Who are the UEP Student Leaders?
Our Student Leaders are a group of students dedicated to the mission of the Urban Experience Program and serving as a resource for their peers that are looking for more support. They are trained to:
- Conduct initial interviews for students seeking UEP membership
- Provide one-on-one mentoring to students who are looking to get more involved with UEP
- Help students find resources on campus that support their holistic success
- Facilitate workshops for members
- Offer direction in the areas of UEP, university, and community resources as well as best student practices
- Plan, promote and facilitate programs and events that are sponsored by The Urban Experience Program
- Represent the Urban Experience Program at community events and present on the plethora of support resources we provide.
Meet the Student Leaders
Jose Abraham Garcia
Jose Abraham Garcia was born in Salamanca, Gto, Mexico and has been in Houston, Texas since the age of four. He graduated from YES Prep Southwest in 2015. Jose is currently a junior studying Mathematics Finance, with plans to minor in Accounting. As a DACA and first generation college student, Jose wanted to become a cougar since he could remember and is the first in his family to attend a four-year university. During his freshman year he developed a compassion for helping others which lead him to the Urban Experience Program.
Nubia Reyes was born in Michoacan, Mexico but at the age of two moved to Houston, Texas. She is a junior in Bauer College of Business and is majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS). As a DACA and first-generation college student, Nubia plans to give back to her community in the future by starting her own non-profit organization that will be centered on providing financial education to low-income communities.
Katherine Balderrama Najera
Katherine Balderrama Najera was born in Chihuahua, Chihuahua Mexico, and she moved to Houston, TX at the age of 3. She is currently a sophomore majoring in Mathematical Biology at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Katherine is a DACA, first-generation Latina who plans to go to medical school and one day set up surgical clinics at low-income neighborhoods.
Pedro Ortiz was born in Ciudad Acuna, Couhuila, Mexico as the first child. His family moved out to Northern Texas in order to secure a better life for Pedro and his other siblings. He grew up in Arlington and moved out to Houston to study Political Science. He plans to still further his education and go to law school in order to practice immigration law, and help defend the more vulnerable segments of the immigrant population in Texas that he himself came from.
Katy Thormer was born in Conroe, TX and moved to Cleveland, TX at the age of 9, where she now lives with her husband and their cat. She graduated in the Top 10 from Cleveland High School in May 2017 and has been a member of UEP since her first semester at UH in Fall 2017. She joined the UEP Staff in January 2019 as a Student Leader. She is studying Integrated (Marketing) Communication with a minor in Psychology. As a first generation college student, she plans to take her education a step further and pursue an M.A. in Communications at a Canadian university. She wants to become a Communications Director for a start-up company and give back to support the community of Cleveland, TX where she was raised.
Alana Mitchell is a Dallas native but moved to Houston two years prior for college. She is a junior in the College of Education studying Human Development and Family Studies. Alana is a passionate first-generation college student who aspires to become a doctor of pediatric psychiatry and open her own practice and community center. Her favorite quote is "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement."