SSOS Service Students
Siolotoi Ti: SSOS Senior Mentor
Siolotoi “Toi” Ti was born 1990 in the village of Vaitogi, American Samoa (AS) to parents Leuaea Kirisimasi Ti and Ana Ti. She is the oldest of five children. She attended Lupelele Elementary School on the islands of AS until the age of 12 and continued her education in San Jose, CA where she attended John Muir Middle School and Gunderson High School. Siolotoi has been living on her own in Hayward since the age of 18 when she attended Cal State East Bay as a freshman in Fall 2008. She graduated in Summer 2012 with a B.A. in Sociology and Social Services. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work at Cal State East Bay and will be graduating in the upcoming quarter Spring 2014.
As a first generation college graduate, Siolotoi acknowledges the many challenges faced by Pacific Islanders in higher education as evident by being the only Samoan student in her Master’s program and one of the few Pacific Islanders in possibly all of the graduate programs combined here at Cal State East Bay. In addition to her role as a Senior Mentor for the S.S.O.S Program, she also interns at Fremont Hospital while simultaneously maintaining full time status as a student and an active Board member for the Asian Pacific Islander Social Work Association for her graduate program. She credits much of her success to the many prayers and countless blessings from her Grandmother Lupe Talolo whom recently passed in October 2013. Upon completion of her Master’s degree, Siolotoi is planning on pursuing her licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the future. She is utterly grateful for S.S.O.S because it allows her to contribute to the API community through mentoring and advocating for its youth to pursue and complete higher education.
Shuaib Amiri: SSOS Mentor
My name is Shuaib Amiri. I am Sophomore at California State University, East Bay. I am majoring in Political Science and International Studies. I was born in Hayward, CA and raised in Livermore, CA. My parents immigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan in the late 70's due to political turmoil as refugees fleeing the Communist backed government. I have always had an interest in politics and in international relations especially after the events of 9/11 and the Arab Spring. Growing up in Fremont, one of the largest hubs of Afghan-Americans in the U.S., I understand the struggles the Asian and Pacific Islander community faces and have always felt the need to contribute back to the campus and community by becoming active through SSOS. Joining as a freshman, I have had an excellent experience and couldn't ask for a better program that serves the needs of minority and diverse students from a brad range of geographical areas.
John Chau: SSOS Mentor & Tutor
Hi, my name is John. Last name is Chau. So people call me John Chau. As for my ethnicity, I am Chinese but I was born in Vietnam hence I do not speak Chinese and speak Vietnamese instead. Because of that, I am thinking of learning Chinese in the future. Around the age of 6, my father and I escaped the terrible condition in Vietnam in search of a better future by moving to Thailand. We lived there for 3.5 years and eventually we were accepted by the American representative to legally seek refuge in the USA. Before we moved to America, we were sent to Philippines to learn English and American culture for on year. Afterward, we move to America. In America, I started fifth grade and graduated top ten percent of my high school class despite the fact that English as a second language was always a challenge for me. After high school, I graduated from CSU East Bay with a BS in biology. Because I want to challenge myself, I decided to pursue a MS in chemistry and a PhD in chemistry. By spring 2014, I would receive my MS chemistry and go on toward my PhD in chemistry.
Asma Gowher: SSOS Mentor
My name is Asma Gowher, currently a junior at California State University East Bay, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology & Audiology. I was born and raised in Hyderabad, India, until I moved to the states with my family in 2006. After living in the U.S. for almost 8 years now, I believe I have integrated within the American culture, which has influenced me in various ways. It has allowed me to aspire to become a Speech Language Pathologist, which wouldn’t have been possible if I were still in India. Women in India, although educated, rarely go on to pursue careers, most often they get married and remain as housewives. Coming from a traditional ethnic background, I appreciate the diverse cultures in America; it has also allowed me to be more open-minded. In the future, I plan to pursue a Masters and take advantage of the opportunities that America offers to me. I also plan on helping other students in similar situations achieve their goals, and which is why I chose to work with SSOS as a peer mentor.
Cindy Lieu: SSOS Mentor
My name is Cindy Lieu and I am currently a senior at CSUEB, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminal Justice Administration. I transferred from Chabot College where I spent 5 years figuring out the path I wanted to take. I started majoring in Nursing for 4 years, but decided to change my major to Psychology. I graduated from Chabot with an A.A. in Behavioral Science and transferred to CSUEB in the Fall of 2012. I am also the Vice President of an off campus community service club; Rotaract Club of Central Alameda County. I attend community related events, where I meet many community members and leaders. With my time spent at Chabot and with Rotaract as the former Secretary and the current Vice President, I have learned a lot about myself. With the SSOS family now, I am learning a lot from my colleagues and I hope to pass this knowledge on to my mentees.
Minh Ly: SSOS Mentor
My name is Minh Ly and I am originally from Vietnam. I am a first generation to attend college in my family. I graduated from Encinal High School and currently a senior majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management. I am also minoring in Chinese. I studied abroad last year in China through CSUEB’s study abroad program and it was one of the fantastic years of my life. I met lots of interesting people with different backgrounds and I also had a chance to travel around China with my friends. I also got to do some of my hobbies (playing badminton, watching action movies) with my special friends.
Shivneel Sen: SSOS Mentor
My name is Shivneel Sen. I am a Junior at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB). I am currently a second year nursing student. I was born and raised in the Fiji Islands, and moved to the United States at the age of 13. Moving to the States was a great culture shock. There were lots of barriers that I had to overcome or work around to gain admittance into a 4 year University, and the very competitive nursing program. Hence, I understand and relate to the struggles of the underrepresented Asian Pacific Islander community. This was one of the many reasons I opted to join the SSOS family, and serve the needs of this underrepresented community. I have worked for SSOS for 2 years, and everyday is learning and satisfactory experience. Manpreet Singh: SSOS Mentor
Hi my name is Manpreet, which means kind hearted and loving in the Punjabi language. I am 24 years old, born and raised in the United States, but my family roots are in Punjab, India. I spent my life in Southern California until my educational pursuits brought me to Bay Area. I graduated from California State University, East Bay with Bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Political Science. I decided to stay at Cal State to pursue my Masters in Social Work. During my younger years I lacked guidance on how to achieve my educational goals. My parents couldn’t help me because they never attended college here, and the college wasn’t too helpful on providing us with the information that we needed. I felt lost at first until I started researching on my own, and visiting a counselor who provided me support. I am here today with SSOS because I aspire to give back to students by providing guidance and support in helping them achieve their dreams and becoming successful.
Camille Toroba: SSOS Mentor
My name is Camille Toroba. I was born in the Philippines and spent my childhood there until I was about 11 or 12 years old. I came here to the United States and I initially felt bombarded by different languages, different cultures, and different ethnicities even different types of food. However, growing up in the province in the Philippines taught me how to appreciate the little things life has to offer and taught me to be thankful of what I have. My major is Health Science with an emphasis on Pre-nursing. I like to run on my free time!
Kimanh Tran: SSOS Mentor
Kimanh Tran is a full time nursing student at Cal State East Bay, Hayward. She started as a freshman in 2010 and she continues to excel in her academic goals. Throughout her years in East Bay, she joined multiple clubs such as Intervarsity Christian Club and became the president of the club in her sophomore year. She likes to help and support students who are new to CSUEB. Also, Kim did not know what to major in until she met a nurse in her Christian community. She inspired Kim to pursue nursing because she likes to help people in her community. Kim worked so hard in her sophomore year and she applied for the nursing program in her junior year. At the same time she minored in Health Science Option B1, Pre-clinical. With hard work and dedication she got accepted in the nursing program this year. This year Kim worked for the College of Science Student Center and Student Service Operation for Success (SSOS). Kim is very dedicated to her work and school. She is happy to joined SSOS because this program provides social and academic support to students who are in need. Kim’s goal is to finished her bachelor in nursing by 2016 and pursue her dream as a nurse.
Lakshmi Vemireddy: SSOS Mentor
Lakshmi Vemireddy was born 1991 in India to parents Sangi Vemireddy and Jyothi Vemireddy. Her parents had to leave India to immigrate to the United States so they left her when she was nine months old in India. Her grandparents raised her for fifteen years in India. She was home schooled for few years and was sent to boarding school for six years, where she finished her Indian high school education. After finishing her 10th grade, she immigrated to the United States to live with her parents and to continue her education. After coming to the United States, she lived with her parents and sister and continued her education in Berkeley, CA where she attended Berkley High School. She managed to complete high school in two years and got admission in Cal State East Bay as a freshman in Fall 2009. She is pursuing her B.S. in Biology and will be graduating in the upcoming quarter Spring 2014. She is also working as a peer mentor for the S.S.O.S program at Cal State East Bay helping Asians and Pacific Islanders. She is really grateful for the S.S.O.S for allowing her to communicate and help many students on campus through mentoring. Upon completing her Bachelor’s degree, Lakshmi is planning on pursuing M.D. in Biology.
Hanan Awawoudeh: SSOS Ambassador
My name is Hanan Awawoudeh and I am a Psychology major here at California State University East Bay. Currently, I am a College ambassador at S.S.O.S however; I was a Peer Mentor when the program first began in April 2012. I found that both roles have given me the knowledge and experience I need to pursue a career as a college counselor. Some of the duties I have performed have been helping students register for classes, tutor introduction psychology, help students find scholarships, as well as mentor these students and provide emotional support. Although I am not from an Asian decent I come from a very proud Palestinian background and am the first out of four kids in my family to go to college. I also am a first generation college student. I started CSUEB back in 2009 and have been a committed student every since.
So far working at S.S.O.S I have found that working with students from an API decent has been a really rewarding experience. Many of the students I have worked with have left an everlasting impact on my life. Apart of this program we ambassadors and Mentors serve as big brothers and big sisters to these students we have in our program. We work hard to create strong relationships and untimely have created a family here at S.S.O.S.
Joann Simi: SSOS Ambassador & Event Leader
Raymond Wu: SSOS Ambassador
Hello, my name is Raymond Wu and I'm a student ambassador for SSOS. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and lived there my whole life. I go to CSUEB and major in Health Science with an option in Pre-Health Specialization. It is my senior year, and I will be graduating in Spring of 2014. My goal for the future is to work at a local community as a community health adviser. As a student ambassador, I get to travel to other schools and local community events and provide information about my school, financial aid, and college life as a student. I am proud to be an SSOS student ambassador and a CSUEB student.
Michelle Xiong: SSOS Ambassador
Michelle is a graduate student pursuing a Masters in Public Administration and received her undergraduate degree at East Bay in Political Science, and a minor in Health Science.
Born and raised in Fresno, CA. She is the youngest of ten, the third person in her family to receive a college degree, and the first person to pursue a graduate degree. As a first generation student, Michelle is an advocate for higher education and student success. After taking a quarter off, following her freshman year, she realized the importance of education, and the needed services on campus to foster student success on campus. This sparked her interest in student advocacy following her role in planning the Middle Class Scholarship Rally on campus with Assembly Member Wieckowski’s office.
She joined SSOS as an event coordinator in 2012, and became a student ambassador for the CSU AAPI Initiative. As President of Associated Students Inc., Michelle hopes to be the catalyst for change to encourage students from all walks of life to become an active member of the CSU East Bay community.
Gaozong Yang: SSOS Ambassador
My name is Gaozong Yang and I am the first person in my family to attend college. This year I will be graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science with a minor in Chemistry. I plan to continue my education by attending Optometry school. My experience in SSOS is as a peer mentor and this year, as a student ambassador. I also serve as the Associated Students Inc. Director for the College of Science.
Marc Salcedo: Administrative Assistant
Marc Salcedo was born 1992 at Oakland, California. He was raised in the Philippines and the San Francisco Bay Area. Due to his family moving frequently, he became fluent in speaking and writing English and Filipino. At 5 years of age, he moved to the Philippines and attended Notre Dame of Greater Manila at Caloocan City. After two years, he returned to the United States and studied at Our Lady of the Rosary School in Union City. At age 9, he went back to the Philippines and studied at Naga Hope Christian School and St. Joseph High School in Naga City. When he was 14, he returned to the United States and studied high school at Redwood Christian School in San Lorenzo and Mount Eden High School in Hayward. Since 2009, Marc has been attending CSU East Bay and will be graduating Winter 2014. He is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Minors in Health Science and Chinese Language and Cultural Studies.
Marc has been involved in multiple organizations. He has volunteered at the American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services since 2010. He is a member of the National Student Nurses Association, California Nursing Students Association, and the East Bay Student Nurses Association (EBSNA) since 2011. He served as the Community Liaison of EBSNA from 2012-2013. He has been a member of the University Honors Program since 2009 and is currently the Chair of Awards of its Honors Student Council.
Marc is currently an Administrative Assistant at Student Service Operation for Success (SSOS). He has multiple roles within the SSOS. As the U-Story Project Officer, he conducts cultural personal story workshops and encourages students to share their stories to the community. He also assists the Director, Dr. Meiling Wu, and the Administator, Annie Hoang, with administrative tasks.
Vincent Duong: SSOS Event Leader
Vincent Duong, VSA president, is a third year Biochemistry Major. Aside from VSA he is also a part of Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity, and Global Medical Brigade. Vincent has been a part of VSA since junior year in high school till now and is working towards building the Vietnamese community here at CSU East Bay. Vincent's mission is to work together with various Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations to bring them closer together to build a stronger diverse community.
IT & Website Support
Osafanmwen Edogun: IT & Website Support
Osafanmwen was born in Nigeria and moved to the United States when he was very young. Along with being raised by two college-educated parents, his African background and culture strongly stresses academic success all the way to the graduate school level. He hopes to receive his Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry from CSU East Bay and then go on to graduate school for a career in the healthcare field, specifically Pharmacy. Osafanmwen’s IT and Website experience stem from his continual interest in technology along with several computer courses & IT achievements in his educational background.