Lea Morin '21
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
High School: Young Women’s Leadership Academy at San Antonio
Major: Latinx and Latin American Studies (LLAS) and potentially Sociology
Activities on campus: Tour Guide, Student Staff in the Office of Campus Diversity and Student Leadership (CDSL), Residential Counselor of La Casa and the Spanish Language House
Hobbies: Talking about TEXAS, meeting new people, running (away from my problems)
Hey y'all! My name is Lea Morin and I am from San Antonio, Texas (or the best city and state in the United States). As a senior in high school, I was grateful to have had the opportunity to visit Amherst through the Access to Amherst program (A2A). A2A was incredible on so many different levels, from my fellow A2A participants to the Diversity Outreach Intern Team. The Diversity Outreach Interns were mammoth-ly influential in my decision-making process about Amherst and I am excited to be a part of the team and your Amherst experience.
On campus, I have found joy and strength in exploring my identities through academics and on-campus resources, especially the Resource Centers and particularly the Office of Campus Diversity and Student Leadership (CDSL). The CDSL is just one example of the exceptional communities that have helped me through my messiness and provided me with a sense of purpose on campus and a dedication to uplift the voices of the students behind the statistics of diversity touted by the College and the Office of Admission.
Feel free to contact me about the admission process or any other questions you may have about Amherst! I look forward to meeting you!
Manuel Rodriguez '21
Hometown: San Angelo, TX
High School: Lake View High School
Major: Latinx and Latin American Studies
Activities on campus: Jazz Ensemble/Combo, Orchestra, La Causa, Mellon Mays Fellow
Hobbies: Listening and playing music, reading, working out, laughing at memes
Hello everybody! My name is Manuel and I am a senior from San Angelo, Texas. At Amherst, I’m majoring in Latinx and Latin American Studies, but the College’s open curriculum has allowed me to take classes in multiple departments such as Mathematics, Economics, Music, Political Science, English, History, and Statistics. On campus, you’ll usually catch me at the gym or at the library working on my research.
In addition to being a Diversity Outreach Intern, I’m also a Mellon Mays Fellow which supports students who want to do research in the social sciences and humanities. My research project looks into how religion shapes identity among Latinx students at Amherst College (ask me more about it!).
Before my senior year began, I had never heard of Amherst College. Luckily, I was able to attend Access to Amherst (A2A) in September 2016 where I was immediately drawn by the College’s academics and its incredible financial aid. When I was heading back home after A2A, I told myself that I had to come back. My A2A experience was one of my main motivations to become a Diversity Outreach Intern so that I can provide a similar experience to prospective students and share my knowledge about the college application process.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you might have about the application process, being a first generation and low income student, the Amherst Latinx community, and anything else.
Maya Hossain '21
Hometown: Fairfax, VA
High School: Westfield High School
Major: Political Science
Activities on campus: Education Outreach Coordinator for Center for Diversity and Student Leadership (CDSL), Muslim Student Association, Theatre, South Asian Student Association
Hobbies: Acting, drinking chai, reading the news, dancing badly, complaining on Twitter
Hi! My name is Maya Hossain and I’m a senior from the D.C. Area. I’m a Political Science major, and I spend most of my time in the Center for Diversity and Student Leadership (CDSL), a resource center that supports low income, first generation, DACA/undocumented, transfer, and veteran students.
Coming from a bustling metropolitan area and a public high school that had a population bigger than Amherst’s was quite a shock for me – I was about to put a deposit down for another school before I came for my Admitted Students Weekend at Amherst. I instantly fell in love Amherst’s incredibly unique, brilliant, diverse student body and their passionate faculty and staff. I love my academic, social, and work community like they’re my family. My decision process wasn’t easy, though. Amherst was a huge change from what I was used to, and most of the kids from my high school ended up at state schools. I didn’t have much help in the college application or decision process, so I can pass on some of the things I learned! I also have some information on what it’s like to be a Muslim/South Asian student at Amherst. Feel welcome to shoot me an email about anything, even if it’s just to ask what my favorite tea place in Amherst is (please ask me that).
Michael Gibson '21
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA
High School: Moravian Academy
Major: Political Science and Art History
Activities on campus: Black Students Union (BSU), Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC), Men’s Club Soccer, Amherst College Mock Trial
Hobbies: Studio art (drawing and printmaking), online shopping, Instagram
Hi! My name is Michael and I’m a senior Political Science and Art History double major. Coming from a small private school and a small town, I knew that Amherst wouldn’t be too drastic of a change for me. Instead, it would provide me with a familiar environment to diversify my interests and continue working on myself. I'm involved in a variety of activities on campus as a member and leader. Additionally, I work in the Office of Admission and at the Mead Art Museum. This might sound like a busy college lifestyle, but I’ve found success through the support of professors, clubs, and the team of coworkers who have extended themselves for me and the people around them.
I ultimately chose to attend Amherst College because of the school’s dedication to inclusivity. I love being a part of the Diversity Outreach Intern Team! It’s groups like this one that are creating space and making practices more equitable for others.
Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions! Best of luck!
Rachel Kang '21
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
High School: Seoul International School
Activities on campus: Asian Students Association, student staff at Center for International Student Engagement (CISE), International Student Association, Active Minds
Hobbies: Graphic design, FaceTiming my dog, cooking mediocre food, playing violin
Hi! I’m Rachel and I grew up mostly in Seoul, South Korea. You can typically find me around the Resource Centers (in Keefe Campus Center) looking up student discounts, bus tickets, or AirBnBs.
Looking back, I realize I knew very little about what life in college (or life in a new country) would be like. I was lucky to have wonderful professors, staff, and friends who helped me every step of the way, from managing credit cards to building better work habits to coping with homesickness. The huge cultural transition also gave me an opportunity to learn more about myself. Coming from a huge city, I was worried I would find Amherst boring, but I’ve come to fall in love with the Pioneer Valley’s fresh air and views! Ask me about the best food places around Amherst :)
Amy Nguyen '22
Hometown: Des Moines, IA
High School: Johnston High School
Major: Computer Science
Activities on campus: Program Coordinator at the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC), Asian Students Association (ASA), Asian American Studies Working Group, QuestBridge Low Income Club (QBLIC)
Hobbies: Journaling, making people laugh, painting, listening to music, and doing anything as long as it's with people I care about <3
Hi, hello! My name is Amy! Currently, I am a junior computer science major from Des Moines, IA. I had no idea what Access to Amherst (A2A) was but I was flown in during Admitted Students Weekend. I had the opportunity to connect with the Diversity Outreach Interns and I knew I wanted to be part of the team. So here I am!
I came from a diverse city but a homogeneous high school where I struggled to find a community. During Admitted Students Weekend, I was able to see how diverse Amherst College is. When I stepped foot on campus as a first year, I excitedly engaged in events and programs on campus. Ultimately, I was able to find the community I lacked in high school through the Asian Students Association and recently the Keefe Campus Resource Centers.
Please email me if you’re interested in talking about my Amherst experience: adjusting to a prestigious institution as a first generation and low income student, finding community, and self-care.
Kauila Tengan '22
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
High School: Kamehameha Schools at Kapālama
Major: Environmental Studies
Activities on campus: Amherst College Rugby, Indigenous and Native Citizens Association (INCA), Jiu Jitsu at Amherst College, Buddhist Meditation Group
Hobbies: Anything outdoors, working out, meditating, hanging out with friends
Aloooha! My name is Kauila, and I am a junior pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. Growing up in Hawai‘i, I spend a lot of time in nature. I enjoy hiking, visiting waterfalls, going to the beach, and cliff jumping. I participate in numerous clubs on campus as it is a great way to meet new people and connect to the rest of the community.
I learned about Amherst College through College Horizons, a Community Based Organization (CBO) that connects indigenous students with need-blind liberal arts institutions. I attended the Early Overnight for Native Students (EONS) and Access to Amherst (A2A) the following fall and instantly fell in love with the campus and community. Coming to school on the East Coast was a massive leap outside of my comfort zone. However, Amherst has provided me with many amazing opportunities, and I’ve made great friends along the way. Being the only native Hawaiian on campus last year, I applied to be a Diversity Outreach Intern in hopes of changing that. No matter where you are from, I want you to know that there is a place for you on campus as long as you are willing to work for it and claim it.
If you have any questions about the application process, or what it’s like to be so far from home, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me. I look forward to meeting you!
Manuel Medina '22
Hometown: Bronx, NY
High School: The Browning School
Major: Prospective Neuroscience
Activities on campus: La Causa, Choral Society, Intramural Soccer
Hobbies: Running, blasting music, playing piano, eating, watching Criminal Minds and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and not color-matching with the rest of the team.
Hey!! My name is Manny, and I’m a junior from The Bronx pursuing a major in Neuroscience! I attended a small all-guys private school for high school, made possible through my involvement with the TEAK Fellowship, a Community Based Organization (CBO) in NYC that helps talented students from low income families get into selective high schools and colleges, an incredible resource that offered consistent support as I adjusted to a private school environment. On campus, I’m involved in La Causa, an affinity group for LatinX students, and choral society.
I learned about Amherst primarily through TEAK, as they organized college visits, and spoke with older generations of students that applied and attended. I ended up attending the Access to Amherst (A2A) in September of my Senior year, and it became an important deciding factor as I applied to Amherst Early Decision.
Everything feels as if it has come full circle as I saw the incredible work the Diversity Outreach Interns did when I visited three years ago, and I felt the desire to attend Amherst and really have a lasting impact on prospective students. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about how my experience at Amherst has played out, the application process, or whatever else comes to mind!
Noni Akintunde '22
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
High School: Cleveland School of Architecture and Design
Major: English, Film and Media Studies, and Theatre and Dance
Activities on campus: Queer Resource Center (QRC)
Hobbies: Listening to music
Hi! My name is Noni and I’m a junior from Cleveland, Ohio. I don’t know what my major is yet, but I’m considering English, Film and Media Studies, and Theatre and Dance. On campus, I work in the Queer Resource Center as well. When I’m not working, I’m probably listening to music.
I knew nothing about Amherst until my high school college counselor told me about Access to Amherst (A2A). From the first time I step foot on campus, I knew Amherst was the place for me, and the Diversity Outreach Interns during A2A really helped me see myself in a space like Amherst. I knew once I got to Amherst, I had to apply to be a Diversity Outreach Intern, and it means so much to me that I can support prospective students during their college application process.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about being black and queer on campus, being a first generation, low income student, the application process in general, or anything else on your mind!
Jada Jones '23
Hometown: Randolph, NJ
High School: The Hun School of Princeton
Activities on campus: Pride Alliance, Student Security, Women’s Basketball
Hi! My name is Jada Jones and I’m from Jersey (*yells JEEEEERRRRZZZZYY*). Before my senior year of high school I had never heard of Amherst. While looking into liberal arts colleges online, I came across Amherst, and it was all uphill from there in terms of my admissions process. I was fortunate enough to attend the April Open House last spring, where not only did I meet an uncountable amount of great people, but I also got a birthday shout out from Biddy Martin (irreplaceable experience).
At Amherst, you can usually find me in one of three places: the library, Valentine Dining Hall, or the gym. Coming from a boarding school in high school, adjusting to Amherst came easy at first, but became more challenging as time went on. Being a black woman at Amherst brings challenges on its own, but being a first generation, low income, queer, black, woman athlete definitely comes with challenges even outside of the college. What has helped me navigate how my identities reflect my experience at Amherst and in life have been the strong bonds I have created with genuine people who have acted as an open ear at times when I needed to be heard the most.
For those reasons, I knew that applying to be a Diversity Outreach Intern was the right thing to do, and I cannot be more blessed that I have received this opportunity. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions about being a POC athlete at a predominantly white institution, being first generation, being low income, being queer, or anything you think I would have any clue about!! Nonetheless, I can always be an open ear; listening comes first.
Jeanyna Garcia '23
Hometown: Washington Heights, New York City!
High School: Columbia Secondary School
Major: Environmental Studies
Activities on campus: Eco-Rep, La Causa, QuestBridge, Green Room
Hobbies: Jamming to K-pop, singing, reading Webtoons, bird watching, exploring town, eating and cooking good food
Hi everyone! I’m Jeanyna Garcia, a sophomore at Amherst College who’s super excited to join the Diversity Outreach team. Ever since stepping foot on campus during Access to Amherst (A2A) as a senior, I was drawn by the super cool windbreakers that the Diversity Outreach Interns wore and knew from that very first sight that I had to become an intern if I got into Amherst, and here I am! But, in all honesty, beyond earning cool swag, I really want to create and spur that same magic and wonder the Diversity Outreach Interns and the rest of the Amherst community created for me during A2A, and empower students of color, first generation, undocumented, or low income students to see themselves reach their potential and succeed in college and beyond.
If you see me during Admitted Students Day or during A2A, feel free to say hi or ask me anything, whether it be Amherst or non-Amherst related!
Lauren Ju '23
Hometown: Fullerton, CA
High School: Fairmont Preparatory Academy
Major: Prospective Biochemistry with a certificate in Culture, Health, and Science
Activities on campus: Amherst Women in STEM (AWIS), Reader to Reader, Circus Magazine
Hobbies: Art, playing video games (Fire Emblem, Breath of the Wild, Octopath), twitter, eating
Hello! I’m Lauren, and I’m a sophomore from LA/Orange County (go Ktown!!). I’m thinking of majoring in Biochemistry with a certificate in Culture, Health, and Science.
I didn’t know much about Amherst during the application process. Nobody from my high school had attended before, so it was only at the urging of my counselor and upperclassmen friends that I decided to apply. When the time came to commit, I was originally set on attending a university that was much closer to home and more comfortable. But upon being flown in for the Admitted Student Weekend, I found myself struck by the small class sizes, open curriculum, and genuine passion that the students I met had for the college.
Since then, I’ve found a really great community of friends and mentors that have supported me in acclimating to the struggles of New England weather, juggling my academic and home lives (which can be hard considering the distance), and the unfortunate deficit of BCD gobchang soondubu.
The Diversity Outreach Intern Team has had a really positive impact on me and my decision to come here, and I’m so excited to be part of a group that works to create an inclusive, equitable Amherst community. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have!
Quentin Jeyaretnam '23
High School: Deerfield Academy
Major: Economics, Music, Computer Science
Activities on campus: Jazz Ensemble, Rock Climbing
Hobbies: Playing music, jam sessions, working out, cooking, watching Bon Appetit YouTube videos
Hey everyone! My name is Quentin, and I am a sophomore from Singapore. I’m not yet sure what my major will be, but I’m considering either Economics, Music, or Computer Science, or some combination of that. Depending on the time of day, you’d either find me at the gym, a music practice room, or in Frost library working on my macro problem set or computer science lab. I’m also a huge foodie and love to cook – hit me up for some handmade pasta!
Having spent two years in the Singapore Army between high school and college, I knew that transitioning back into the rigor of college life would be difficult. I decided to attend Amherst College because of its close community focused on inclusivity and diversity, where I knew I would be supported by my peers and professors and have access to resources and opportunities that would be much less attainable at a larger school, and this has made returning to school that much smoother and more enjoyable.
Feel free to reach out if you’d like to know more about adjusting to life in college, my experience as an international student studying halfway across the world from home, the many wonderful resources available on campus, or anything at all!
Sirus Wheaton '23
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
High School: Harvard Westlake
Major: Prospective Economics and LJST
Activities on campus: Black Students Union (BSU), WAMH Amherst College Radio, Men’s Club Soccer
Hobbies: Complaining about weather under 70 degrees, watching scary movies, playing soccer, Oreos, Wii Sports, hanging out with my friends, Tik Tok
What’s up everyone! My name is Sirus and I am a sophomore from Los Angeles, California. I really am from View Park, but no one ever knows where that is so I just say LA. I am not sure what I what to major in but I am interested in Economics and LJST. I play a ton of soccer so you can probably catch me on one of the fields when it’s warm enough or playing in the gym.
My high school was a very isolating place for people like me who are both black and low income. Coming to the Diversity Open House, I knew Amherst wasn’t a place like this. Stepping onto campus I could feel the warmth and the love that is so apparent for all here. Now being an Amherst student that experience has only intensified. I have found so many groups of people who have dealt with so many similar things to myself in groups such as the Black Student Union. Amherst has a multitude of resources for anyone on campus, and I am so grateful for that.
Feel free to ask me any questions about anything or to send me a really funny Tik Tok!