Civic Engagement Scholars

Ana Ramirez

CES for El Sol Elementary Partnership

Email

Ana.Ramirez20@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hi! My name is Ana Ramirez, and I am one of the CES for the El Sol Elementary School Program! I am a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in Anso. I’m originally from Texas and have lived in a place called The Valley located right next to the border of Texas and Mexico. Moving from Texas to Michigan has been a huge adjustment for me, but once I started volunteering at El Sol in my sophomore year, it made being away from home a little easier. At the El Sol Elementary School you will find the most welcoming environment and the friendliest staff/teachers/students. The school has a majority of POC students and coming from a Hispanic background it is great to be able to share my experiences with the kids that will be helpful to them. This will be my second year being a CES for the El Sol Program and I am so excited to continue to grow the El Sol community. We have some fun and amazing things planned for this year! Please reach out to me for any questions y’all may have. 🙂 


Angeles Munoz-Horta

CES for El Sol Elementary Partnership

Email

Angeles.MunozHorta20@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hola a todos! My name is Ángeles Munoz Horta (she/her/Ella), and I am a business and Spanish double major. I am one of the CESs for El Sol Elementary School. The program is commonly referred to as El Sol. In addition to this role, I am also the treasurer for the marketing and investment club on campus. Since the start of my college life, I have been involved in working with various students in the Kalamazoo community for the past 3 years. I am passionate about helping the community wherever I can, especially when I am able to relate to the majority of the students since they are learning English as a second language. Recognizing the struggle of decolonization, intersectionality, neurodiversity, oppression, and much more, with the partnership at El Sol we can create a change all together. 


Kelly Sanchez

CES for Club Grub

Email

kelly.sanchez22@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hey there! My name is Kelly but I go by Kas (she/her/Ella) and I am the CES for ClubGrub. I am a sophomore and planning to double major in International Area Studies and English. I became involved with this program last year when I saw a flyer of volunteers needed for this program, at first I did not know what I was signing up for other than working with younger students, which I enjoy doing. After working with them for two terms, I grew fond of my free time out of campus helping young students learn more about the environment, teaching them new recipes, or helping them grow their school garden. This program has taught me what it means to be a leader and a role model to younger generations. I look forward to working with new or previous students and helping ClubGrub members what it means to be a leader. 


Rojina Timsina

CES for Homework Champions Tutoring (HCT)

Email

rojina.timsina20@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hey! My name is Rojina Timsina (She/Her) and I’m one of the Civic Engagement Scholars for Homework Champions Tutoring (HCT). I am a senior majoring in Psychology and English. We were tutoring refugee newcomers virtually when I became involved with the program. Within the past two years, HCT has grown into an amazing in-person classroom help with the most amazing group of tutors. I am extremely grateful for the warm and welcoming environment HCT has created for its students and tutors. As someone who has faced forced displacement, I am very passionate about supporting newcomers with language barriers, and cultural readjustment, as well as academic and emotional support. HCT has provided me with an outlet for my passion. If you are interested in being part of our program or have any questions, feel free to reach out!


Lyric Gee

CES for K Votes

Email

Lyrica.Gee22@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hello! My name is Lyrica Gee (she/her) and I am a Civic Engagement Scholar for K Votes. I am a sophomore looking to major in Political Science with a minor in English and concentration in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. K Votes stuck out to me as an opportunity to get involved in our democratic institutions at multiple levels. As a program, we seek to reach out to eligible voters and make sure that they have all of the information and resources they need to effectively cast their ballots. Between election cycles, we like to spend time delving deeper into niche issues pertaining to voter engagement in a non-partisan environment. Feel free to reach out to me for more information regarding participation in K Votes or for help navigating our voting systems! 


Elijah Mobley

CES for Community Advocates for Parents and Students (CAPS)

Email

Elijah.Mobley21@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hi, I am Elijah Mobley (he/they), and I am one of the Civic Engagement Scholars (CES) for Community Advocates for Parents and Students (CAPS). I am a Junior double majoring in Chemistry & Mathematics. I have been working with the CAPS program for a year now, and working with the community has adhered to my passion of youth empowerment and educational equity. In which I take pride in being able offer equal opportunities to young students of color. I am so excited to be the CES for the upcoming year and seeing the scholars and tutors that share the vision of CAPS. 


Luke Torres

CES for Kalamazoo County ID Program (KCID)

Email

Luke.Torres21@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hello! I am Luke Torres, the CES for the Kalamazoo County ID Program (KCID). I’m a junior majoring in Physics with a concentration in Film and Media and a minor in Mathematics. Having an ID is extremely important as it allows you to access institutions and public accommodations. The KCID program makes obtaining an ID easier, and the ID is often the first step many people take to get back on their feet. Working with the KCID program has been a fantastic experience, and I have enjoyed hearing about and seeing firsthand the impact ID cards from the program have on people. I look forward to making IDs more accessible. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.


Alyson Kemery

CES for Young Adult Program (YAP)

Email:

alyson.kemery22@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hello! My name is Alyson Kemery and I am one of the Civic Engagement Scholars (CES) for the Young Adult Program (YAP)! I am currently a sophomore planning to major in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience. My initial introduction to this program was through my older brother, Brendan, when he was a participant during his time in YAP at KRESA (Kalamazoo Regional Education Services Agency). I became a volunteer for the program during the fall trimester of my freshman year, found that I loved being a part of the program and wanted to play a more influential role, and became a CES! The YAP program allows K students to build mutually beneficial relationships with students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities who attend the Young Adult Program. YAP is one of my favorite parts of my week because it allows me to further develop friendships with peers outside of campus. YAP is a fun and easy way to become more involved around campus and within the community. I look forward to helping the program grow and increasing campus engagement! Feel free to reach out with any questions about the program or how to get involved!


Lucy Cripe

CES for Young Adult Program (YAP)

Email

Lucy.Cripe21@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hey! My name is Lucy Cripe and I am a co-CES for the Young Adult Program, also known as YAP. I am currently a junior chemistry major with a concentration in community and global health. I became involved with YAP during my freshman year at K and fell in love with the program and the people in it. I am super excited to continue to be a part of YAP this year with my co-CES, Aly Kemery. YAP is a group that meets once a week on K’s campus with a program through KRESA. The students in the program that we work with are between the ages of 18 and 36 and all have mental or cognitive disabilities. This program focuses on building mutually beneficial relationships between K students and the students in KRESA’s program. We have a lot of fun and can normally be found playing games in Hick’s banquet hall! I look forward to seeing this program continue to succeed and thrive this year! If you have interest in joining us, or have any questions, please reach out! 


Gloria Jackson

CES for Community Advocates for Parents and Students (CAPS)

Email

gloria.jackson22@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hello! My name is Gloria (she/her), and I am one of the Civic Engagement Scholars for the Community Advocates for Parents and Students (CAPS) program this year. I am currently a sophomore planning on majoring in Psychology. As someone who is passionate about education equity, I joined CAPS excited to help make positive change within the community of Kalamazoo. At CAPS, K students work with Kalamazoo Public School students after school with homework, reading, and more. Located at Interfaith Homes, CAPS offers a safe space where youth can learn with one-on-one assistance and mentorship. Every day at CAPS, I look forward to seeing the smiling faces of the youth we work with. I am looking forward to working with the tutors and youth of CAPS this year. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in working with CAPS or have any questions. 🙂  


Isabel Reyes

CES for the Woodward Elementary Partnership

Email

Isabel.Reyes22@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hey! My name is Isabel Reyes, and I am a CES of the Woodward Elementary Program. I am a sophomore and currently majoring in Psychology and Spanish. I became involved with this program after learning about it at a first-year forum and have worked within it for the past year through the CCE and I volunteered in their garden for one of my classes. At Woodward we tutor students and provide extra help in the classrooms and during Woodward’s afterschool program. The roles the Woodward volunteers fulfill are extremely important for supporting teachers and for the students so they can see where they could be in a few years if they decide to pursue a college degree. I’m extremely grateful for the experiences and skills this program has given me and how it fuels my passion for education equity. I look forward to helping with this program’s continued success, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any interest or questions! 


Makalai Lasavath

CES for Homework Champions Tutoring (HCT)

Email

Makalai.Lasavath20@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hi, my name is Makalai! I am majoring in biology and plan to become a schoolteacher. I believe that education should aim to be culturally informed, support students with disabilities, and help children live a life with confidence and curiosity. Aside from my new role as CES, I am a board member of the student org DREAM (Disability-Illness Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring). I love to go birding, hiking, and listen to podcasts. 

What is HCT? 

Since its founding in 2020, HCT has dramatically changed in focus from online tutoring during the pandemic, community events, and to in-person childcare and classroom assistance for both refugee/English Language Learner (ELL) children and teens. Nonetheless, HCT principles in community service, educational empowerment, and reflection on refugee status have sustained.  


Rhys Koellmann

CES for the Woodward Elementary Partnership

Email:

Rhys.Koellmann19@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hello! My name is Rhys. I am a senior Biochemistry major and ANSO minor. I’m involved at K as the captain of the college’s frisbee club and I also work as an EMT in the surrounding area. This year I am going to be one of the CES’s for the Woodward program at Woodward Elementary. I initially started volunteering for the program as a freshman and quickly fell in love with it. Our program offers close mentoring relationships with students in grade K-5 and has a large impact on the educational equity of our community. Along with the Kalamazoo Promise in place, K students at Woodward work to show students with historically marginalized identities that higher education is achievable and exciting. In this program, we reflect on pervasive and damaging topics such as racial bias and the school-to-prison-pipeline. If you have any questions or would like to join us, please free feel to contact me! 


Rylie Kipfmueller

CES for Swim for Success (SFS)

Email:

Rylie.Kipfmueller20@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hi! My name is Rylie (they/them), and I am a senior majoring in history and minoring in poli sci and Spanish. I am one of the Civic Engagement Scholars for Swim for Success. I began working with SFS my first year of college and have appreciated the opportunity it has given me to work with the broader community of Kalamazoo, facilitate important discussions, and get out of the “K-Bubble”. Swim for Success provides no or low-cost swimming lessons to Kalamazoo Public Schools students, helping to eliminate a common obstacle for families seeking swim lessons for their children. In addition, SFS provides tutoring time before lessons where students can receive homework help. I’m looking forward to this upcoming school year and continuing to build relationships between K college and the city of Kalamazoo. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or are interested in getting involved with SFS! 


Taylor Matta

CES for Swim for Success (SFS)

Email

Virginia.Matta22@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hello! My name is Taylor Matta (she/her), and I am one of the Civic Engagement Scholars for the Swim for Success program. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Psychology. I started working with this program last year and have only grown more passionate about the work we do to provide affordable swim lessons and tutoring for children in the Kalamazoo community. Working with the community has allowed me to learn more about the people who live around me while helping me to grow in many ways. I am extremely grateful for all the experiences Swim for Success has provided me with so far, and I am very excited to facilitate this program with my co-CES and help drive other students to new experiences and conversations surrounding community engagement so that they can learn and grow as well! 


Sydney Lenzini

CES for Homework Champions Tutoring (HCT)

Email

Sydney.Lenzini20@kzoo.edu

Bio:

My name is Sydney and I am the CES of Homework Champions Tutoring, aka HCT! Our program works to support newly resettled refugee students in Kalamazoo Public Schools in academics and beyond! Through our programs at Kalamazoo Central Highschool’s ESL class, and at Oakwood Community Center, we strive to create holistic and reciprocal relationships with our students and their families! We create tailored tutoring approaches to empower every student we work with to meet their goals in academics and social-emotional learning! If you are passionate about intercultural communication and collaboration, education equity, refugee rights, or just want to be involved, contact me for more information! 


Adam Cornier-Bridgeforth

CES for the Woodward Elementary Partnership

Email

Adam.Cornier-Bridgeforth22@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Adam

Hey! My name is Adam (he/him) and I am a sophomore from Detroit, MI majoring in Philosophy with a concentration in Critical Theory and minor in Music. I am one of the Civic Engagement Scholars for the Woodward Elementary Program. I became involved with the Woodward Program last year as a Community in Schools; since then, I have seen the positive impact that role modeling and community engagement has had for the Black and Brown children at Woodward. I am so excited to continue contributing to this program and continue the promotion of educational equity. We as K students illustrate the possibility of, and pathway to, higher education for children of the community and I am incredibly honored to serve in a leadership role for a program that champions this cause. I look forward to getting to know and working with you all, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions! 


Nikolas Krupka

CES for K Votes

Email:

Nikolas.Krupka20@kzoo.edu

Bio:

Hi! My name is Nik Krupka – I’m a senior majoring in both philosophy and political science. I am excited to get involved with my community here in Kzoo and on campus in a more meaningful and authentic way than I have until now. Working with a program that centers engagement focused on problem-solving through sustained partnerships and the dismantling of unjust systems as opposed to stop-gap measures is a challenge I can’t wait to take on, and one which I am passionate about. Especially with looming national elections, I know that K-votes will have some important work to do! I am so excited to be a part of this expression, helping to inform and empower people to get involved with our democracy, including YOU! At least I hope 🙂