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Peer Mentors

Starting university can be confusing, which is why we assign each new student a Peer Mentor – a high-achieving upper-year student who will help you throughout your first term at York.

Peer Mentors will help you develop the skills you need for academic and personal success, such as organizational strategies, learning techniques, self-awareness and academic confidence. They will also guide you on where to source academic advising and degree requirements information through your program.

As a new York student affiliated with Vanier College, you are automatically enrolled in this program and typically paired with a volunteer Peer Mentor from your area of study, who will contact you before classes start. You’ll have access to group workshops and one-on-one consultation services, and connections to the resources and opportunities offered by Vanier College, LA&PS and York University.

How to Connect with a Vanier Peer Mentor

Quick Links

Although I was a new student this year, I had no trouble navigating everything through your mentorship and events! Even though everything was online, I enjoyed attending events like virtual yoga, movie nights & trivia nights.

— Alexandra Stone
Student, Vanier College

Meet our Peer Mentor Coordinators!


Hello Vanier! I am very excited to be one of your Peer Mentor Coordinators for the 2021-2022 academic year! I am a 4th year Children, Childhood & Youth major who is also a member of the Concurrent Education program. I have always loved helping incoming students find their way around a new school, and I can't wait to continue this goal with all of you.

Toni Garcia (she/ her)
tgarcia8@yorku.ca

4th year Children, Childhood & Youth and Concurrent Education

Riya Bhatla Profile Photo

Hey Vanier! My name is Riya and I'm a 4th year Interdisciplinary Social Science and Concurrent Education student here at York. Ever since my first encounter with Vanier College as a Froshie in 2019, I knew it would become my second home. I am so pumped to serve as a Vanier Peer Mentor Coordinator alongside Toni this year! I can't wait to work alongside all of you to maximize student engagement and make this year the most memorable yet!

Riya Bhatla (she/her)
rbhatla3@yorku.ca

4th year Interdisciplinary Social Science and Concurrent Education

Meet our Peer Leaders!

Pooja Gautam Profile Photo

Pooja Gautam (she/her)

Double Major in Economics and Psychology  

I love playing the piano in my free time as it is a great stress reliever and my favourite way to take a break from academics! A fun fact about me is that I have wanted to teach since I was in elementary school and this ties into why I hope to be an amazing peer mentor leader! It is truly my passion to support, mentor, teach and lead others. Vanier has helped me do this through the incredible way this community promotes inclusivity and teamwork! Vanier was especially my home during my transition from high school to university and it is an honour to work with Vanier college. 

poojagau@my.yorku.ca

Alfred Hsiung Profile Photo

Alfred Hsiung (he/him)

Financial and Business Economics

My name is Alfred and I signed up to be a peer leader because I want to be able to positively impact another peer's university experience. As an international student, studying abroad can be intimidating and my goal is to make that experience pleasant. My goal as a peer mentor would be to help my peers build valuable connections with other students. Some of my hobbies include hiking, netflix, working out and reading. 

Fun fact: I can speak 4 languages and I can never have enough of bubble tea! 

alfredhsiung2007@gmail.com

Eileen Nugraha Profile Photo

Eileen Nugraha (she/her)

4th year, English and Philosophy

Hi, my name is Eileen Nugraha. In this upcoming fall/winter term, I will be going into my fourth year. Vanier is a great, welcoming community, and I am so excited to be a Peer Mentor Leader starting this fall. As we transition into a new normal and as campus begins to reopen, I hope to help everyone feel supported and comfortable as we move forward in this new year.

A little bit about myself:
- I love to read in my spare time
- I have a pet dog named Mochi

einu2018@gmail.com

Krisy Lyorah Profile Photo

Krisy Lyorah (she/her)

Social Work

My hobbies are going on adventures, road trips and trying new foods! I also love going to the movie theatres, especially to see a good sci-fi movie (Marvel is my fav). My main goal as a PML is to ensure that new students don’t have to ever feel alone, because I know how stressful it can be transitioning into university life. So I want to be a glimmer of guidance and support for them during these stressful times!

krisyiyorah@gmail.com

Melena De Palma Profile Photo

Melena De Palma (she/her)

3rd Year, Business and Society

Hi! My name is Melena and I am currently in my third year of the Business and Society program. I am a huge Marvel and Star Wars fan, and an avid collector of Pop Funkos. My goal as a PML is to help make the York Community not as intimidating as it seems. Hope you all have a great summer and see you in September!

melenadepalma@gmail.com