Undergraduate Pre-Professional Leaders 2022-2023
Alan H Cuevas ’23 (he/they)
Los Angeles, CA
I'm a senior majoring in Earth Systems with an emphasis on the biosphere. I'm from South Central, LA, a majority Black and Latinx community, which has made El Centro a very special place for me throughout my time at Stanford. I'm passionate about environmental justice, the great outdoors, and my bearded dragon Ziggy! At any moment you can find me giving fun facts about random animals, picking up bugs, or rambling about horror movies.
April Olivia Pacheco ’25 (she/her)
Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
Los Angeles, CA
I am a first-generation, low-income student who was raised by Mexican parents in Los Angeles, California. I am studying Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity on a pre-law track as am is passionate about making the law more accessible to marginalized individuals and dismantling systemic injustices that target low-income, communities of color. In my free time, I love creating art, reading postmodern literature, and spending time with my family. I am excited to work with El Centro and share the beauty of Latine culture with the rest of Stanford.
Ashley Celada ‘25 (she/her/ella)
Long Beach, CA
I am a sophomore here at Stanford! I was born and raised in Long Beach, CA, and both my parents are immigrants from Guatemala. I am currently undecided in terms of my major, but I know that I want to go into immigration in my future. I am beyond excited to work at El Centro and to have the opportunity to not only get to know more Latinos on campus, but also support them in their endeavors. I am looking forward to having discussions where I can learn more about the overall concept of Latinidad, but also about the unique and amazing differences that each Latin American country and their individual culture has. Aside from this, I also love music and listening to new songs (give me song recs pls!). Can’t wait to see what this year has in store!
Cristian Aguilar Aguilera ‘25 (he/him/el)
International Relations and Iberian and Latin American Culture
I was born in Santa Clara, Cuba but was raised in Miami. I love listening to music and dancing. Appreciating diversity and culture is a big part of how I interact with my environment. No matter where I go, I try to learn and share. I hope to keep learning about our comunidad while working at El Centro, and exchange knowledge and experiences with anyone who comes by.
Geana M Marte '24 (she/her)
B.S. candidate in Human Biology
Teaneck, New Jersey
I’m a junior majoring in Human Biology, with a concentration in the Genetic Basis of Chronic Diseases and Developmental Health and minoring in Data Science. I was born and raised in a Dominican household in the New York City metropolitan area (having lived in Harlem, Dyckman, Westchester, and Bergen County, New Jersey). I never had to go far to be enriched in my own culture, which led to me having a major culture shock when I came to Estanfor. But it shouldn’t have to be that way! While working at El Centro, I want to broaden the horizons of Latinidad and make sure everyone feels at home and represented.
Greta D Romero ’24 (she/her)
I’m a junior studying Political Science and Anthropology on a pre-law path! I’m from Arlington, Texas and my parents are Cuban and Mexican. I’m very excited to be staffing at El Centro this year and hope to bring lots of programming that celebrates culture, diversity, and appreciation! So excited to meet everyone in the comunidad!
Jessica Balbin '24 (she/her)
I’m a chemistry major on the pre-med track. I’m passionate about global health and reducing health inequities across underserved populations. A fun fact about me is that my playlist is 77 hours and 49 minutes long with a wide range of genres ranging from classic rock, hip-hop, trap, bachata, pop, etc.). This year I hope to continue expanding wellness resources for our comunidad. That being said definitely feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any Centro related questions, or even if you just need to talk to someone!
Juan Flores '24 (he/him/él & homie)
Sociology with a concentration in Data Science, Markets, and Management
Minor in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
I am currently a junior at Estanfor University. I was born and raised in Escondido, CA – located in northern San Diego county. To me, El Centro is a home away from home (cliche, I know). It is a space where I can truly express myself and be in community with others who share similar life experiences.
My goal/hope is to help replicate that same feeling for others all across campus.
My primary interests lie in the fields of (and intersections between) immigration law, human rights, the criminal legal system, and restorative justice practices. My current academic research is focused on youth-based restorative justice practices in my hometown of Escondido, CA – the project is currently investigating the effects that punitive/carceral state-like actors have on youth who participate in "second chance" juvenile diversion programs. I aspire to attend law school one day and become a public-interest and community-oriented attorney (however that may come to be!).
Aside from this, I love to talk and chat with people from all walks of life.
Kimberly Gonzalez-Zelaya '25
B.A. Candidate in Urban Studies & Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
Minor Candidate in Education
Piyalli! I'm a sophomore interested in Urban Studies, CSRE, and Education. I'm particularly interested in carceral justice, resistive educational spaces, and decolonial methodologies. I was raised in the Tijuana—Sydro Borderlands, but am from Jalisco, México and Usulután, El Salvador. As an indigenous Central American, I am deeply passionate about deconstructing Latinidad, revolutionary movements, and centering gender marginalized and racialized peoples in spaces like Centro. Apart from this, I love comics, nails, and baseball. Go Dodgers!
Leslie Quintana ’25 (she/her)
Los Angeles, CA
I'm a Chicana from Southeast Los Angeles and the daughter of immigrant parents from Acapulco, Guerrero. Some of my interests include both watching and playing basketball, listening to music primarily R&B; my all-time favorite artist is Giveon, and reading cheesy romance novels. I am beyond excited to be working at El Centro and contributing to making the space a safe and welcoming place for all Latinx students on campus. Come through and check out all the great things El Centro has to offer!
Michelle de Fatima Mairena '25 (any pronouns)
I am Nicaragüense and am studying history and political science. And I immigrated to Miami, Florida seven years ago with my family. I am a second-year student that comes from a line of women journalists, and am passionate about political engagement accessibility and the revolutionary history of Central America. In my free time, I organizes with “Rhizome,” a national nonprofit that I co-founded in 2021 alongside 80+ youth that civically mobilizes high school students from underrepresented communities. I loves rock ñ, sketching, and reading Roque Dalton and Ernesto Cardenal.
Myrka Cruz, ’25 (she/Her)
Sociology & Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity Minor
I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I'm Zapotec and my parents are from Oaxaca, Mexico. In my free time, I love listening to music, reading, and drawing! My academic interests lie in immigration, Indigenous populations, human rights, and more. Coming from an Indigenous background, it's important for me to help create a space at El Centro which is inclusive of all identities so everyone can feel a sense of belonging.
Ninette Calderon '25 (she/her/ella)
Los Angeles, CA
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA by two immigrant parents from Central America and Mexico. I am currently a first-generation freshman studying Computer Science and Education. In attempts to help those around me and my community, I started a non-profit organization this past year, Care for Los Angelenos, which provides basic care resources to the homeless community in Los Angeles. I aspires to continue contributing to my community back in Los Angeles and now at Stanford by highlighting the potential that resides within’ my first-generation and Latinx peers.
Peter Jason Benitez '25 (he/him)
I am from Woodbridge, Virginia, located 25 minutes outside of Washington D.C. I am majoring in computer science but am still exploring different tracks. My mother is from Guatemala and my dad is from El Salvador. I am extremely excited to be working at El Centro to help give back to the community I love. If you see me, feel free to say hi, I love meeting new people!
Rebecca Monge '25 (she/they)
New York, NY
I'm a current first-year at Stanford with an interest in Earth Systems and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. I grew up in NY raised by parents who immigrated from Central America, and I truly enjoy any opportunity to engage in Latinx spaces! At El Centro, I am eager to connect our class to cultural events, and help deconstruct the anti-blackness, anti-indigeneity, and colonialism embedded in Latinidad. I am super excited to meet new people and perspectives too, and am beyond grateful to represent this space :)
Stephanie Castaneda Perez '23 (she/her)
History & Art Practice
Los Angeles, CA
I am a Mexicana hailing from Los Angeles, California. I'm passionate about community activism and love to spend time learning about the history of Mexican-Americans. In my free time, I also loves to cook, dance, and write.