Elinton Lee '20
Hometown: Springfield, MO
High School: Central High School
Major: Neuroscience and Sexuality, Women & Gender Studies (SWAGS)
Activities on campus: Morgan Music Library student access services assistant, Technical Director and Choreographer for Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC), QuestBridge, Charles Drew Health Professionals Society, Research (STEM and Humanities)
Hobbies: Driving in AAS vehicles, playing piano, social media, Summoners War anyone?
Hello! My name is Elinton and I’m a senior from good ol’ Missouri (try saying it “misery,” it makes so much more sense). Born and raised in the Midwest, I was dying to get out. So naturally, I came to Amherst. Actually, it was the QuestBridge program, which focuses on low income and/or first generation students getting to college that led me to know about Amherst. Low and behold I applied and got in and still didn’t know what I signed up for. I got a strange email asking if they would pay for me to come visit their school and of course I said “Free vacation? Okay!” Honestly, visiting during the Admitted Students Weekend was a huge deciding factor to come to Amherst. Coming into my senior year, I have already learned so much, won so much, failed so much, and grown so much. Amherst itself has become my community and being able to go to school here has meant so much. Utilizing all the resources available, I am on the pre-med track doing a double major. I also have taken piano lessons and even dance which I’ve never done before (the dancing part). Amherst, to me, is a place to explore and expand yourself, challenging your limits and learning from your mistakes.
Please feel free to send me an email or reach out if you want to know more! I am more than happy to try and help other people get to experience Amherst in their own way, just as I have.
Olivia Zheng '20
Hometown: Fremont, CA
High School: Mission San Jose High School
Major: American Studies
Activities on campus: Education Coordinator at the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC), Asian Students Association (ASA), Asian American Studies Working Group, Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC)
Hobbies: Dancing, reading, looking for new restaurants on Yelp, watching YouTube videos, online window shopping
Hi hi! My name is Olivia and I'm a senior American Studies major from the Bay Area. I didn't hear about the Access to Amherst program (A2A) until after I was accepted to Amherst, but I got to visit campus for Admitted Students Weekend and had a great time. Coming from a big public school, Amherst gave me the small seminar style classes, close professor-student relationships, and a wide access to resources that I had always dreamed of. There's a wild amount of funding on campus for anything from summer internships to dinners with professors to zip-line trips.
It took me a while to find my community on campus, but I've definitely found my closest friends through the Multicultural Resource Center and Asian Students Association. Through these groups, I've had the opportunity to learn a lot about social justice beyond basic diversity statistics as well as get involved with student activism on campus.
Feel free to email me and ask about my college application process, where to get the best Asian food (and boba) near campus, or what it was like adjusting to life (aka winter) on the East Coast! I love talking about my experiences at Amherst (good and bad) so please hit me up!
Rachel Chaffin '20
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
High School: Stanford Online High School
Major: Psychology and French
Activities on campus: Amherst Christian Fellowship (ACF), Indigenous and Native Citizens Association (INCA), Tour Guide
Hobbies: Running, baking and cooking, watching people bake and cook much better and more beautifully than me on The Great British Baking Show and Chef's Table, finding new places near Amherst for picnicking and stargazing, and making new friends
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm a senior from Sacramento, California, majoring in Psychology and French. On campus, I spend a lot of my time at the wonderful Office of Admission, tour guiding and working alongside my fellow Diversity Outreach Interns. I'm also involved in the Amherst Christian Fellowship and the Indigenous Native Citizens Association, both of which have provided me with dear friendships as well as support and resources to take on life at Amherst.
Being a Diversity Outreach Intern has been a precious part of my experience at Amherst for several reasons, but primarily because I actually attended the Early Overnight for Native Students (EONS) with Access to Amherst (A2A) as a prospective student myself in October 2015. I left that visit totally in love with Amherst and wanted to be a Diversity Outreach Intern almost as much as I wanted to just be an Amherst College student. As soon as I got here, I started looking for ways to stay connected to the program that impacted me so much, and three years later, the work I've been able to do as a Diversity Outreach Intern and the interactions I've had with our amazing prospective students have been the highlights of every semester I've had here. There are few things I like more than connecting with people and helping prospective students learn more about the college I love so much, but also helping you find what is the perfect fit for you, so please reach out if you have any questions about anything!
Trenati Baker '20
Hometown: Chicago, IL
High School: Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Major: Black Studies and Political Science
Activities on campus: Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC), African & Caribbean Students Union (ASCU), ACSU Dance, Black Students Union (BSU), Resident Counselor
Hobbies: Dancing, painting my nails, spilling tea
Hey! My name is Trenati, and I am from Chicago (SOUTHSIDE!!!). I declared Black Studies and am slowly but surely pursuing Political Science. I spend most of my days running from class, to dance practices, to Access to Amherst (A2A) planning meetings, and to different affinity group meetings.
My college search process was short, but very hectic. I applied to over 12 schools and sent out all my applications by mid-October. I applied to so many schools because I was a part of QuestBridge and Chicago Scholars (and my family urged me to apply to several HBCUs). With this being said, however, I found out about Amherst through QuestBridge and was accepted to Amherst as a QuestBridge Match Scholar.
Please feel free to reach out and email me with any questions you might have about the college application process, Amherst, the college experience of a black woman at a historically white institution, the college experience of a low income student, and whatever else comes up. Best wishes, xoxo!
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 junior 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 junior 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 junior 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 sophomore 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 (specifically Rachel) 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 sophomore 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 sophomore 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.
As I start my sophomore year, everything feels as if it has come full circle as I saw the incredible work the Diversity Outreach Interns did when I visited two 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 sophomore 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!