CARE Center Fellows
Meet The CARE Center Fellows
The CARE Center challenges students to find a balance in exploring, challenging ideologies, and encouraging a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives no matter how unpopular some may be. The CARE Center Fellow program models the types of interactions we aspire for all students at CMC to adopt in their day-to-day peer interactions. The program is designed to foster intercultural communication, leadership, identity development through skills based training, programming and daily discourse, and engagement with visitors of the space. Students interested in becoming a CARE Center Fellow can apply online.
Hi! My name is Jordan Baffour, and I’m a proud Ghanaian from Arlington, Virginia. I’m currently a Biology major with plans of becoming a future dentist, and I’m so excited to be a part of CARE! In my free time, I love to bake/cook, play tennis, and watch movies (I’m also a MAJOR Stranger Things fan). My hope as being a CARE fellow is to create a welcoming environment for all, encourage community, and stimulate personal growth. Growing up in a PWI, I often felt isolated from my peers because I was one of the few black people in my school. I came to CMC during spring preview and saw there was a safe space for people of color on campus to celebrate their culture, embrace their differences and openly discuss their feelings; I knew immediately that this was a team I wanted to be a part of, and I can’t wait to see all the amazing changes we make at CMC.
Hi, my name is Riya (she/her) and I'm currently a freshman majoring in Economics + Engineering (3+2). I am an international student from London, and come from a first-generation, low-income background. On campus, I am currently involved with CARE as a CARE fellow, an Associate Consultant in SOURCE Non-Profit Consulting, and have worked with the Gould Center in their Caste, Race, and Diaspora Lab. For me, CARE has been a safe space on campus and has helped me meet so many new people from completely different backgrounds. I am extremely interested in DEI work, especially in higher education, as I have been a product of and worked for non-profit organisations that focus on widening participation for students of marginalised backgrounds, and hope to do continue to do so in CARE and in the future.
I grew up in Hong Kong, a city where most people look like me. Coming to CMC, a predominantly white institution, some of my biggest culture shocks were the moments when I looked up and realized I was the only Asian/POC person in the room. This is the unfortunate but inevitable experience of POC at CMC. As a CARE Fellow, I wish to support and advocate for POC by fostering a safe place at the center and planning events that celebrate and educate about underrepresented cultures. Furthermore, being a CARE fellow allows me to both share my experiences and broaden my own perspective through the connections I make with the community.
Hello, my name is José Chiquito and I study international relations at CMC. Although I was born in the United States, I grew up in a tiny town in northern Mexico. At the age of 12, I migrated to the United States in search of educational opportunities that I could not access in Mexico. Having arrived in the United States without knowing any English made it difficult for me to feel like I belonged at the schools I attended. As I got more comfortable speaking English, I began participating in various extracurricular activities. However, I felt like none of the clubs and organizations I was part of recognized or appreciated the particularities of being a low-income, first-generation, immigrant student in the United States. As a result, I began to create spaces that recognized the difficulties of being a young immigrant in the United States. I'm beyond excited to contribute to the creation of spaces at CMC where the experiences of marginalized students are acknowledged and appreciated.
Hi there! My name is Julia Cruz and I'm a junior at CMC from Pasadena, CA. I'm majoring in human biology on the pre-med track, and am passionate about mental health advocacy and eliminating health disparities. I identify as Filipina-American and am the first person in my family to attend college; growing up with this background in predominantly white institutions, I have often struggled to define and embrace my own identity. I am fortunate to have found communities along the way that have supported me in exploring my culture and my definition of "self,” and I seek to foster the same safe space for others through the CARE Center! Outside of the center, you can find me running experiments in the cognitive neuroscience lab, playing club volleyball in the rec gym, studying in DOS, or basking in the sun on any patch of grass I can find!
Growing up in a predominantly Asian community where most voices were very similar to mine, I often did not think about how my race factored into who I was and the implications it had. From a young age, the model minority myth had its hold on me, creating a culture of toxicity, false expectation, and fear of asking for help. I did not realize the effect this had on me until later on as I learned about the model minority myth and its origins. I strongly identify with the CARE Center’s mission of engaging in effective dialogue and supporting collaboration and inclusion in the hopes that one day everyone will be able to embrace their identities. I hope to contribute to a society where people are able to simultaneously appreciate their similarities while celebrating their differences since those are what ultimately unite us.
As the daughter of two immigrants, I grew up emerged in my father's Lebanese culture and my mother's Colombian culture. My two cultures have played a strong role in shaping my identity and how I view the world. However, in the past it was difficult to find pride in my identity once I stepped outside of the house. In high school, not only was there a general lack of awareness on campus for various cultures, but a division between groups. That is why I began to work on diversity and inclusivity initiatives. I loved helping people feel celebrated and free to express themselves. I am so excited to continue this work here at CMC with CARE. At the CARE Center I know I'll be able to help students of all backgrounds feel welcome and safe on campus.
Hello everyone! My name is Ava Kopp, I’m a junior, and I’m from the Bay Area. I’m majoring in Cognitive Science, in addition to completing a Gender & Sexuality Studies sequence. I was fortunate to grow up in a multi-perspectival, diverse, and ever-shifting environment, all of which taught me to lead with empathy, kindness, and understanding. Various mental health and identity struggles made me passionate about creating communities of change and compassion. While I’m at CMC, and by extension, the CARE Center, I want to dedicate my time to our students, and doing whatever I’m able to to uplift voices, foster belonging, and make our community one that we’re all included in.
Growing up in South Florida, I took for granted the diversity of culture that I had experienced all my life. I also saw the effects of gun violence on low income communities and how violence can become an outlet for frustration in young teens. I experienced the pain of losing loved ones to gang violence and saw how it was given little to no attention. I saw first hand the failures of the public school system along with the neglect and lack of resources that students experience and come to expect from teachers and staff. I hope to spread awareness on issues like these and spark conversations that might create change in areas where lack of government funding and support has failed low income people. My biggest goal is to bring back the sense of security and community that is lost in low income teens. I would like to use CARE as a platform to explore these topics further and broaden my voice to seek change in a classist system that oppresses low income students and their families.
I am a mere 15 minutes away from the Claremont Colleges. Coming from a low-income, predominantly Latine community, I grew up surrounded and fully immersed in my culture. Yet, CMC proved to be a world of difference: a complete culture shock. I had never felt like a minority within my own community, but that changed during my first year of college. I felt overwhelmed. Yet, a two-minute walk from my freshman dorm room in a second-floor room, I felt a new feeling: safety and inclusivity. I am grateful to be a part of CARE, and I am excited to help foster the same safety I felt for other students wishing to decompress and experience a community that celebrates diversity.
Hi! I'm Aara and I'm from SoCal. I spent the first half of my life in Japan and went to an international school where I was surrounded by kids from all over the world. We saw our differences as something that made us unique rather than abnormal, so I didn't know about the experience of "otherness" due to one's identity until I moved here. Being a part of a community that not only embraces various identities but celebrates them has always been an important part of making college feel like a safe space and I'm super excited and honored to be able to do that through CARE :)
Hi! My name is Nary Park and I'm a freshman studying Public Policy from Bellflower, CA. As a Korean American, I've often felt lost and confused about my true identity, before finding a community here on campus and friends that have helped me rediscover who I am. In this way, I hope to create a similar community in the CARE Center, and am excited to work with other CARE Fellows!
Hey, my name is Pranav Patel and I'm from Peoria IL. I'm into computation (mathematical and machine), and am passionate about utilizing data as a means to develop conclusions in both the social and natural sciences. Prior to coming to CMC, I've never attended an institution where white was the plurality instead of the minority. Nonetheless, CARE was integral in helping me navigate this new landscape by allowing me a place to develop meaningful connections with other students, many of who are facing the same tribulations as me. In the same manner, I hope to help cultivate a safe and welcoming environment for POC around campus. Outside of CARE, I really like computation-oriented research, and you can usually find me clacking away at my computer in Fac Offices. I'm also into beat production and am an avid enthusiast of Logic Pro X.
Hi, my name is Tamoy Pitt, I’m an Economics major and I’m a sophomore at CMC. I joined CARE because it’s possibly the most relaxing, welcoming space on CMC’s campus and I want to continue CARE’s purpose of fostering a healthy atmosphere that is inclusive to all identities and recognizing the importance of open dialogue on issues in a wide range of communities. The CARE Center was created with a lot of love and I could feel that when I came for the Preview Program and when I went to my first event. As a fellow, I want to make sure CARE remains an oasis for the students that will come after me. A little about me is that I’m a huge nerd about video games and zombie movies/shows so you might hear me talk about it a lot. I also love playing instruments and often find peace through music.
Hi! My name is Andrea and I am studying Government and Economics at CMC. I identify as a woman of color, a FGLI student, and a Mexican-American daughter of immigrants. I've been lucky enough to grow and learn in a city like Dallas, Texas where most of the people I interact with are people who look and have similar experiences as I do. Coming to a PWI like CMC has been a new and turbulent experience, but I always try to express my identities clearly and proudly through art and writing. This past year, the CARE center has been a comfortable place for me to turn to when I need a safe space or to chat with friends, so I'm really excited to be a CARE fellow this year and continue to foster the same environment for others.
Hey y'all! My name is Alejandro Quiroz and I'm a queer, first-generation, Chicano student from South Central Los Angeles. I'm majoring in Government and am passionate about public policy, social justice, and supporting marginalized communities. Coming from a predominantly low-income POC community, I came to CMC to represent my community and defy statistics. As a CARE fellow, I intend to foster discourse among those with both similar and different experiences from myself! With that in mind, I'm dedicated to expanding my understanding of people from various walks of life, cultures, and identities. Community is important; I hope to help those looking for one find it at the CARE Center!
Hi everyone, my name is Nilaja! I’m from North Philly, born and raised, (Yes, i did play on the playground for most of my days). And I spent plenty of time with my 4 older siblings and my mama there. At CMC I was accepted as an Appel Fellow where I was able to go to West Africa, and explore more of my roots. Personally my family is from Jamaica, but as with most black culture it leads back to Africa. I’m very passionate about paving a pathway for our next generation(s) of black leaders. One of my first steps is to major in Environmental Science at CMC and personally study how environmental black history. Along with CARE I’m also a Peer Health Ambassador. Some things I love are exercising, talking to my family, and doing my hair.
My name is Sharanya (or Shay) Suresh, and I'm from San Jose, California. I'm a passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality. As a woman of color at a predominantly white institution, I seek to engage in productive conversations with peers who may or may not share similar experiences to my own. Working at the CARE Center will allow me to broaden my perspective, embrace commonalities, and find comfort in a socially aware, value-driven community.
Growing up, I was surrounded by inequalities that only reinforced fear and silence. Being an immigrant and a first-generation, low-income student has come with many difficulties. Still, community organizing and great mentors showed me how much strength and power is already within us- we only have to speak it out into the world and do something with it. To me, creating a community at CMC simply means fostering a space that helps us all grow. It means learning and unlearning. It means being silent and loud. It means acknowledging the history of this space and truly embracing that it is now for us and therefore has to also work for us. I am looking forward to being a CARE Fellow so that I can contribute to the empowerment of the community that CMC is a part of.
My name is William Rafael Thurman, and I am a history and economics major in the class of 2024 at CMC. On campus I play for the Claremont Lions rugby team, and am also an avid tennis player. I love to scuba dive, and lead the 5c Scuba Diving Enthusiasts. Most of my childhood was spent in New York, but I am Puerto Rican and have also lived in Humacao, Puerto Rico. I speak Spanish and English, and spent my junior fall studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain. After graduation I plan to work in finance in New York City.
Hello! My name is Anahi Ramos Silva and I am a freshman at CMC from Terra Bella, CA. Originally born in Mexico, I am a first generation student majoring in biology on the pre-med track. I am very passionate about the study of cancer, genetics, and above all promoting equal healthcare access to everyone. I am excited to be part of the Care Center family where I will work to create an inclusive and diverse environment that offers equitable access to resources for all students. Being a care fellow will allow me to share the beautiful intricacies of my Mexican heritage while also learning about others experiences. Ultimately, I look forward to meeting new people, making a difference in the lives of others, and supporting marginalized communities with the intention of establishing a welcoming, safe, and diverse community for all.
I am a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines, and I came to the United States at a young age. After coming to the states, I struggled to adjust to the lifestyle of the Deep South and struggled to grasp my own Filipino culture after leaving my family back home. These two cultures--one that I felt needed to adjust to and the other I felt needed to hold on to--define who I am. Despite the south's pre-dominantly white traditions, I was able to find my small community that helped me see the beautiful and diverse experiences, backgrounds, and identities across cultures. I adored my community, was inspired by them, and made me admire the diversity of identity storytelling. Now, at CMC, I want to encourage diversity outreach to create communities filled with different perspectives and make them places of harmony, inclusivity, and equity. Also, as a CARE Fellow, I want to push for mental health initiatives, especially accommodating mental health services for certain affinity groups.
Hello! My name is Xinyue Zhang, and I'm from Shenzhen, China. I have also lived in France and Spain shortly in different stages of life. I love hearing stories from amazing individuals and learning about their cultures. I'm a big museum worm and enjoy watching F1 racing & documentaries. Catch me on the library patio with a matcha latte on sunny afternoons!
CARE Center Fellows Alumni