Professional photo of Jose Santiago

Scholar's Program Peer Mentor


Major(s) and Minor(s):

Sociology, Applied Psychology

What has your experience as a 1st Generation college student been like? 

My experience at UCSB has taught me that no matter how difficult a situation may be you are never alone. This campus, the students, and the staff are always helping each other to overcome obstacles. Being first generation is overwhelming and frightening but with so many support groups on campus it is easy to feel confident and supported.

What would you like to share with students about your experience at UCSB?

I am from Los Angeles and came to ucsb during covid. Of course covid took away a lot of the college experience however being able to get past the pandemic has allowed me to value my last two years even more and make the most of them.

Top tips for fellow students? 

My favorite resource is the rec-cen and the intermural sports leagues. I find them very helpful when I need to relieve stress and get some movement. My favorite place to study on campus is the SRB because there are so many desks and it is one of the more underrated study spots.

Best advice you've received that has helped you at UCSB.

The best advice I’ve ever received is to always get a second opinion. I was never sure what major to go into and what future career to shoot for and I still am not sure, but sometimes people will try to tell you what you can and can’t achieve. I’d say to always speak to someone else, another staff member or someone in your support group because not everyone will value you and what you bring to the table, but those who do value you will know how to bring out the best in you.

Why did you choose to be an EOP peer mentor?

I chose to become involved in EOP because as a first year I felt lost and alone with zoom being the main way classes were taught. It wasn’t until I began going to events ran by EOP that I began to find more resources and groups on campus. I’d like to help guide students towards success who are in similar positions.