Aggie Jumpstart

Aggie JumpstartAggie Jumpstart (AJS) is a College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) program created to promote inclusive academic excellence and student success through community building, leadership and advising.  In partnership with the Retention Initiatives and the Internship and Career Center, Aggie Jumpstart works to address barriers for first-generation, low-income and underserved students and provides students a network of UC Davis staff, faculty and other campus communities. You’ll connect with CA&ES academic advisors, Career Discovery Group (CDG) classmates, and staff from various campus centers to have fun and:

Aggie Jumpstart students say...

"The academic advising helped me a lot, I was able to get so many questions answered."
Carolina L., International Agriculture

  • get to know other new UC Davis students
  • connect one-on-one with a CA&ES academic advisors, two-three times per quarter, 
  • meet new people and engage with others from campus community centers
  • develop your leadership skills, and 
  • receive quarterly rewards in recognition of your participation in the program. 

Join us and get a successful jumpstart on your college experience. Contact us to learn more information. 


Aggie Jumpstart Webinar

Learn more about Aggie Jumpstart during this informative webinar.

Meet the Aggie Jumpstart Staff

Aggie Jumpstart Advisors
As a first-generation college student college was scary because I did not know what to expect. What helped me the most was participating in a program like Aggie Jumpstart. That program helped me make that transition into college, connected me with resources, and helped me network with individuals. As the Aggie Jumpstart Coordinator, I am excited to be a part of your journey and to provide as much support as I can to make sure you succeed. This journey might be scary at first, but remember, you are never and will never be alone in this process. –Nick Lee, Aggie Jumpstart Academic Advisor

When I first got to college, it seemed so massive and I wasn’t sure how I was going to find my place. Those first couple of months were scary! But finding my community, getting involved, and connecting with resources made a huge difference in my college experience! I am so excited to work with you over the course of this year and to support you to have the college experience that you have envisioned for yourself. –Greg Anderson, Aggie Jumpstart Academic Advisor (he/his) 

When I went to college I had mixed emotions. I thought I could handle it all on my own but also felt overwhelmed by the entire "college thing". It was hard at times navigating my experiences as a Latina first generation college student. It helped once I got connected to campus resources and I created a circle of people to guide and support me on campus. As an advisor in the Aggie Jumpstart program I am excited to be a part of that journey for students who might be experiencing a similar transition to college. –Lili Bynes, Aggie Jumpstart Academic Advisor (she/her/hers)

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! We are all a little lost sometimes and one of the best skills to develop is how to ask for help. Asking for help is how I built relationships with my mentors in college and their help went a long way. We are here to support you! –Corrine Hawes, Student Leadership Program Coordinator (she/her/hers)

Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson
Lili Bynes
Lili Bynes
Corrine Hawes
Corrine Hawes
Nick Lee
Nick Lee


Career Discovery Group (CDG) TA Mentors

Julia Owen, CDG TA Mentor and Lead TA, (she/her)

Campus Partners

Dionica Bell –Director, Center for African Diaspora Student Success

“Going to college was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. As a first generation and queer person of color, I felt that my identities were going to prevent me from graduating. While I did face a lot of challenges, I also found a community, resources, and people who taught me to embrace my identities. It was these relationships that played a big role in my success as an undergraduate. As part of Aggie Jumpstart I am excited to help students create relationships and connections across campus and empower them to use their identities as a source of strength to reach their goals.” -Rodrigo Bonilla, Director, Center for Chicanx and Latinx Academic Student Success (he/they)

As a first-generation college student, I attended a sister UC and the campus was huge. What made it feel less intimidating was connecting to a transition program which helped me develop relationships with other students and staff. Then I knew when I had questions or concerns, I already knew the name and the face of someone who could help or direct me to the right place. That’s what Aggie Jumpstart can do for you as you get more involved. I hope to be a bridge not only to the Center For African Diaspora Student Success, but the larger campus to make your navigations as seamless as possible! Take the jump, you won’t regret it!” -Maya Bell - Associate Director, Center for African Diaspora Student Success (she/her/hers)

Attending UC Davis was both exciting and overwhelming. It was one of the first times I saw folks who looked like me yet I still struggled to find and build my community. Over time, I was able to find amazing friends and wonderful staff and faculty who saw me as more than just a student and helped me graduate! I am so thankful to these folks, who I am still friends with now – and without them, I wouldn’t have the courage to go on to graduate school and beyond”. -Katherine ‘Kat’ Parpana – Director, Asian and Pacific Islander Strategic Retention Initiative (she/her/siya)
As a first generation student, she has worked on this campus for students for 25 years. She is passionate about providing access and opportunities for all students and helping students develop their individual success plans. The Aggie JumpStart program will be a positive factor in this development. -Michelle Villegas-Frazier, Director, Native American Retention Initiative and Native American Academic Student Success Center
Rodrigo Bonilla
Rodrigo Bonilla
Maya Bell
Maya Bell



Kat Parpana
Kat Parpana
Michelle Villegas-Frazier
Michelle Villegas-Frazier


Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentors


Michelle Correa

Hi Aggies! My name is Michelle Correa and I am one of your Peer Mentors this school year! I’m currently a second year animal science major and was a part of this program my freshman year. Adjusting to college life was difficult for me but with the help of this program, I was able to become comfortable with my surroundings and make some friends along the way! Remember that if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Also, please be kind to yourself! You deserve to be here and if you fail (which will happen and that’s okay), always remember to get back up and continue fighting! –Michelle Correa, Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentor (she/her/hers)

Adamary Ortiz

My name is Adamary Rojas Ortiz, and I am majoring in Landscape Architecture and plan on minoring in Spanish. I am from Oakland CA. After college, career-wise I would like to be an architect specifically working with site and land planning. I like the community that Davis has to offer and how helpful everyone is around campus. I enjoy trying new foods and meeting new people. Fun fact two years ago I would have never been able to say that meeting new people was something I enjoyed doing but I really enjoy socializing now. I really enjoy traveling, I want to be able to take time after college to travel and learn about different cultures wherever I travel to. My advice to students is to not be afraid to try new things, and "step out of your comfort zone" once in a while it allows you to meet new people, make connections, create new memories, and help you in the long run. –Adamary Ortiz, Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentor

Anahi Tellez

My name is Anahi Tellez. My hometown is a small town called Galt. I am a human development major and I want to pursue a career in the medical field, specifically pediatrics. A fun fact about me is that I love watching horror games but I am too afraid to play them myself. What I like about UC Davis are the people here. Every person I have met here is very kind and welcoming. Since UC Davis has a lot of diversity, I have met people from different cultures and backgrounds that are more than glad to talk about their culture/background which is very exciting for me. –Anahi Tellez, Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentor

Jasmine Ureno

Hey Aggies! My name is Jasmine and I am one of your Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentors! Upon first arriving to Davis, I was extremely nervous on what kind of experiences I would go through, if I would fit in, etc.. I had a bit of a rough start beginning here, however being in Aggie Jumpstart helped me feel a sense of belonging and opened many doors of opportunities for me. I hope that Aggie Jumpstart helps all of you find exactly what you need and discover even more about yourself. We are always here for you and believe that you can make it through anything! And as always, reach for the stars Aggies!" -Jasmine Ureno, Aggie Jumpstart Peer Mentor (she/her)


UAP Support

Susan Ebeler, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Academic Programs and Professor in College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (she/her)
Leslie Charlton, Director, Undergraduate Academic Programs (she/her)