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Our Fellows

** For Fellows: Click here to access the Directory↗

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Virginia Simpkins

San Diego State University '24

Psychology, Leadership Development Minor

Virginia Simpkins has passion and experience in the mental health field through her experiences as a (1) Registered Behavior Technician (2) Certified Peer Support Specialist at the Community Research Foundation Mental Health Clubhouse (3) Peer Support Specialist at the Meeting Place Clubhouse. She has experience with supporting children on the autism spectrum on top of offering emotional support and resources in her previous positions. She enjoys helping others and will dedicate her spare time volunteering at mental health centers as well at the Center for Employment Opportunities. Outside of the mental health space, Virginia is the co-creator of the SDSU Leadership Video Series where she collaborates with a team of student leaders to collect influential leaders' insights and advice. 

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Kai Catapang

UC San Diego '24

Global Health; Economics Minor & General Biology Minor

Kai Catapang is a UCSD student majoring in Global Health and minoring in Economics and General Biology. On campus, he is active in local Filipino groups such as Kaibigang Pilipin@ and the Pilipinx Undergraduate Society for Health (PUSH). For PUSH, he serves as the Social Chair for the 2022-2023 academic year. One of his biggest accomplishments includes being the pioneer behind the first ever in-person UCLA, UCI, UCSD social meet amongst other Filipino Pre-Health clubs from those three respective campuses. With Kai's undergraduate education, he plans on pursuing graduate education to understand and impact global healthcare systems through the intersection of law and science. He aims to provide equitable healthcare for everyone, regardless of where they are throughout the world.

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Kevin Brown

California State University, San Marcos '24

Biology Major

Kevin is a neuroscience research intern with passion in the science and medicine fields. He is currently doing research utilizing stem cells and differentiating them into human neurons to better understand Alzheimer’s disease from a genetic context. Kevin is also passionate about mentorship as he is currently building a mentorship platform to help local underrepresented high school seniors transition into higher education with the proper tools to thrive. Outside of school, Kevin loves to surf, golf, cross country run, and grow house plants!

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Qui-Shawn Tran

UC San Diego '24

Interdisciplinary Music, Visual Media, and Computing

Qui-Shawn Tran (pronounced KWEE-Shawn) is a musician, music producer, artist, improviser, and poet. As a student at UC San Diego studying Interdisciplinary Music, Visual Media, and Computing, he’s performed for TEDx, the Department of Music, and the Alumni Association. 

 

In 2020, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to independently fundraise $1,500 for the East West Players, a Los Angeles based Asian-American theater. In 2022, he was awarded the Breaking Barriers Scholarship by UC San Diego for activism and diversity through his music, poetry performances, and audiovisual content. In 2023, his journey continues as a student activist for the StopAAPIHate movement, a storyteller for the Vietnamese Boat People Podcast, a fellow in the UCSD OASIS Creative Arts Fellowship, and a speaker for the Stanford’s 20th annual Asian American Youth Leadership Conference. 

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Jade Gil Montesinos

UC San Diego '24

Education Sciences, Spanish Literature Minor

Jade Gil Montesinos is studying Education Sciences with a minor in Spanish Literature at the University of California, San Diego. Her interest in education began in her first year of college where she began tutoring elementary and middle school students. While working at a local middle school, Jade learned about the inequalities in education as well as the importance of positive adult figures in a student’s daily life. Inspired by her students, Jade aspires to pursue a teaching credential after completing her bachelor's and eventually working as an educator within her community.

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Gustavo Candia

UC San Diego '24

International Business, Real Estate & Development Minor

Gustavo Candia is passionate about social justice issues and leaving a positive impact on society; he practices these values through his positions as a Joy de la Cruz Art and Activism Intern, a Social Justice Educator at the Cross-Cultural Center, and as the Vice President of Scholarships and Senior Class Giving of the Student Foundation at UCSD.

 

Gustavo's professional goal is to provide adequate housing options for people from all different backgrounds. My experience working with underserved communities and the homeless population in San Diego has helped me understand the roots of housing insecurity and discrimination against BIPOC communities. In the future, I want to work as an operations manager in a company that focuses on sustainable practices through the creation of environmentally friendly products. 

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