FYRE Peer Mentors

2019-2020 FYRE Peer Mentors


Name: Deana Polyvko
Major: Anthropology
Year: 3rd
Appointment Link: Deana’s AvailabilityGet to know me: Hello humans! My name is Deana Polyvko and I am a third-year Anthropology major. Being in FYRE since my freshman year has made me want to pay it forward to my community and help others that are going through the same struggles that I had experienced. Housing, financial aid, food insecurity, socializing, career development, and navigating UCI resources have been a huge challenge for me, but with the help of my mentors, I was able to achieve both my personal and academic goals. I want to pass on the knowledge collected over the past three years and provide assistance and a sense of security/confidence to others. Other than that, I am a cat-loving (dog too) and nerdy gal who enjoys funny memes (and vines), video games, exercising, and binge watching TV shows.

Name: Joseph Spaziano
Major: Biological Sciences
Year: 4th
Appointment Link: Joseph’s AvailabilityGet to know me: My name is Joseph Spaziano and I am a FYRE Scholar and now a FYRE Peer Mentor. I was born in Orange County and my parents each experienced their own hardships when I was young and were unavailable to raise me. I became a ward of the state on multiple occasions but my Grandmother was always there to care for me as my legal guardian. At 18 I went on to make my own mistakes, as many do, and at 21 I decided to make a change. This experience is very personal for me, however, it has allowed me to embrace my past, rebuild my relationship with my family, and attempt to seek a better life for myself. If you would like to know more about me, I would be happy to share with anyone who asks.My educational journey began at community college and I was only trying out a couple of classes in my free time while I attended a Construction Pre-Apprenticeship. I soon discovered that I really enjoyed going to school and learning and after more than a few changes in major, I discovered my passion in Biology. I transferred from Santa Ana College after receiving my Associates in Chemistry, and I am now beginning my final year majoring in Biological Sciences at UCI. I’m still in the process of deciding whether to continue on to graduate school for a Masters or a PhD program. My experience with FYRE has helped me in establishing myself in a community in the University System. I’m hoping that as a peer mentor, that I might help others in finding what they seek and aid them in their journey.

Name: Kimberly Quiros-Elias
Major: Earth System Science & Business Economics
Year: 4th
Appointment Link: Kimberly’s AvailabilityGet to know me: Hello FYRE Scholars! My name is Kim and I’m a senior double majoring in Business Economics and Earth System Science. Some of my hobbies consist of listening to music, going to concerts, crocheting, and gaming. I was part of the LA County foster care system from the ages 16-21 so I know the ins and outs of getting resources. Being a FYRE Scholar I understand that everyone’s experience is unique and I will do my best to not only be understanding of your situation but help you apply for resources that will make your life easier. In my 3 years in UCI, I have learned that there’s always something more you can learn, whether it’s a small study tip that can make a difference or a program that can be life-changing. So you can probably teach me a couple of things too.

Name: Sarah Childress
Major: Psychological Science
Year: 3rd
Appointment Link: Sarah’s AvailabilityGet to know me: Hello Everyone! My name is Sarah Marie and additional to being a FYRE Mentor I am also a FYRE Scholar myself. I love helping out and I give it my all when doing so. Even when I don’t know the answer, we’ll work together and find one. Listening to people is very important to me because I’m a person than lives to find a middle ground that makes everyone happy and feel included and heard. Drawing is something I love doing as a hobby but also shows my side as a perfectionist. When I am not stressing over school work, I’m most likely fangirling over something. Listening to music, watching movies and animes, or reading on Webtoons are all things that I like to immerse myself in to escape my little world.