FYRE Peer Mentors

Deana Polyvko

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Anthropology Major

Hello humans! My name is Deana Polyvko, and I am a fourth-year Anthropology major here at UCI! I was born and raised in Los Angeles where I moved around a lot during my childhood. I was in the foster care system for almost a year until my mom regained guardianship of me. It was difficult because I had to take care of myself with the help of my previous guardian, while my mom and I had to rebuild our relationship and lives. My experience as a former foster youth has driven me to help others through tough times. I hope to pass on resources, a helping hand, and support so that others may achieve their goals and have an easier time navigating college. Other than that, I really love cats, binge-watching shows (currently love The Umbrella Academy & New Girl), and watching funny Tik Toks.

Ask Me About: Healthy Eating/Exercises, Time Management, Navigating Resources & UCI Websites, Talking to Professors/Faculty, CalFresh, FreshHub, and Navigating Canvas.

Drop-In Hours: Week 2, 4, 6, & 10 on Thursdays from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Appointment Linkhttps://tinyurl.com/DeanaFYREmentor

Zoom ID: Through Appointment link


Jennifer Caracun

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Political Science 
Public Health Policy

Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer Caracun and I am a senior double majoring in Political Science and Public Health Policy. Some of my hobbies consist of binge-watching TV shows, frequently searching for new music (open to suggestions), and occasionally cooking/baking. I’m originally from the Los Angeles area and was in the foster care system there from the ages of 11-21. Being in foster care for a good portion of my life has allowed me to be exposed to a lot of unique experiences and individuals. It has taught me how to help others and understand the differences in everyone’s situations. As a peer mentor, I hope to be able to use my experience to help others in any way possible.

Ask Me About: How to get involved at UCI (clubs, study abroad, other programs), career development opportunities, time management, and academic planning/ advising resources

Drop-In HoursThrough Appointment link

Appointment Link: https://tinyurl.com/JenniferFYREmentor

Zoom IDThrough Appointment link

Kimberly Quiros-Elias

Kim and cool doggo

Earth System Science Major
Business Economic Major

Hello FYRE Scholars! My name is Kim and I’m a 5th year 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 which has allowed me to develop my researching skills to get resources. I can help out with navigating UCI websites and resources since everything is remote. Some experiences that I have gone through is difficulty selecting a major, being indecisive on a career path, considering graduate school, and reaching out for help. I hope to meet you and get to know you!

Ask Me About: Career exploration and course/major planning. I spent two years taking different courses before I declared majors. I have also spent a lot of time researching on what career path to take.

Drop-In Hours: Week 2, 4, 6, & 10 on Tuesdays from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Appointment Linkhttps://tinyurl.com/KimFYREmentor

Zoom IDThrough Appointment link

Sarah Childress

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Psychological Science Major

Ello! My name is Sarah Marie and additional to being a FYRE Mentor I’m also a FYRE Scholar myself. I was adopted out of the Los Angeles foster care system at the age of three and I’m the oldest of my 4 other siblings who were also all adopted. I love helping out and giving 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 that always likes to find a middle ground that makes everyone feel included, happy, and heard. I’m a fourth year Psychological Science major and if you are having a hard time with virtual learning, I am right there with you trying to get my planner all sorted. But when I’m not being a hermit crab doing school work, I’m most likely fangirling over something. Listening to music, reading on Webtoon and watching movies and anime are all things that I like to immerse myself in to escape our crazy world. I also like to draw and bake every now and then. Excited to meet all of you so feel free to reach out and say hi.

Ask Me About: Planners and Time Management, Study Habits, CalFresh and the Fresh Hub, Navigating Canvas or Contacting Professors

Drop-In Hours: Week 3, 5, 7, & 9 on Mondays from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Appointment Link: https://tinyurl.com/SarahFYREMentor

Zoom IDThrough Appointment link