top of page

Executive Board



Danielle Nieto 


Major: MCB Neurobiology

Hometown: Danville, CA

Sage Experience: 6 semesters

Plans After College: Med School

Favorite Thing About Sage:  Contributing to a positive culture in Berkeley is one of the most important things we Cal students can do during our college careers and Sage allows us to do just that! Plus those drawings and hugs never get old!

Fun Fact About You: I am scared of butterflies

Screen Shot 2023-01-28 at 11.24.27 PM.png

Kiely Bol

VP Membership

Major: Psychology with an Intended Child Development minor

Hometown: Danville, CA

Sage Experience: 5 semesters

Plans After College: I plan on going to grad school to earn my doctorate in clinical psychology, eventually becoming a clinical neuropsycholgist!

Favorite Sage Memory:  Reading books in the library with my mentee + her giving me the biggest hug each time I mentor :)

Fun Fact About You: I have a fear of the deep ocean so you will never find me on a cruise. I would rather take the ACT again


Jackson Gress

VP Alumni Affairs

Hometown: Saratoga, CA

Major: Business

Sage Experience: 

Plans After College: 

Favorite Sage Memory: When my mentee wrote me a super sweet thank you card at the end of the semester

Fun Fact About You: I love fishing

IMG_6295 2 - Sophia Velilla_edited.jpg

Sophia Velilla

Managing Director

Major: Integrative Biology 

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Sage Experience: 7 semesters

Plans After College: Attend medical school

Favorite Sage Memory: The first time I met my 1st grade mentee! Once we were introduced, she had the biggest smile on her face and gave me a hug. She was so excited to spend time with me and I knew from that moment, we would have a great time together!

Fun Fact About You: I went to an all girls highschool in Sacramento, CA that the movie Ladybird is based on!

IMG_9529 - Athene Yu.heic

Athene Yu

VP Finance

Major: Molecular & Cell Biology

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Sage Experience: 6 semesters

Plans After College: I plan on working in tech

Favorite Sage Memory:  My favorite Sage memory was when my mentee drew the two of us together

Fun Fact About You:  I have never cried during a sad movie


Priscilla Chin

VP Communications & Outreach

Major: Molecular & Cell Biology

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Sage Experience: 3 semesters

Plans After College: I plan on going to medical school!

Favorite Sage Memory:  My favorite Sage memory is my mentee giving me a big hug when she found out that I was going to be her new mentor! She was so happy that I was there to talk, play, and read with her 

Fun Fact About You: I became an auntie when I was 8 years old (my cousin's 1st baby)!

School Directors


beauty_1691974915813 (1) - Jimin Yoo.JPG

Jimin Yoo

Acorn Woodland

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Major: Molecular & Cell Biology

Sage Experience: 

Plans After College: 

Favorite Thing About Sage: I joined Sage my freshman year and it was really nice getting to know my mentee and playing with her during recess as well at P.E time. Kids are so sweet and would greet me all the time, it's really amazing to watch kids grow

Fun Fact About You: I lived in three different countries: Korea, China, and the US!

IMG_6807 - Hilary Wong.HEIC

Hilary Wong

Ruth Acty

Hometown: Covina, CA

Major: Society & Environment, Business Administration

Sage Experience:  3 semesters

Plans After College: I plan on working on sustainability and nonprofits!

Favorite Thing About Sage:  love SAGE because it gives me a reprieve from school and the intensity of being constantly stressed. Interacting with mentees is the highlight of every week and their carefree, joyful nature is infectious!

Fun Fact About You:I'm a black belt in Taekwondo

IMG_8050 - Neha Gottimukkala.jpeg

Neha Gottimukkala


Major: Political Economy

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Sage Experience: 2 semesters 

Plans After College: business and policy

Favorite Sage Memory: I love working with my mentee and playing kickball with her during recess. 

Fun Fact About You: I have fallen off of a banana boat


Kayla Badie


Major: Psych & education 

Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA 

Sage Experience: 3 semesters

Plans After College: to teach elementary school 

Favorite Sage Memory: butterfly visions with my mentee Akito   

Fun Fact About You: I taught myself to juggle last semester

IMG_2033 - Ashley Taira.JPG

Ashley Taira

Rosa Parks

Major: Psychology

Hometown: San Ramon, CA 

Sage Experience: 4th semester

Plans After College: graduate school to become a therapist!

Favorite Sage Memory: the end of the school year in June last year when the whole class I was working with gave me a giant hug on my last day!   

Fun Fact About You: Cows are my biggest fear

Tribute - Ella Nikfar.heic

Ella Nikfar

John Muir

Major: Social Welfare + Education

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Sage Experience: 2 semesters!

Plans after college:  I plan on going to school to be a Physicians Assistant

Favorite Thing About Sage: the close community and forming bonds with other mentors

Fun fact: I have been playing soccer since I was 5 years old

IMG_1955 - Karyme Imelda Pena.HEIC

Karyme Peña


Major: Nutritional Sciences

Hometown: San Gabriel, CA

Sage Experience: 4 semesters

Plans after college: I plan on attending medical school

Favorite Thing About Sage: My favorite thing about Sage is being given the opportunity to have an impact on our mentee's lives, no matter if it is big or small!

Fun fact: I have around 65 Spotify playlist

Screen Shot 2023-02-09 at 12.27.06 AM.png

Arim Hong


Major: Molecular and Cell Biology 

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Sage Experience: 3 semesters

Plans After College: grad school and medical school

Favorite Sage Memory: Playing games with my kindergartener mentees

Fun Fact About You: I am a transfer student from the University of Kansas :


IMG_0694 - Leela Venkatesan.jpeg

Leela Venkatesan

Thousand Oaks

Major: Chemical Biology with a minor in Global Poverty & Practice

Hometown: Bay Area, CA

Sage Experience: 4 semesters

Plans After College: medical school :)

Favorite Sage Memory: My favorite Sage memory was when my mentee decorated my hair with flowers and crowned me as The Jungle Princess then "tattooing" me with "I love you” :) 

Fun Fact About You: I have been dancing ballet for more than 15 years!

71589576267__75DEE775-89B5-41A1-A583-A6B8C60ED523 - Gabriela Elisa Perez.jpeg

Gabriela Perez


Major: Integrative Biology

Hometown: East Los Angeles, CA

Sage Experience: 

Plans After College: 

Favorite Sage Memory: When i mentored at Ruth Acty and we had a movie day so i got to eat snacks with the kids while watching a movie :)

Fun Fact About You: I work at a coffee shop in Oakland!

Finance, Marketing, & Social Team


Screen Shot 2023-01-28 at 11.25_edited.jpg

Zucel Rodriguez
VP Social Media

Major: Integrative Biology 

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Sage Experience: 7 semesters

Plans After College: I will be getting clinical work for medical school

Favorite Sage Memory: I love that Sage not only helps you give back to the community through mentoring but you can also create your own by meeting other mentors :) It really welcomed me to Cal.

Fun Fact About You: I played guitar for 5 years.

IMG_5375 2 - Asim Wahab.jpg

Asim Wahab

DeCal Facilitator

Major: Molecular & Cell Biology, Psychology

Hometown: Kerman, CA

Sage Experience: 

Plans After College: 

Favorite Sage Memory: Absolutely love playing basketball with the kids at recess. Their laughter and energy on the court create the best moments, especially after working hard in class. 

Fun Fact About You: Celtics fan, championship incoming 2024.


Chimkasinma Mbakwe 
VP Social

Major: Bioengineering 

Hometown: Abuja, Nigeria 

Sage Experience: 

Plans After College: medical school, hopefully! 

Favorite Sage Memory: I think (because I am pretty tall) the kids thought I was a giant and they always wanted me to help them open up their food which made me feel so useful.  

Fun Fact About You: I have never had In-N-Out

IMG_9406 - Jeramiah-Diane Ricarte Bunac.HEIC

Jeramiah Bunac
DeCal Facilitator

Major: MCB & Psych

Hometown: Union City, CA

Sage Experience: 3rd semester

Plans After College: master's program in clinical psychology!

Favorite Sage Memory: Reading with mentees

Fun Fact About You: My favorite candy is Reese's peanut butter cups, so I named my little brother "Reese"

IMG_1492 - Jennifer Cheng Sun.jpg

Jennifer Sun
DeCal Facilitator

Major: Data Science

Hometown: Millbrae, CA

Sage Experience: 3rd semester

Plans After College: biostatistics research

Favorite Sage Memory: Playing (and losing) basketball with my mentee during recess

Fun Fact About You: I can use chopsticks with both hands



Alejandro Velez

With the realization that there was a great need for a mentorship program that grounded itself in forging powerful, long-lasting relationships with the youth in the greater Berkeley and Oakland community, Alejandro founded Sage in 2008. Alejandro began Sage with a vision of creating a program in which UC Berkeley mentors could be paired up with an elementary student and serve not only as teachers but also as friends and role models. To this day Alejandro is very close to his mentee, Cleveland.

Since his graduation, he has gone on to have a very successful career driven by the same entrepreneurial spirit to find ways to better the world around him. Alejandro now serves as the co-founder of Back to the Roots, an Oakland-based business that sells mushroom kits and AquaFarm fish tanks to retailers nationwide. Since co-founding BTTR, Alejandro has even been named as one of Inc.’s 30 Under 30, Poder's 2010 Influential Hispanics Under 40, Forbes’ 30 Under 30, CNN’s 10 Next Entrepreneur’s to Watch, and been recognized by President Obama! 

bottom of page