It is with great pleasure that we introduce our graduating cohort of Themtees for the 2020-2021 Themtorship Program! Throughout the course of the program, our Themtors have invested their time and effort into these students, helping them achieve their personal and academic goals. We are proud of every single one of our students, and we wish them all the best in their upcoming endeavors.
Emelly Muñoz Estrada (She/Her)
Emelly Muñoz is from Selma, California and attended Selma High School. Emelly decided to participate in the Themtee Program in order to receive guidance in applying to college as a non-traditional student. “As a student who is not only going to be the first in their family to attend college, but one who is also undocumented, I knew that I was going to need some help during the college process,” she said. “It’s hard trying to differ what’s the correct step to take next and what I’m limited to as an undocumented student, but luckily the program was there to help me throughout the way.”
She added that the program leads were helpful in the entire process, and praised their willingness to go above and beyond in their themtorship. “Yadira, my themtor lead, was one of the kindest and most helpful people I’ve met, along with my themtor Jackie. The presentations that were held, the small talks within our groups, were beyond what type of help I was expecting from this program,” Emelly said. “I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to take part in a program like this and hope to provide the same help I was able to receive, in the near future, to others who are also having a hard time during the college process.”
In the fall, Emelly plans on attending the University of California, Riverside as a major in Education. “I’ve had such incredible teachers since I can remember, and their encouragement and passion have led me towards deciding on studying in the education field. I’ve participated in the performing arts and hope to continue while in college,” she said. “I’m very excited about what’s to come this fall as a first-generation student.”
Lolia Imangs (She/Her)
Lolia Imangs is from Tracy, CA and attended Mountain House High School. Originally from Nigeria, Lolia moved to the Central Valley only three years ago. She is thankful she joined Central Valley Scholars due to the assistance she received in transferring her credits from an overseas school. “My college application journey was a hard one given I had transferred schools from outside the country,” she said. “My themtor was able to guide me through the whole process and was always available to help.”
She added that she is thankful for her themtors, who always went the extra mile to help her every need. “It was one of the best decisions I made in my college application process. I am very thankful that I was granted the opportunity to work with such hardworking individuals,” Lolia said.
In the fall, Lolia will be attending the University of North Texas as a Computer Information Systems major, with a minor in Recreation, Event and Sport Management. She aspires to use the skills she will acquire at the University of North Texas in the tech industry. “In the future, I plan on going into project management at a tech company. With my minor I may get into something else but who knows.”
Cristofer Arellano Acosta (He/Him)
Cristofer Arellano Acosta is from Lamont, CA and attended Selma High School. Cristofer decided to join Central Valley Scholars to learn more about the college admissions process. “When I first joined I was clueless about the college process and was beyond stressed. However, everyone had a positive mindset and there were weekly meetings where we went over financial aid, scholarships, UC applications, etc.,” Cristofer said. “My themtor Adrian was someone I could rely on whenever I felt lost in the entire process, and he would be there even during the midnights.”
He added that he is thankful for the program’s caring ambiance, which places much weight on its students’ mental health. “Not everything was about college as we had workshops that focused on mental well-being, and we even learned about astro signs. I am beyond grateful for everyone who helped each one of us in completing this journey and celebrating our accomplishments during the admission acceptances/rejections,” he said.
In the fall, Cristofer plans on studying at Swarthmore College with a focus on Language Learning. “I am a first generation immigrant from Mexico, and one of my passions is language learning, currently studying Portuguese and Arabic. At Swarthmore College, my dream is to study abroad in Brazil and visit Yemen,” he said. “I also hope to create video games that focus on my experiences and the problems that countless communities face around the world, creating visual representations of the daily struggles of those individuals.”
Betsy Cruz (She/Her)
Betsy Cruz is originally from Kern County and attended Bakersfield High School. As a first generation college student, she joined Central Valley Scholars in order to boost her confidence in her college applications.
In the future, Betsy hopes to specialize in Nursing at a four-year university. “I’m excited. I’ll be the first one in my family to attend college, and my hope is to become a registered nurse.”
Alexis Morales (He/Him)
Alexis Morales is originally from Tulare, California and attended Woodlake Union High School, where he has been an active member being 2020-2021 Student Representative to the Board of Trustees for Woodlake Unified School District, played in varsity tennis since freshman year, served as the 2020-2021 ASB President, and held over five leadership positions in various clubs/organizations.
In the future, Alexis will be attending the University of Southern California with a major in Public Policy.
Eryka Murdock (She/Her)
Eryka Murdock is originally from Bakersfield, California and attended Bakersfield College. She joined Central Valley Scholars in order to have a themtor who can help guide her toward a successful career in college and beyond.
In the near future, Eryka plans on attending a four-year university in order to study Architecture, and is confident that she will achieve her goals. When asked to describe herself, Eryka said “‘I am not a word, I am not a line, I am not a girl who can ever be defined.’ I am a perfect paradox in all the best ways.”
Jaymie Maga (She/Her)
Jaymie Maga is originally from Fresno, California and attended Patino School of Entrepreneurship, where she served as a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, the publicity officer of the student government , and president of the Black Student Union. Jaymie proudly identifies as Samoan and African American.
Jaymie recently embarked on her journey as a themtee and loved every minute of it. She is passionate about science, self-love, and social justice.
By Rafael Franco (He/Him)
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