Meet the BTO Peer Mentors and Staff (Fall 2020)


Start Strong


Peer mentorship is provided to students transitioning into their first year at Cañada to build their academic toolkit for success.

Stay Strong


As students continue with their college education, peer mentorship is provided to encourage students to persist with their education, motivate them to continue to excel academically in order to reach their transfer and graduation objective.

Finish Strong


Peer mentorship is provided to support students who are transfer-ready and can help them prepare to be academically successful at a 4-year university.

Your BTO Peer Mentors


 Yolanda 2020



Name: Noluthando Mbanjwa, BTO Peer Mentor 
Major: Civil Engineering
Tutoring Subjects: English

"Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness"

I would like to transfer to a 4 year university like UC Berkley or San Jose State. My hobbies are hiking, camping, traveling and exploring new place, movies ,and watching Netflix. I love being organized, being punctual for all my classes, and making sure I try my utmost best to achieve my life goals. I love helping people around me who need assistance, so come talk to me!

 Wimeshi Fa 2020


Name: Wimeshi S. Roberts, BTO Peer Mentor 
Major: Allied Health/Nursing
Tutoring Subjects: English, Human Biology, and Communication Studies

"The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens. Don't Give Up!"

I am currently working on my two AA Degrees which are Allied Health and Kinesiology. My goal is to transfer to San Francisco University to pursue my Nursing Degree. I love helping my peers with anything they need assistance with. Following our dreams and fighting for what is right is a strong principle I live by. I moved to the USA from Sri Lanka when I was a teenager and had to adjust to a new way of life. I know what it feels like to get used to a new environment and how beneficial it is to have a friend/mentor to guide you through it. Please feel free to reach out and ask questions whenever because we are here for you!


Name: Paloma Felix-Esparza
Major: Theater Arts
TRIO Email:

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always. to try just
one more time."
- Thomas A. Edison

My plan is to finish my AA-T this upcoming Spring so that I can transfer to a 4 year. I'm looking into
Sonoma State, San Franciso State University as well as CSU East Bay. I am a first generation, Latinx student and
understand how hard it can be to get used to the college system. When I started at Cañada I worked with
a Peer Mentor who helped me through my first year. We still keep in touch today and she helped
me realize how much I enjoy helping others. As well as being a mentor I am also a TRIO
Student Ambassador. With both of these positions I have been able to get connected to many
resources at Cañada that I personally use today and would love to share them with you. Feel free
to contact me. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Your STEM Peer Mentors

 Chili Pic


Name: Wina Montian (Chili), STEM Peer Mentor and Student Body Vice President
Major: Animal Biology/Science 

“I CAN” promise that I’ll work hard and pull the best out of you.”

Hello :) I am majoring in Animal Biology/Science, aiming to get my associated degree in Biology and Chemistry at Cañada. I’m planning to transfer to UC Davis for the Veterinarian school. I’m from Thailand and I know exactly how hard to be in a new place that you are not familiar with. As a mentor, I will be your friend who will help you to find all the resources you need and makes you feel comfortable in school. Also, I’ll try my best and guide you to your success.

 Adrian P  

Name: Adrian Posadas
Major: Computer Science

Hello! I am currently a computer science major and I’m working towards earning my AS-T for computer science here at Cañada. As a first generation college student I understand how difficult it may be not knowing how to navigate the campus resources. I am here to assist you with any questions you may have along with helping you achieve your full potential here at Cañada!


Name: Isaiah Solagbade
Major: Engineering (Computer)

Hi, my name is Isaiah. I'm a Computer Engineering major in my 3rd semester. I'm aiming to get my A.S degree in engineering at Canada, and transfer to UC Irvine or UC San Diego. My hobbies include reading, playing video games and watching YouTube. As your peer mentor, I'll try my best to be a positive role model for you, and be as open as possible in case you want to talk to me about anything.

 BTO Staff





Name: Candice Johnson, Program Services Coordinator for BTO and STEM Peer Mentoring, & Cañada Alum
Major: Human Services w/ a concentration in Counseling
Tutoring Subjects: English/writing, Human Services

“I CAN” connect you to a Peer Mentor who will support you, motivate you to reach your goals, and connect you to campus resources"


Bio: What are your goals? What do you like to do? Hobbies?  As the supervisor of awesome, helpful peer leaders, my goal is to expose the benefits of having a Peer Mentor to create a community of student-to-student support.  When I was a Cañada student, I found that I was far more likely to take advice from only 1 counselor but several classmates; that’s why I took this position.  When your peers are well-informed and trained to work with you through challenges and connect you to services, it makes college seem more doable. Many of us suffer from “imposter syndrome:” feeling like we’re faking being a college student, as if we don’t belong. I want students to thrive on the fact that you do belong, you are capable, and you are wanted here. When I’m not motivating students, I like to read, have casual get-togethers with friends and family, go to the movies, and occasionally travel!





Name: James Macale, Counselor - BTO, TRIO-SSS & ¡ESO! Adelante

● Community College: General Studies A.A. (Most important degree of them all!)
● Undergraduate: Physical Education B.A.
● Graduate: Counseling with an emphasis on College and Career M.S.
● Graduate: Education with an emphasis on Community College Leadership Ed.D.
Availability: Thursdays, 2p - 5p

To make an appointment, please contact your Peer Mentor.

“I CAN” provide encouragement, academic advising, guidance and continued support to help
you complete your academic goals (Certification, Associate Degree and/or Transfer to a
four-year university).

What are your goals? What do you like to do? Hobbies? As a counselor serving the Bridge
to Opportunities Peer Mentor program, my goal is to provide over and beyond academic
counseling support to the peer leaders and mentees. As a first generation and low income
community college student myself, I understand the importance of having a strong network of
support (counseling and peer support). I enjoy connecting students to these resources. The
process of completing an education could be daunting but with a web of supportive connections,
dedication and hard work it “CAN” be done! I am here to help answer your questions and
provide support. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me! When I am not serving community
college students I like to spend time with family and friends, exercise, attend my son’s sporting
events, and travel.