Big Buddies

Sasha BoodramSasha Boodram

Big Buddy Mentor

Sasha Boodram is an upper junior majoring in Environmental Science (BS) and minoring in Urban Studies. She looks forward to working in the Green Energy industry, with a company focused on achieving carbon neutrality. Since she was young, she always had an interest in the environment and climate change, which fuels her passion for this field. She loves animals and anything concerning nature, particularly flowers. In her free time, she enjoys coloring which is therapeutic to her.

Sasha has recently completed an internship at a middle school in Jackson Heights, where she worked in the Arts and Literacy program with the CUNY Recovery Corps. This experience allowed her to further explore her second career option of being a teacher. She wholeheartedly enjoyed working with her 8th-grade class, creating special bonds with the children, as well as expanding her knowledge, having taken multiple trainings in child care. In high school, she was the secretary of the St. Vincent de Paul charity group for 4 years and helped with the organizing and executing of several outreaches to elderly and children’s homes. She was also awarded “most enthusiastic member” as well as “most outstanding contribution” to the group. For these and more reasons, she wants to continue a similar path and believes she will be a great big buddy, having a positive impact on a child’s life.

Ashley ChangAshley Chang

Big Buddy Mentor

Ashley Chang is a junior at Macaulay Honors College on the Queens College campus majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Psychology with a minor in Honors in the Social Sciences and Cities and Social Medicine. She has always had a strong interest in serving her community and working with children. After graduating, she hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology to become a Speech Pathologist.

Currently, Ashley is working as an intern at the Center of Supportive Schools and as a Teaching Fellow at Musical Mentors Collaborative. An interesting fact about Ashley is that she loves crafting and owns an e-commerce business where she has sold over 2,000 pieces of her crafted jewelry.

Gabriel FattakhovGabriel Fattakhov

Big Buddy Mentor

Gabriel Fattakhov is a 20-old junior who transferred from QCC to QC. He is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Health Science and hopes to pursue Ophthalmology. Aside from his passion for medicine, Gabriel loves to play soccer, spend time with friends and family, volunteer, and do community service in his free time.

Throughout his years in school, he has not had a person who was able to help guide him on the path to medicine. In middle school and high school, he had an advisor but never felt like he would receive the assistance he truly needed. When he first started at Queensborough, he decided to try out for the Men’s soccer team, and apparently, if a student plays a college sport, you get paired with a separate advisor. Gabriel was truly blessed because not only was this advisor what he was really looking for, but she also became his mentor who helped him progress throughout two years at QCC.

Gabriel wants to become a mentor because he wants to be that person who can guide students toward their dreams and goals. Having that support in life is highly useful because getting advice from people who have already been where you are allowing your mentees to avoid making those same mistakes. Gabriel also wants to be a mentor because it allows him to just be a friend or “brother” to the mentees. He loves to put others’ needs before his own and he is truly grateful that Big Buddy is allowing him to be that change in these mentee’s lives. No matter what circumstances a person faces and/or is facing, we all deserve a chance to be able to grow and chase our desires so he truly hopes during his time with Big Buddy, he can help his mentee to progress, not only academically but also overall as a person.

Minju JeonMinju Jeon

Big Buddy Mentor

Minju Jeon is a Senior at Queens College who is striving for more experience to work with students to become Elementary school teacher after graduation. She majors in Elementary and Early Childhood Education (EECE) and has a minor in Studio Arts. Teaching and art have always been her passion. She also loves to take care of pet birds and freshwater creatures, exercise, read webcomics, and shop in her free time.

Before she became a part of the Big Buddy Program, she worked as a summer camp teacher, a teacher assistant, a Japanese regents tutor, a pet-sitter, and a Paris Baguette worker. She is also looking forward to becoming an animator, an illustrator, or an artist as well in the future. She wants to use her creativity and her teaching enthusiasm to inspire young people to use their own dedication and inventiveness to reach their goals.

Shiek KamuludinShiek Kamuludin

Big Buddy Mentor

Shiek Kamuludin is a freshman at Queens College with interests in Graphic Design. He is looking to improve his own art style in order to develop his own brand business and to build a career path working with a gaming company. In many aspects, drawing has become an escape from reality for him, and it has helped him become a better person, which he hopes to spread to many others throughout the world. In his spare time, he also enjoys playing basketball and finishing the day by watching anime for inspiration. Shiek hopes to establish a brand through which he could create an outlet to aid those in need. As a mentor, he wants to help be a positive impact on mentees. He wants to give his life a fresh new perspective and to encourage new chances for himself.

Brandon MarshBrandon Marsh

Big Buddy Mentor

Brandon Marsh is a sophomore at Queens College currently pursuing a major in Computer Science. His goals are to one day become a software engineer and graphic designer. He has worked as a tutor, a broadcaster and a swim instructor. His dream is to one day take part in the creation of an anime.

Rayhan SalamRayhan Salam

Big Buddy Mentor

The reflection that you see in the mirror is who you really are. Go look in the mirror, what do you see? We live in a society that overestimates the values of how others perceive us. Oftentimes we may become lost with our true selves and be blinded by the limitations other individuals may look at us with.

Never belittle yourself to think that your sole purpose is to please another human being. Rather amount to the best version of yourself in all aspects of this idea regarded as “life”, which encompasses the physical, mental, and spiritual realms of ourselves. We can always improve.

When he was younger, he struggled with these issues and as a result participated in TaeKwonDo in his adolescent years. Today, Rayhan is proud to have earned a black belt. He is also proud to take up acting as a hobby and is impressed by the quality of work he has produced with filming.

A Queens native studying Economics, Finance, and Geology with a concentration in hydrology, Rayhan aspires to resolve the world’s water crisis. Even though it’s the twenty-first century, there are still places in the world that lack adequate water resources. He hopes to provide access to clean water and sustainable infrastructure to places that are barren and the most in need during his career. One professional fact that he finds interesting is how well he is able to keep calm in the most adverse situations.

Sophia TopalisSophia Topalis

Big Buddy Mentor

Sophia Topalis is currently a junior at Queens College majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Psychology. She is an aspiring Speech Language Pathologist, hoping to work in an educational setting with children. Sophia recently became the secretary of the NSSLHA club at Queens College and is super excited to provide great resources to those in the Communication Sciences and Disorders major.

One thing she has been starting to look into is volunteer work at places such as an after-school daycare program for students in Special Education, where she can get more experience working with children that have a variety of needs. Something that she is also invested in outside of her studies is health and wellness, exercise, and staying active. Sophia is excited to be a mentor because she values giving back to others and providing an environment where others feel safe to express themselves and are encouraged to grow.

Anika LewisAnika Lewis

Big Buddy Mentor

Anika Lewis is a senior at CUNY Queens College where she is majoring in Nutrition & Exercise Science and minoring in Data Analytics and Health Sciences. Most recently, she interned, through the CUNY Service Corps, as a Volunteer Services Associate with Sunnyside Community Services. She used her attention to detail to help prepare food pantries, and volunteer data for analysis. Her interest in non-profits like Sunnyside stems from her freshman year of college, in which she spent her weekends volunteering in food deserts across New York City. Here she learned about the inequalities that affect NYC immigrants, the importance of community centers in ensuring community health, and how volunteering helps the city to continue to run. After graduation, Anika aspires to pursue a career in Data Analytics where she will complete analytical and research projects for non-profits pro-bono. In her free time, Anika enjoys learning Spanish, playing solitaire, and reading books.