Talia grew up in Arlington, Virginia and earned her degree in Clinical/Community Psychology and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
She believes that everyone–regardless of their background–deserves a quality higher education. Her passion for increasing access to higher education in the United States led her to co-founding UChange Scholars. Besides her involvement in UChange Scholars, Talia works as project manager for the Youth, Emotion, Development, and Intervention (YEDI) Lab at University of Illinois. She is excited to use her project management skills to help ÜChange Scholars grow and help high school students from all over the country achieve their college dreams.
Jenna grew up in Almaty, Kazakhstan and moved to the United States to pursue a better education at the age of 15. She had always dreamt about getting accepted into an American university to create a better future for herself and that is why she is passionate about helping other students to dream big. Jenna’s desire to share the knowledge accumulated during her time of applying to colleges with high school students is what led her to co-found Uchange Scholars.
Jenna is currently pursuing a dual degree in Accounting and Information Systems at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She hopes to use her business background to help Uchange Scholars grow and become a successful non-profit organization that helps high school students achieve their goals.
Michael is a sophomore at Brown University concentrating in Political Science and Economics. Michael is passionate about Uchange Scholars because he learned through his own experience the pitfalls and challenges in the college application process, and wants to make it less stressful for others. As one of the resources co-chairs, his focus is developing organizational tools for the mentors and mentees through the college application process.
Resources Co-Chair & Essay Consultant
Strategy/Expansion Planning Co-Chair & Essay Consultant
Originally from Arlington, Virginia, Tsomo is an undergraduate student at University of Virginia, double majoring with a BA in Foreign Affairs and a BA in Public Policy in the UVA Frank Batten School of Public Policy & Leadership. Tsomo is passionate about Uchange Scholars because it provides the kind of resources and guidance that she didn’t have access to as a high school student. With personal experience through the college application process as a first generation immigrant, she hopes to support other students from similar underrepresented backgrounds achieve the higher education that they deserve.
Strategy/Expansion Planning Co-Chair
Jameel was born in Iraq, grew up in Jordan, and moved to the US when he was 15 years old. He obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a focus on Civil Engineering and Energy and currently working as a consultant at Deloitte. Uchange Scholar’s mission resonates with Jameel as he believes college education should be accessible to everyone. Jameel wants to use the experiences he had when applying for colleges to help unrepresented/minority students create the strongest application and overcome the challenges that come with college application process. As a Strategy Planning/Expansion Co-Chair, Jameel plans to expand the reach of Uchange Scholars throughout the US and help build a framework for the future of the organization.
Raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Leticia is currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a degree in Accounting. She is a first-generation college student and is passionate about helping high school students who were once in her shoes. As Marketing Chair for Uchange Scholars, Leticia manages all the social media platforms to increase the organization’s awareness
Dax Frey is a junior studying chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the Uchange Scholars family to help high school students with applying to college. When he was a senior in high school, Dax had to navigate the process on his own and it was difficult without any support. He hopes that through being the Outreach Chair, he can ensure that as many students as possible receive application assistance, so they won’t have to go through the same struggles that I did.