities that accompany this once in a lifetime experience. I am always open to help you with any problems you are having whether it is with schoolwork or just need a little help adjusting to college life.

Nikalani Swift, Honolulu, Hawaii

Hello! My name is Nikalani Swift and I am an English major with a Spanish minor. Iíd like to pursue a career as an Acquisition and/or Developmental Editor, Author, or Literary Agent. On campus I am involved with ResLife, CULSA, SSS, FLOCK, ABC (A Better Creighton), Hui O Hawai'i club, APO, and Cortina. I love to do any type of art (mostly paint though), swimming, writing/editing, reading. I love to cook, play soccer, and I am open to trying most new hobbies. I love SSS because I feel like I belong somewhere on campus, I always feel comfortable around SSS people and I know I can depend on them when I need extra guidance or help. I love Peer2Peer because it gives me a chance to show new students the same openness and welcoming vibes that I received when I first got to Creighton and joined SSS. Being first-gen, low-income, and having a disability means that I am representing all the students like me that may not have been able to get this far in their collegiate career, that I am showing the world we can do it too. I know somethings will be harder for me but being in a position to educate myself and expand my knowledge shows me that although I am first-gen, low-income, and have a disability I can do what I put my mind too especially with the support of my family and the SSS family. I am most excited about showing my mentee(s) all the possible opportunities for them on campus, I want them to be ready for their first year of college, and especially with a global pandemic going on it would be easier to have a buddy to help guide them through a new experience like college. Very random fact but: I have 2 clownfish now and they are very sociable so I'll be bringing them to Omaha with me. Another fun fact: I have never traveled outside of the USA so hopefully next summer I can go on a FLPA program.

Rachel Toves,

Hello! My name is Rachel Toves. I am an Exercise Science Major and Dance Minor. I'd like to pursue a career in Physical Therapy specializing in Performing Arts. On campus I am involved with Hui O Hawaii, InterVaristy, Alpha Phi Omega, Urban Dance, Creighton Dance Company and Pre-PT Club. Dancing is my passion, watching youtube, cooking, and going to the beach are some of my hobbies. SSS is an amazing resource and community on campus. All of the staff and students are extremely kind, and ready to lend a helping hand when you need it. I made my first friends at Creighton through SSS and I am so grateful for all of the support that tutors, staff, and friends have given me. Being a first-generation student, SSS really helped to guide me in what resources were available for me to use when needed help academically in classes or whether I needed guidance and support outside of the classroom. I am most excited about working with and learning with new students. It feels like just yesterday that I came to Creighton and was a freshman myself, having the title of a mentor seems strange to me but I am ready and delighted to be apart of this community. A fun fact about me is that I love the color pink!

Shanna Hamilton, Honolulu, Hawaii

Hi, my name is Shanna Hamilton and I am majoring in Health, Administration, and Policy and Biology. I would either like to work in an ER as a trauma surgeon or have my own private practice as a plastic surgeon. Some groups and organizations that I am involved in are Cortina, MEDlife, and Sigma Lamda Gamma Sorority. Some of my hobbies include working out, art, hiking/being outdoors, and Netflix. I like being a part of SSS because of the support. I like having a place to go to with people I am familiar with. Peer2Peer was nice because I could contact my mentor if I need anything, especially with chemistry help. To me, being first generation is something I am proud of. It reminds me that I am bettering myself and reaching goals that I thought I never could. Even though I am low income and an independent student, I know that I can take care of myself and strive for a better future and not let limitations stop that. I am most excited to show my mentee the "ropes" of being a freshman and sharing advice that I wish I had as a freshman. I look forward to doing things together such as going to Skutt to study or KFC to work out. Overall, just being there for them if they need.

Shannelle Baliguat-Lamoya, Honolulu, Hawaii

Hi, my name is Shannelle Baliguat-Lamoya and I am majoring in Biology. I want to become a pediatric oncologist. When I was 13 years old, I was diagnosed with ALL, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Prior to being diagnosed, my family dealt with a lot of health issues, so I wasn't unfamiliar with hospitals or healthcare. However, being able to experience healthcare through the eyes of a patient allowed me to see the world in a very different light. I was able to gain an appreciation for not only the blood, sweat, and tears it takes families to go through ordeals such as mine, but to also see how it affected those who cared for me. It not only changed me as a person, but also how I view the world and life in general. I lost a lot after being diagnosed with cancer, but coming out of it, I gained much more. I'm in the Love Your Melon Crew, Pre-Med Society, Colleges Against Cancer (Survivors and Caregivers Committee), and Habitat for Humanity. One of my favorite things to do is read, my favorite genre is mystery/thriller. I also like stand up paddle boarding and going snorkeling with my dad. I'd definitely classify myself as an introvert, my idea of the perfect Friday night includes staying in and watching some of my favorite TV shows or taking a much- needed nap. I like being a part of SSS because everyone in it is very supportive and genuinely cares about us. I struggle with trying to put myself out there and meet new people, but I was able to make really great friends because of SSS. I liked P2P because I knew that no matter what happened, I always had someone to go to if I ever needed advice on a situation or problem I was having. Sometimes, you don't want to necessarily talk to your parents, teachers, or friends, because they don't really understand what you're going through. My mentor always made sure I knew she was there, and I knew she knew what I was going through, she'd done it all herself! Being first-generation and coming from a low-income family is scary. A lot of the time, you feel like you don't belong in college or you don't deserve to be or that you can't afford it. It hurt realizing that the majority of my peers didn't understand what I was going through.

However, it also made me realize how incredibly fortunate I was. A lot of the time, you may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It feels like your family is counting on you to get a degree to help financially. People are expecting you to get straight A's because they're investing so much into your education, anything else is unacceptable. There are so many reasons to fear going through this as you are. But this is what sets you apart, what makes everyone in SSS so strong. Fear is overwhelming and paralyzing, but we chose to stare it down and move forward anyway. Letting the fact that you're first- generation or from a low income background become part of who you are isn't a bad thing, it just shows the amount of effort it took for you to get to where you are today. It means you worked to be where you needed to be. No one will ever be able to take that away from you. I am most excited about being able to talk to and hopefully help out someone that feels like the transition to college is scary. I remember feeling overwhelmed and scared of the entire process but having people who knew what I was feeling because they had personally been through it themselves was a huge relief. I have never seen a Harry Potter movie, but I have read the series. I've never been out of the country, but I have traveled to Texas, Florida, and now Nebraska. I love watching comedies, especially movies with Adam Sandler in them. My favorite color is blue.

Shea Sera, Makawao, Hawaii

Hello! My name is Shea Sera. I am majoring in Biology and minoring in Business Administration.

I want to be a dentist and possibly start a dental clinic for people of low income, especially those with special needs. I am involved with the Alpha Phi Omega, the SCSJ, undergraduate research, Hawaii club, Pre-Dental Society, Tri Delta, and the OneWorld Clinic at Creighton's School of Dentistry. I like art especially ceramics, to surf, and to hang out with my friends. I like the extra support that SSS/Peer2Peer offers. Leaving home was a huge change and SSS/Peer2Peer made the transition a lot easier. It is nice to have people to make sure you stay on track. I also like that SSS students get priority registration and are given the opportunity to attend workshops. To me, being first-generation means no experience. In high school when I wanted to apply for college I had no idea where to begin and neither did my parents. I've spent a lot of time on Google searching how to do things. Coming into college, I didn't even know how many years to took to become a dentist. Now I am studying to take the DAT this summer. First- generation means you have to find people who can help you gain experience. I'm excited to help a new student who has less experience in college get that experience. I think it will be fun. I'll be making a new friend. I like to travel. In the US I've been to Hawaii, California, Utah, Nevada, Texas, Virginia (Washington DC), New York, South Carolina, Georga, and Louisiana. also been to Japan and Canada. I want to go to Europe next year.

Tasia Matsuda, Wailuku, Hawaii

Hi, my name is Tasia Matsuda and I am majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Legal Studies on the Pre-Law track. I am not completely sure about what I would like to do, but I am sure that I want to go to Law School. Then, I either want to apply for the FBI academy or become a Family or Juvenile Lawyer. On campus, I am a part of the Co-Ed Service Fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. I am on the Executive team serving as the club's Sergeant-at-Arms. I am a part of the SSS Program as well as Peer2Peer. I am a Peer Educator for the Violence, Intervention, and Prevention Center and I work in the Student Leadership and Involvement Center as a Desk Receptionist. I am also a member of the Hui O Aloha Club and have performed in Creighton's Annual Luau as well as some other off-campus events. My hobbies include photography, art such as drawing and wood burning, going to the beach, binging shows and movies on Netflix, trying new food places, and spending time with family and friends. I like being a part of SSS because the community is always so friendly, supportive, and helpful. I also like the services they offer such as printing, study rooms, meetings with my advisor to make sure I am on track, and workshops where I have learned things about loans, scholarships, resumes, and preparation about furthering my education. I like being a part of Peer2Peer because I enjoy meeting new people and creating new bonds with my mentee and others. My Freshman year Mentor helped me with my transition into college and I would like to do the same. Being a first-generation college student, I did not know what to expect coming into college, being on my own, and being so far away from home. My advisor and my Freshman year mentor helped to make the transition into college as well as my first year go smoothly.

There were some rough patches, but it was still a great year. Also, I have learned various skills and how to be independent and self-motivated. In the upcoming year as a mentor, I am most excited about meeting my mentee and creating a bond with my mentee as well as others that I meet. I am excited to see how this year will go! I am short and the king of bad jokes, but it is always a good time, haha.

Theo Banaszewski, Wheaton, Illinois

Hello, my name is Theo Banaszewski and I am majoring in History and Poli Sci/ Philosophy. Eventually I want to go into either law or teaching. A couple groups that I am in are History Society and the Welch Fellowship. Some hobbies of mine include video games and basketball. I like being a part of SSS because it provided me some guidance and opportunities to take advantage of my first year at Creighton. To me, being a first-generation college student means that I'm not just here for myself but for my family and to help improve my future and theirs. I am excited to see how my mentee grows throughout the year as I did and for me to influence their growth in a positive direction.