Meet Our Staff

Petra Gomez
Program Director

José A. Millán
Faculty Counselor

Peer Mentors:

Francisco Baez
Noe Chavez
Lizbeth Pinon
Patricia Prado
Socorro Ramirez

Staff Highlights

Francisco Baez

1. What is you role at CAN/TRiO?

My role within the CAN TRiO program is as a peer mentor/advisor. My role is to provide peer to peer advice through advising sessions and assisting students with: time management, organization, tutoring referrals, and sometimes personal advice. I also assist with scholarship applications, class registration, and proof reading students’ essays. Some of my other tasks in the office include filing, assisting with events and contacting students to set up appointments. As a peer mentor, I provide a peer perspective versus a staff perspective which allows me to assist students with transfer questions about the EOP application, and what it’s like to apply to universities.

Additionally, as a CAN scholar, I have CAN/TRiO program responsibilities that I need to meet. Like meeting with my peer mentor so they can assist me with any difficulties that might arise throughout the semester. The other requirement is meeting with the counselor, which helped me with my SEP and transfer process.

2. Please share one of your best CAN/TRiO experiences (a time you felt like you really made a difference).

I make a difference within the CAN program any time I am helping CAN students. A story in particular was when a student needed help finding the books he needed for his upcoming semester; he was a new student and was not familiar with the myHancock portal. I assisted him and was able to find him the books he needed through the CAN lending library. Not only that, but I was also able to provide him with a calculator. He was so happy because he was able to get his class books and calculator free of charge, which saved him money. What made me feel like I made a difference was the fact that the student was so thrilled and I could see it in his face. The student thanked me and said how much he appreciated my help, and even asked for my name. This made me feel great!

3. Finish the sentence. “If I could do one thing to make students’ lives better, I would…”

If I could do one thing to make students’ lives better, I would share my experience as a CAN student with my peers because there are students who don’t know about the program, and when they find it, they wish they would have joined earlier. Like in my situation, I wasn’t aware of the program until an outreach event. I would also push students to apply to more scholarships.    

4. What is one thing you wish people knew about CAN/TRiO?

One thing I wish people knew about the CAN/TRiO Program is the list of services they provide and how important it is to take advantage of them. As a student, I have benefited tremendously from the one hour counseling visit and the field trips to four year universities, which helped me decide what schools to apply to. Additionally, we have awesome staff that are really friendly and here to help. Also, when students join the CAN program they build friendships and study groups with people that are in the same classes. 

Socorro Ramirez-Gamino

1. What is your role at CAN/TRiO? 

My role at CAN/TRiO is as a peer mentor as well as a member of the program. As a peer mentor, I am a resource to our CAN scholars with any questions or help they may need. As a mentor I know that the students come first and I try my best to assist them in whatever help they may need, whether it is advising sessions, time management skills, organization, tutorial referrals, personal advice, scholarship assistance, transfer questions, or if they need a friend to hear them out. Whenever I do not have the answer, I direct students to another mentor, staff member, and counselor or student service program to assist the student. For me, it is important to make sure the student feels comfortable within the program and that they know that I value them.

2. Please share one of your best CAN/TRiO experiences (a time you felt like you really made a difference).

I joined the CAN team at the beginning of the fall semester and I was very new to this position but I knew it was important to try and help the students to the best of my ability. It was in one of my first student advising sessions where I felt that I made an impact. I like to volunteer in the community and I encouraged my student mentee to join me to earn volunteer hours. The day of the volunteer activity, the student showed up to help. Although there was not much for us and the other volunteers to do, it felt awesome to know that the student came and exposed himself to the poetry that was recited and to the people in the community. It was a wonderful event to have attended because there are not many events within our community where people come and recite poetry.

3. Finish the sentence. “If I could do one thing to make students’ lives better, I would…”

Alleviate the stress that students experience because of money. I would tell students about the different opportunities that I have taken advantage of to help me pay for my education. I would also like to help all students to not feel discouraged from attaining their educational goals by helping them apply for scholarships, FAFSA, and jobs.

4. What is one thing you wish people knew about CAN/TRiO?

I wish more students knew about the additional services offered. If you’re a CAN/TRiO student, you get more services to support you in your classes, you receive guidance, you gain confidence, and they help you set and achieve goals that may have seemed unattainable. Being involved in the program helps students feel more united and a part of something that helps lead to a positive mindset about their academic journey.



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Ulises Serrano

Ulises Serrano
Ulises recalls not being motivated in high school. When he came to Hancock, he resolved to immerse himself in the campus community. He served as a representative for students on the ASBG for two of his three years at AHC as the Executive Assistant and subsequent President. He also participated with the Dream Club, CAN Club, and launched his own club called "Follow Polo" for students interested in politics. Mr. Serrano's involvement on campus was further extended when he began working for the College Achievement Now program as a Peer Mentor. He also became involved with the greater Santa Maria community by participating with city and county-based organizations like LULAC and the Fund for Santa Barbara. Despite all of this involvement, Ulises managed to stay academically motivated and balanced his studies alongside his activities. Ulises credits his experience on the College Achievement Now program for motivating him to stretch his degree aspirations and now plans to pursue a Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley.
Transferred: Fall 2013 to UC Berkeley
Major: Political Science
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Last Modified Jun 16, 2016