Meet Our Directors

Tia Kim – Co-Executive Director   

Years in WYSE: 3

Major: Cognitive Science, Accounting Minor

Hobbies: Sleeping in places I shouldn’t be sleeping, wandering through grocery stores, laughing, being around good, real people.

Interesting Fact: One of my proudest academic moments so far has been doing a research project on the impact of the language of instruction on yoga classes in the Netherlands when I was abroad.

What I Love About WYSE: “The beautiful, insightful, creative thoughts that come from our brilliant young mentees. We officially mentor them, but we learn so much from these gals!”

Maeve Giza – Co-Executive Director  

Years in WYSE: 3

Major: Economics and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

Hobbies: Watching reality TV, baking (and eating) desserts, dog watching, jamming to 2000s songs while driving

Interesting Fact: I lived in Alaska for a year when I was 3 years old.

What I Love About WYSE: “I love our supportive and inclusive environment and all the amazing ladies (both mentors and mentees) I get to hang out with every week!”

Madalena Burke – Co-Finance Director 

Years in WYSE: 2

Major: Mathematics

Hobbies: Reading, being outside, annoying my roommates, and making vegan banana bread

Interesting Fact: Placenta is Latin for cake

What I Love About WYSE: “The space we create with our mentees feels comfortable enough to ask hard questions and talk about things with others that I was never comfortable with saying out loud when I was in middle school.”

Maya Stehle – Co-Finance Director

Years in WYSE: 2

Major: Economics

Hobbies: Eating. rewatching Pixar movies, and dancing to Fergalicious

Interesting Fact: My desert island song would be Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap

What I Love About WYSE: As a middle schooler and now as a college student, I have always had this mindset of wanting to change the world. You see superheroes or celebrities like Beyonce, and you think to yourself that you want to grow up to be just like them. And WYSE has given me an outlet to see how we can positively impact and change maybe not the world but our own local communities for the better. When I hear mentees say that they want to become a mentor when they are in college, I know we are doing something right.

Alina Mitchell – Education Director at Mark Twain Middle School

Years in WYSE:  2

Major: Psychobiology, Film Minor 

Hobbies: Skiing, surfing, watching movies, finding new music

Interesting Fact:  I can cry on demand, which is pretty useful sometimes

What I Love About WYSE: “My favorite part about WYSE is being a part of a community in which everyone is always so supportive of each other and the girls that we’re working with. Every day is more laughs, more positivity, and more opportunities to feel proud of all of the women around me.”

Zoey Dew – Education Director at Sepulveda Middle School

Years in WYSE: 2 

Major: Cognitive Science, Education Studies and Applied Developmental Psychology Minor

Hobbies: Volleyball, singing/playing guitar, food!!

Interesting Fact: I do research in a lab dedicated to learning about the effects of how our childhood, environment, and relationships affect our cognitive development in the long-term!

What I Love About WYSE: “I searched a while for a club/organization that I could be myself in and it’s disheartening at first. WYSE was a random application I turned in of many that turned out to be one of my best UCLA decisions! I get to mentor the greatest girls and bond with people I can be myself around.”

Madison Thantu – Education Director at Sepulveda Middle School

Years in WYSE: 2

Major: Cognitive Science and Human Biology & Society

Hobbies: Reading, cuddling with my hairless cat, seeing indie plays with my boyfriend, thrifting

Interesting Fact: I have a 1 year old baby half-sister, who is also my goddaughter!

What I love about WYSE: “WYSE has introduced me to the most genuine, compassionate, and passionate group of women on UCLA’s campus, and I’m continuously inspired by the mentors and mentees alike <3”

Priyana Patel – Publicity Director 

Years in WYSE:  3

Major: Cognitive Science

Hobbies: Running/hiking, fashion design/style, watching movies, exploring new places, shopping

Interesting Fact: I am originally from England

What I Love About WYSE: Connecting with young girls and being able to foster a sense of empowerment to help them gain necessary and invaluable tools. 

Raquel Figueroa – CSC Liaison

Years in WYSE: 2

Major: History, minor in Education

Hobbies: Binging on snacks and TV shows, volunteering my heart off, spending time with the people I love

Interesting Fact: When I was 13, I died on the surgical table! (But was brought back to life)

What I Love About WYSE: “We don’t just empower young girls across Los Angeles but we empower each other as mentors as well. It’s a real honor to be able to learn more about and from each one of the incredible university women who dedicate their time to this amazing cause. Is there anything better than women supporting each other?

Carolina Duarte – Programming Director

Years in WYSE: 2

Major: Undeclared Social Science (History or Global Studies)

Hobbies: In her free time, Carolina likes to run, hang out with friends, watch documentaries, and take photographs.

Interesting Fact: She has ran the LA Marathon twice

What I Love About WYSE: Carolina loves WYSE because it has given her the opportunity to give back and enabled her to meet amazing women at UCLA.