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Meet the Mentors

Gisady Mendoza STEP mentor

My name is Gisady (gi-sad-dee) Mendoza, and I am from Peabody, Massachusetts! My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am currently a senior with a major in chemistry and a concentration in biochemistry. Some things I like to do for fun is to go longboarding, hanging with friends and family, graphic designing/video editing, reading books, traveling, exercising, and eating food! I am also involved in the Honors Program at Salem State University and Residence Life. My favorite things about SSU are how close to home I am and how affordable it is. My other favorite things about SSU are the library, professors, STEP, and the Honors program. 

I joined the STEP program because I wanted to be a successful college student and get all the resources and information to be one. It made my freshman year more manageable and less stressful. It helped improve my communication and time management skills as well. As a third-year STEP peer mentor, I am excited to allow other first-year students. I had a great experience with STEP, and I hope to help others have an amazing experience as I did. 

Natalie Caron Headshot

Hello, my name is Natalia Caron. I am from Lowell, Massachusetts and I am currently a senior here at Salem State University. I am majoring in early childhood education in the 4+1 program, with a double major in geography. As a freshman, being a part of STEP was probably the best decision I made. This program has helped me to succeed in all aspects of my life, not just academics. My STEP coach helped me to get involved on campus and it even resulted in me becoming the president of the education club! I am so excited to be working with everyone this year and being able to lend a helping hand when needed. I hope to be able to make everyone’s first year here at Salem State the best it can be!

Will Regan

Hello there! My name is Will Reagan. I am a Junior from Rockland Massachusetts on the south shore. I will study business in Paris for the fall semester and return to campus in the spring. I joined STEP in my first year as a mentee and it was such a helpful resource for me. Especially with everything going on (The thing that shall not be named). I now hope to improve my skills as a mentor to better help incoming freshmen as they transition to college.

Damaris Lopez stands by a brick wall overlooking the ocean.

Hello all! My name is Damaris Lopez and I am a junior in Nursing with a minor in biology and sociology. I go by she/her pronouns. Some my interests include video games, reading, and writing poetry. My favorite video game at the moment is Minecraft. I am also an ambitious person that believes in hard work, but I do like to relax when I can. I hope you have a great year!

STEP Mentor Maeve Carson

Hello! My name is Maeve Carson (she/her), I’m a junior majoring in Social Work! I’m from Halifax, MA, and I cannot wait to move back on campus. I have been involved in STEP since my freshman year, and it is honestly one of my favorite things about SSU. It was hard being a commuter who lived so far away from campus; I didn’t know anyone from the area, and when I was on campus, I often felt a little disconnected. Joining STEP was the best thing I could have done because I was very nervous to start college, and this gave me the confidence and access to resources that I needed. I have been able to meet so many great people and being a part of the program has broken me out of my shell a bit more. I loved having a mentor who I knew I could talk to and coach who could help me. I can’t wait to meet everyone and provide the same help and support I got during my freshman year! 

As a first-year student, joining the STEP program has helped me make that transition from high school to college. It wasn’t an easy transition. However, with the help of this program, I was able to have a successful first year and learn more about myself as a student. I am excited to meet you all, and help you have a great first year too! 

Janasia Ashford smiles at a bowling alley

Hello everyone! My name is Janasia Ashford and I'm a junior with a major of Psychology and minor in social work. I'm from Boston MA and moved to Lynn MA about 8 years ago. I graduated from Kipp Academy Lynn along with being apart of raw arts. My goal in life is to have an impact on young adults as a mental health counselor. I'm so excited to become a STEP peer mentor in the fall. As a freshman, my STEP mentor guided me through the year with all the questions I had about classes, locations of resources, communicating with professors and more. I can't wait to provide  mentees with care and guidance through a life adjusting time. 

Headshot of Alaa Atoui

My name is Alaa Atoui, I was born in America but I’m Lebanese. This is my second year at Salem State as a psychology major. My goal in the major is to become a psychologist . I would love to help incoming freshman’s because I know being a first-year student is hard and challenging, but STEP is a program to help you transition from high school to college. I am honored to be working with you all in the upcoming semester. 

Headshot of Araby'ha Rankin

My name is Araby’ha (uh-ray-bee-uh) Rankin (pronouns are she/her/hers), and I am from Springfield, MA. I am currently a sophomore, majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies (concentration in American Studies) with a minor in Social Work. Some things I enjoy doing are reading, writing, and hanging out with friends.

As a first-year student, joining the STEP program has helped me make that transition from high school to college. It wasn’t an easy transition. However, with this program’s help, I was able to have a successful first year and learn more about myself as a student. I am excited to meet you all, and help you have a great first year too!

Headshot of Wes Crowley

Hi! My name is Wesley Crowley. I'm a sophomore majoring in theatre. I joined STEP because I had no idea what college was going to be like, which made me terribly anxious about basically everything related to it. STEP helped inform me and guide me throughout my freshman year and saved me from a lot of stress. I'm happy to become a STEP mentor because I wish to do the same for others. Outside of school, I love to write, paint, hike, and play Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer.  

Karleen Jones Headshot

Hello, I’m Kalina! This upcoming semester I'll be a sophomore majoring in psychology. Let me tell you, the first year was a full combo, both mentally and physically. Coming into college I felt anxious and yet relieved. Being around people with goals feels refreshing. Joining STEP boosted my confidence, the events allowed me to build connections with other students. My STEP mentor & coach always provided resources but the most impactful thing they’ve done was continue telling me how proud they are, little things like that kept me motivated. I’m so excited to now be a mentor! It’s my goal to help incoming students feel comfortable and supported.

Headshot of Rachel McGovern

Hello! My name is Rachel McGovern and I'm going to be a sophomore at Salem State University in the fall. I am a social work major, from Wakefield, but I am currently living on campus. I hope to use my compassion and empathy to help people in the future and STEP is a great way to start! This program really helped me to succeed in my first year of college, helping me get involved on campus and even helping me move from an Undecided major to Social Work. I hope I can do the same for our incoming students. I'm very excited to work with you all this year and I hope that you will feel comfortable coming to me with any questions you may have!

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