Mentors


Gail Empert

Wolters Elementary and Homan Elementary 
Fresno Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 2

About Me: I am a senior at Fresno State. I am studying child development and want to become an elementary school teacher. I was a mentor spring of 09 at Homan elementary school. I worked with the peer mediators to help them with any problems that came up at their school. I am also studying for a minor in American Indian Studies. I enjoy working with young children teaching them how to get along with one another. My time away from school and studies I spend at the Indian Project Clubhouse tutoring the children who attend. I am also very active in my church as a teacher for the elementary grades and sometimes the preschool children.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: I want to help young children learn how to be able to solve their problems through talking it out and working together to come up with a solution that will work for them. I know that talking and working out problems together is the way to solve all problems. If everyone knew the way to solve their problems this way, there would not be wars among nations, friends, or families.


Shannon George

School Placement: John Wash 
Sanger Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: Over the last two years, I tried to simply focus on school: live, breathe, and eat school! I was given the opportunity to attend London Semester, and my views of school have changed. I am not looking for a job, I am looking for ways to give me perspective on being a teacher. Free time is new to me. Homework has consumed my life over the last two years. But this semester, my classes have turned out to have less busy work. I find myself taking time to read the books that I have been putting off. I just began The Time Traveler’s Wife, maybe I will be able to finish it before the movie is out of theaters! I help my dad out when he has extra work in the office. Having the freedom to spend time with my friends and family is nice, too.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: Being a teacher is something I am passionate about, yet find myself lacking the involvement and exposure with my chosen field. I want to be able to say for sure that I want to be a teacher and work with children. I want to be able to look into the face of my future employers and tell them with confidence that I am ready. Mediator Mentors seems like an excellent way for me to work with students, but in a way that may be an advantage for me later on. Many children, I know, are simply misunderstood, and teachers are often too overwhelmed to stop and ask. By mentoring, I hope to not only learn much about dealing with children, but to help the children I am with. After all, to me, that is what teaching is about.


Amy Sauceda

School Placement: Ayer Elementary, 
Fresno Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: Criminology Major

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: I love being a mentor so that I can get hands on experience working with children. This is my last year, and personally I just want to get as much from the opportunities offered out of Fresno State that I can get. Not to mention that I am going into the juvenile system, so this hands on experience is good on my resume!


Amanda Gattie

School Placement: Valley Oak, 
Clovis Unified 
Number of semesters participating:1

About Me: I am in the ECE credential program. I also work as an instructor at Valley Oak Campus Club. In my spare time (whenever that may be) I love being with my family. I have a 2 year old niece that I absolutely adore and love being silly with her. I think what makes me different is that I love doing the messy dirty projects with the kids. My kindergartners from Campus Club often go home messy with paint or clay on their hands but they have a smile on their face. I am right along side of them learning and having fun. I am also taking cake decorating classes and love to make fun cakes for family and friends.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: I learned about Mediator Mentors from a staff development session for Campus Club. I feel that being a mentor to a young student is a gift that you give yourself. Being a mentor is part of being a lifelong learner and not only teaching students how to be active participants in their community but I, as a mentor, will learn and grow with them.


Shoua Yang

School Placement: Turner Elementary 
Fresno Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: First of all, my name is Shoua Yang. I’m 18. I’m currently attending California State University of Fresno(CSUF) as a freshmen. i enjoy helping and working with others, especially kids. During my free time, whenever I’m not studying or doing my homework, I usually just help my little brothers, my nieces and nephews with their homework. If I’m not helping them, then I just usually read or do my chores around the house, such as: doing the dishes, cooking dinner for my family, and any other chores around the house that will keep me occupied.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: I like being a mentor, because I enjoy helping others and I learn new things, as well as for my self. I’ve also had a mentor myself during my high school years and it was an amazing experience.


Kylie Rodriguez

School Placement: Herndon Barstow 
Central Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: My name is Kylie Rodriguez, I am a freshman at Fresno State. I am very outgoing and I love to work with kids. I have volunteered at my church for the past 6 years as well as many other things such as assisting with the 2008 presidential election. I love to learn and have fun at the same time so I am very hands on. In my spare time I love to read, write, and watch movies. In high school I was involved in leadership and cheer. I love history and learning about different things as well as teaching people about new things.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: I was told about this program through Teaching Fellows at Fresno State and just by hearing that I would get to work with children learning to solve problems, made me want to sign up. I love spending time with kids and helping them with things they don’t understand. We were taught how to handle situations and take control of them. This will be great for me for when I too become a teacher.


Jordan DeRuiter

School Placement: WAMS 
Sanger Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: I am a psychology major graduating this semester. I am currently taking six units in the child development field as well. I work as an After School Program Coordinator for Sanger Unified. Last year I worked as a leader for the Sanger After School Program and substitute taught during the normal school day for Sanger Unified in all grades. Between August 2006 to October 2007 I worked as an Upward Bound Tutor/mentor with Fresno City College tutoring at risk high school aged students.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: As a mentor, I am gaining the experience of working with middle school aged children in a counseling setting. My goal is to be a school counselor and I believe I will gain great insight into the realm of school counseling by participating in this program. I also feel that I can be a great asset to the students involved.


Elizabeth Salas

School Placement: Greenberg Elementary 
Fresno Unified 
Number of semesters participating:

About Me: My name is Elizabeth Berdejo-Salas, I am currently working on my last year toward earning a Master of Social Work degree. I have a strong passion for direct practice with individuals, especially with youth and children. I really enjoy simply things in life, such as spending time with my family and loved ones as I am currently very busy with school, internship, thesis and work. I love catching a coffee break with friends and just enjoying a good conversation.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: I have been a mentor for various agencies in Fresno County, it is one the strongest passions I have. From a social work perspective, I know the great significance of having a mentor and what that relationship can mean to a young child. It can impact his/her life in a significant way. From my personal experience, I find becoming a mentor to be very rewarding. It is perhaps one the most significant things a individual can do to help others succeed in life.


Jireh Somera

School Placement: Clovis Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: I am a freshmen at Fresno State. I enjoy playing the guitar and drums. My goals consist of receiving my BS in Nursing, finding a job, and hopefully being successful in life. While studying is a major part of my daily routine, I also love playing basketball.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: I was a Peer Counselor in high school and I heard about this program through a friend of mine. I joined in the workshop when I carpooled with her. I ended up finding a place as a Mediator Mentor.


Bonnie Yun

School Placement: Homan Elementary 
Fresno Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 2

About Me: I am returning to Fresno State for a PPS Credential. I previously graduated with a Masters Degree in Counseling. I was a Mediator Mentor then and I chose the experience again because it connects me to children and schools and other professionals who are involved in Conflict Resolution Education. I love my cat and I love my Kids at Homan!

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: As a counselor, I want to know what troubles children and how to teach them skills to alleviate suffering and promote social competence throughout their lives.


Katie Takeda

School Placement: Clovis Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: I am Katie Takeda and a freshman at CSU Fresno. I am a Liberal Studies major and I’m on my way to becoming a teacher. I love to volunteer around my community distributing food to the needy to raising money to grant a child's wish. On my free time I enjoy taking pictures of my surroundings. Photography is one of my favorite hobbies. In high school, I was involved extensively. I received the School Service Award at my high school graduation. I hope to continue my school involvement as I transition to college. I am a very outgoing person and love working with children.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: I have worked with many children throughout my life. During my high school years, I would go with my leadership class to elementary schools and middle schools to talk to them about important issues they face. We would discuss bullying and how to prevent it, who they are as a person, and who they want to become. I had an amazing time interacting with these students and hearing what they had to say. This program isn't just about interacting with students but also to help “the development of respectful conflict resolution skills among school children in our community.” This past year, I organized a program at Clovis High School called Increase the Peace. In the program, groups of students talked about issues they face at school such as bullying by peers, stereotyping, and ways to fix it. Though these were high school students, I think I can use the skills I learned from Increase the Peace with elementary and middle school students. As you can tell just by my major, working with children is a passion of mine. To see their faces light up with excitement because they understood brings joy to me. The Mediator Mentor Program allows me to expand my knowledge and use what I have to offer to help students find peace.


Carol Dallos

School Placement: Madison Elementary 
Sanger Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 2

About Me: I am Mom to two boys, 6th and 4th grade! They make me SMILE every single day. During my non-study time I like to play board games (we like to get creative and come up with new directions for the games), read, and spend time in our yard!

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: I have seen the need 1st hand for students to be taught the skills that Mediator Mentors provides. It provides students with positive, non-aggressive ways to handle conflict. So much of our society is focused on self, and this program requires that participants consider other people’s feelings-empathy! I have seen it used successfully and believe it is a tool that students (and adults) can use throughout their life!


Maria Sanchez

School Placement: Del Rey 
Sanger Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 2

About Me: I am a returning student pursuing my Masters in Social Work. I will also be getting my PPS credential so I can work in the schools. I will be graduating Spring 2010. I enjoy traveling when I’m not studying or doing homework.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: Del Rey Elementary has peer mediators. There is a need for more volunteers for this school year and I thought I would help out with that process. I think it is something that will greatly benefit the school as well as the students themselves. With me being a mentor, we can collaborate together to make it happen.


Hilary Merrick

School Placement: Clovis Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: Hello! My name is Hillary and I am a senior at Fresno State and am hoping to get into the School Psychology Graduate Program next year. Besides normal coursework, I am the president of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology and I also assist with research with a professor.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: ecoming a mentor helped me prepare for my future career. I also have experience working in with elementary level children in which I tutored them in math, reading, and also drug education.


Chris Merrick

School Placement: Clovis Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: I am a Freshman at Fresno State and although I still have no clue what I want to do in life or even which field I should major in, I am enjoying school and working to do my best. I am currently pledging the Sigma Chi fraternity and have had a lot of fun in the recent events.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: Being a mentor is mostly for the experience and training. I am unsure of what I want to do but have considered teaching. Mediator Mentors is giving me more insight about what I want to do in the future. This is a good program. I truly appreciate the opportunity this job presents


Chris Kaundart

School Placement: Sanger Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: In my spare time, I enjoy playing guitar and spending time with my little nephew. I am also a big sports fan.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: For starters, I love spending time with kids. The chance to make a difference in childrens’ lives is very appealing to me. This experience is invaluable.


Amita Singh

School Placement: Quail Lake, Sanger Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: I will be completed my (BA) degree in Fall 2009. I am planning on continuing my education at Fresno State to get my teaching credential. When I am not in school or working I read or write poems. Two of my poems got published in the 2007 edition of Ram’s Tales at Fresno City. One of the poems even got first prize. Currently I am volunteering in a third grade class in Kingsburg.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: I have a strong desire to help children/students. I want to help at least one person in a positive way. I figured the best way to help a student would be in the form of a Mediator Mentor. Also another reason that I want to become a Mediator Mentor is for networking purposes. My future goal is to become an elementary school teacher, I decided that becoming a Mediator Mentor would help me get my foot in door with teaching.


Marisela Gutierrez

School Placement: Sequoia Middle School, Fresno Unified 
Number of semesters participating: 1

About Me: I am a graduate student at Fresno State University. I am majoring in Social Work and really enjoy helping individuals, regardless of who they are or their ethnic background. When I am not studying or doing homework I enjoy playing soccer and hanging out with my friends.

Reason For Being a Mediator Mentor: What has inspired me to become a Mediator Mentor has been the idea of increasing my knowledge about conflict resolution. I would like to learn new techniques and ideas when working with numerous individuals who are in need of a positive role model.