Learning Outcomes

  • Deepen their understanding of social justice, identity, and intersectionality.
    Develop leadership skills and strengthen their ability to practice allyship and interrupt bias.
  • Create meaningful relationships across difference forging bonds of friendship with other participants and connections with Amherst College Resource Center staff.
  • Increase their proficiency in positively navigating dialogues about race, gender, sexuality, and other social identities.
  • Be empowered to become change agents in their lives around the issues most important to them.

What to Expect

This LEAP program includes several hours each day of facilitated dialogue and activities and also some physical activity such as high-ropes course, swimming, canoeing, etc. although everything is challenge by choice and we will work to provide accommodations when necessary.


Email cdsl@amherst.edu if you have any questions about this LEAP program!

Meet Our Staff

Picture of Rachel Kang


Rachel Kang '21


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hi! My name is Rachel and I’m a sophomore still trying to decide on a major. I like to walk my dog, take photos of my dog, learn graphic design, and play violin. I (mostly) grew up in Seoul, South Korea, so coming to Amherst meant overcoming cultural & geographic as well as academic challenges. I’d be down to talk about time zone problems or help anyone find quality Asian food around Amherst! During the school year, I work as a Diversity Intern at the Admission Office and am a part of ISA, ASA, and Debate Society. I spend most of my time out of my bed at the Center for International Student Engagement (hint: the Center keeps snacks from all over the world). I’m very excited to meet all of you!

Picture of Abby Mesfin


Abby Mesfin '20


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hi everyone! I’m Abby, a rising junior from West Orange, New Jersey. I’m a psychology major who is part of the African Caribbean Student Union, a member of Drewhouse (our campus’ Black culture house), sings in the Gospel Choir, and has been involved with biology research here on campus (once upon a time, I was on the pre-med track). I had an amazing time as an SJL student leader last year, and I’m super excited to do it all over again and meet the class of 2022!  



Picture of Lea Morin


Lea Morin '21


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hello! My name is Lea Morin and I am a rising sophomore at Amherst. I am from San Antonio, Texas, the best city and the best state in the United States. I will be declaring Latinx and Latin American Studies (LLAS) as my first major and I am considering Anthropology or Sociology for my second major. On campus, I am a tour guide, a Diversity Intern with the Office of Admissions, and I will be an RC for Newport which houses La Casa: Latinx Culture House and the Spanish Language House. When I’m not in class or working, you can find me passionately pursuing any number of my hobbies from meeting new people to screaming about my amazing city.

For my LEAP Program, I participated in SJL and gained knowledge as valuable as the connections I made. SJL helped me develop important connections with the faculty and my peers that served me well as I navigated my first year at Amherst. I am excited to be a part of the execution of SJL this year and hope to create an experience as fun and informative as mine was.


  Picture of Ludia Ock


Ludia Ock '19


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Ludia Ock was born and raised in Queens, NY where she developed many core identities as a sister, friend, risktaker, dreamer, devoted lover of chocolate, and according to her friends, “queen of small talk.” As a rising senior majoring in American Studies, her academic interests relate to the social and public health inequalities faced by marginalized groups of people in America. Her studies help her appreciate and/or question the ways stories, especially as they pertain to people and history, are conveyed and shared. In her free time, she loves being engaged in her community and meeting new people. Her favorite work as a volunteer was being an English teacher for senior citizens in South Korea. She likes bougie cafes, kickboxing, and the smell of money.


Picture of Tejia Pavao


Tejia Pavao '21


Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Tejia Pavao is a sophomore currently studying political science and Asian languages and civilizations. They are also the Outreach Coordinator at the Queer Resource Center on campus. As part of this role, they also facilitate programs focused on being a QTPOC as well as being non-binary/gender non-conforming and are always open to talk about the experience of, and joy in holding these identities on campus with incoming students (or anyone, ever).

When they're not working, they enjoy binge watching literally any show (they procrastinate a lot therefore, have watched many, many shows), buying a book they're never going to ready, or planning their next tattoo. They also enjoy studying French and Arabic.

They are very excited for this year's Leap trip. Please be ready for random dancing, laughing and lots of Social Justice learning!!!

Picture of CamillePolk


Camille Polk '21


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hello! My  name is Camille Polk, and I am a rising sophomore from Southern California. On campus I am involved in Dance and Step at Amherst College, and as a first-year I was the Communications Coordinator of the First-Year Area Council. When I was a first-year I went on the Social Justice and Leadership trip. On SJL I learned more about the identities I hold and how to better empower my peers. My favorite memory from SJL is sitting around the campfire with my group members making s’mores and telling stories on our last night. SJL really shaped how I entered my first year of college here at Amherst, and I hope it does the same for you!

Picture of David Rosa


David Rosa '21


Pronouns: he/him/his

Hey! My name is David Rosa and I’m a rising sophomore from New York City, the ACTUAL best city in the ACTUAL best state in the US. I’m currently considering becoming a psychology and LJST double major. On campus, I work in Frost Library at the front desk, so if you ever see me there, don’t be afraid to say hello! When I’m not working, studying or the other million things you can do at Amherst, I enjoy making people laugh (yup I’m our resident clown), hanging out with friends and eating lots of food. During my LEAP trip, I participated in SJL and I honestly can’t think of a better introduction to Amherst life. I’m so excited to work with y’all, there’s gonna be a lot of laughs and a lot of growth.

Picture of Olivia Zheng


Olivia Zheng '20


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hi there! My name is Olivia and I'm a junior majoring in American Studies. I'm originally from the Bay Area, California, the ACTUAL ACTUAL best state in the US. On campus, I work as an Education Coordinator for the Multicultural Resource Center and as a Diversity Intern for the Office of Admissions. I started getting involved with the Asian Students Association (ASA) during my first year and I'm super excited to be serving as the Senior Chair this coming semester! Last year, I was also on the National Board of the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU). I'm also an active member of Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC) and Intersections Dance Company. In my free time, you can probably find me reading, writing, watching cooking video on Youtube, napping or looking up new restaurants on Yelp.



         Picture of Tenzin Kunor


Tenzin Kunor


Pronouns: he/him/his 
As the Associate Director of Diversity & Leadership in the Office of Campus Diversity & Student Leadership (CDSL), I primarily work to provide education, support, and advocacy to and on behalf of first generation, low-income, transfer, veteran, and undocumented/DACA students. I am passionate about social justice, deconstructing classism, racial identity development, and advising student organizations. SJL LEAP is one of my favorite programs that we coordinate and I'm grateful and excited to have the opportunity to meet and to work with the incoming class year. When I'm away from work, I spend my time watching and playing basketball, hanging out with my four-year-old shepherd/lab mix named Mars, relearning Tibetan, and doing tuberculosis advocacy work. See you in the fall! 


Picture of Jxhn Martin


Jxhn Martin 


Pronouns: they/them/theirs
Jxhn serves as the director of the Queer Resource Center (QRC), whose primary role on campus is to support queer* and trans students throughout their journey at Amherst (*queer is used here as an umbrella term for the LGBTQ+ community). Jxhn works to bring change to campus through community building, stemming from programming, queer/trans inclusivity trainings, to policy implementation and beyond. Reach out to them regarding how to navigate resources on campus, to schedule a training, ask questions concerning collaborative programming with the QRC, and/or booking the QRC space. In their free time, you can find them talking about desirability politics, affects/effects of student debt, and/or some combination of netflixing, eating, cooking, or attempting to bake.