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Master of Science in Counseling

School Counseling Ambassadors

School Counseling Ambassador LogoEach year students with strong school counselor identities and academic achievements are awarded the Benjamin Kremen and Marion Kremen Scholarship. In 2023, thirteen deserving students were awarded. These students presented a desire to serve the community in the capacity of the school counselor role. This promising group of graduate students understand the importance of serving all K-12 students and families, advocacy, and present an equity lens. The awardees have the opportunity to volunteer as ambassadors for the program in multiple capacities; assisting with recruitment, peer consulting and branding the program.   

Application Information: Scholarships shall be awarded to deserving students who are currently enrolled in a master’s program in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development. Recipients shall be those who maintain a 4.0 GPA and who are interested in being guidance counselors in schools across the United States. Link to application:


Abigail Alvarado

Hello My name is Abigail Alvarado Rebolledo and I am a proud 1st generation student. I was born and raised in Fresno, CA. I received my B.A in Liberal studies from Fresno State in 2021. I have been in education since I was 16 years old. Initially I volunteered at a local elementary school as a teacher’s aide and later became a substitute teacher. As a substitute teacher, my passion for helping students grew. I knew there was a need far beyond the classroom. I saw my younger self in many of my students. Navigating education while struggling with everyday life is extremely difficult. As a school counselor, I want to advocate for students who are oftentimes overlooked. I hope that with my guidance and encouragement, students feel prepared for the adversities they may face in both their academic and personal lifes. I am beyond thankful and excited to be a part of such a fulfilling profession.



George Barraza

My name is George Barraza. I was born in Fresno, CA and raised in Orange Cove, CA. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Fresno State. During my undergraduate, I worked for California Teaching Fellows Foundation as a After School Program Tutor for second grade. Last year, I worked as a Peer Mentor for the Fresno State College of Health and Human Services where I worked with first time students and students who were at risk of probation. Currently, I am doing my internship at Orange Cove High School, which is where I graduated from in 2017. My interest in school counseling stems from my passion for seeing others succeed. My undergraduate in Social Work comes into play when it comes to advocating for students and connecting them with resources they may need. Being at Orange Cove High School is something I’ve always wanted because I want to be able to serve as a mentor/ guide for students. I want to serve as an example that people from Orange Cove Can be successful. Working with parents and getting them involved in their children’s education is something I want to increase at my school. Many parents want to support their students but don’t know how. More importantly, I remember being full of questions as a senior in high school because going to a college or university was something that had never been done in my family. I will be there to help students every step of the way and help them achieve their goals, even if it is not college. Lastly, it is my goal to make every student feel seen and be prepared for life after high school. I am excited to start a career where I can impact the lives of students and families. 



Maria Araseli Gamez

Hi. My name is Maria Araseli Gamez Larreynaga. I am was born in Fresno, CA and raised in Mendota, CA. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Public Health as of May 2022. My career in education started at Mendota High School when I would volunteer as a Soccer Coach for the Mendota Youth Recreation, from 2015-2018. Afterwards, I began my journey of being the Assistant Soccer Coach for Mendota High School’s Girls’ Varsity and Junior Varsity 2019-2023). This year, I will be a volunteer coach. In addition, I worked as a paraprofessional for Mendota Elementary School. I also worked at Clovis Community College as a STEM Peer Mentor (2022) and I worked for West Hills Lemoore as a 5C Mentor (2022) and I am currently working with Fresno State’s Cal-SOAP(2021-present) and I am a graduate assistant for Fresno City Upward Bound- Math and Science (2022-present). I am a Substitute Teacher at Mendota Unified. In these roles, I advocate for K-12 students to reach and pursue higher education. Being from and working with students from rural areas,, I took the initiative of becoming a proactive guide to break generational barriers. I learned I am capable of creating a space where students who are not only heard, but are valued and cherished. I chose School Counseling to promote the social/emotional development, to encourage college and career options to students, and to support students in their academic endeavors. My goal is to be a resourceful High School Counselor that will demonstrate leadership, dedication, and respect to our vulnerable and diversified populations. This career is one that changes lives and makes you learn something new everyday. 



Razmik Cañas

Hello, I’m Razmik K. Cañas and I’m honored to be a student ambassador for the Dr. Benjamin and Marion Kremen Scholarship program. I am in the final year of my graduate program where I will obtain my Masters Degree in School Counseling and a Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential this spring. I have been a Fresno State Bulldog since birth. Both my parents attended Fresno State while I was a preschool student at the Huggins Early Education Center at the Kremen School. Later I became a Fresno State alum when I obtained my BA in Mass Communication & Journalism as well as a minor in Political Science in 2019. During my undergraduate experience I served as an editor for The Collegian Newspaper, Dog Days Orientation Leader, as well as the president of the Radio, Television, Digital News Association. After graduation I worked at my alma mater Hoover High School in Fresno Unified where I served as a Campus Culture Director overseeing student activities and engagement. During my time teaching I truly valued the conversations I held with my students. From time management to discussing future goals, I enjoyed the one-on-one meetings I held with them as an advocate for their success. Seeing the amount of work that needed to be done to support our students after the Covid-19 pandemic, I made the personal decision to go back to school to receive an education that would assist me in student support and advocacy. The School Counseling program has been a perfect match for me as I am able to dive into learning opportunities while still strengthening the skills that make me a better counselor in training. I highly value the small class sizes, hands-on experiences, and supportive faculty that I have experienced in my first year of the graduate program. In the future, I would love to continue my career locally by counseling students here in the valley. I have a passion for working in primary grade levels and early childhood education. My hope is to use my counseling skills to advocate for these students at such a pivotal moment in their development. 



Kiera Henry

Hi everyone, my name is Kiera Henry. I was born and raised in Reedley, California. I moved to Los Angeles after graduating Reedley High where I obtained my degree in Sociology and minor in Education Studies from UCLA. After my bachelor’s degree I moved to the Bay Area where I was a high school Special Education teacher for one year. I have also worked as a substitute teacher and teaching fellow. I am proud to have returned to the Central Valley and be a M.S School Counseling student and represent this program as a Student Ambassador. I have had a passion for making a difference in student’s lives within education for a long time and I feel I have finally found the area I am able to make the biggest impact through School Counseling. I am excited to be working towards a career that directly helps students in K-12 be their best selves socially, emotionally, and academically. I believe in reaching students of all backgrounds, especially those marginalized and often overlooked. I hope to be the bridge between students and families and their access to resources for school and life. 



Leslie Diaz

My name is Leslie Diaz. I was born and raised here in Fresno, Ca. I received my B.A. in Psychology from Fresno State. During my undergraduate years, I worked in retail and then worked as a morning tutor with CTFF. I currently work at an elementary school in Central Unified as their Thinkery. This is a newer position and at my site, I work alongside the social support team to provide the support students need to be successful. My interest in school counseling stems from my younger self receiving support from an elementary school teacher who truly advocated for me and ensured I was in a good emotional state when things were hard for me. Ever since this experience, I have wanted to work in the K-12 setting to ensure students' academic, social/emotional, and personal needs are being met and are set up for greatness. My goal is to be an adult that our younger students can go to when they are struggling with something in the classroom or going on at home. I will strive to provide a warm and welcoming environment and give future students the resources they may need. This is how I found school counseling to be the best way for me to give back to the community and be in a career that I find to be worthwhile. The quote that has gotten me through my journey thus far has been “Be the adult you needed as a child”. 



Mary Her

Hello, my name is Mary Her and I am a Fresno native. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in Sociology from California State University, Fresno. Since graduating, I have worked in public health and education. My desire for the profession of school counseling stems from my own personal experience as a first-generation student and working with marginalized communities that face language, cultural, geographic, and disability barriers in accessing information and quality services. Through my experiences, I learned that our stories and lived experiences can be used as our strongest support systems. I believe that our narratives are valuable for knowledge acquisition, production, and application. I am dedicated to creating an environment that is culturally sustaining and community engaging with no limitations to student success and opportunities. Most importantly, I want to ensure that all students have the tools, skills, strategies, knowledge, and validation that they need to support them in their own educational and life journeys.



Angel Guillen

Hello! My name is Angel Guillen and I am elated to serve and represent Fresno State’s School Counseling program as an Ambassador. I am a proud first-generation Latino college student. I was born and raised in Madera, CA and received my B.A. in Sociology and Chicano Studies as well as a minor in Spanish and Psychology from California State University, Fresno. Throughout my undergraduate experience, I gained a copious amount of experience through research, classroom projects, and working in the educational field. I received experience in the realm of education by working as a substitute teacher for Madera Unified School District, as well as, serving first-generation college students as a mentor for Fresno State’s Educational Opportunity Program. I also participated in the College of Social Sciences (COSS) Honors program where I was able to conduct research on the educational aspirations of Latinx students alongside my advisor, Dr. Christopher Sullivan. Gaining professional and personal experience in these fields affirmed my desire to pursue a career in school counseling. Currently, I work as a student advocate for Madera Unified School District and I also coach high school boys volleyball. Coming from a low-income, first-generation background, I want to encourage students to DREAM BIG, as there is not a dream big enough that can’t be accomplished without the will to succeed and eagerness to learn. As a school counselor, my goal is to promote, enhance, and support all students in an empowering manner throughout their educational and personal journey in their academics, socio-emotional well-being, and college and career readiness. I am excited to be in an ever-changing field where I can serve as a bridge between students, families, and the school community to provide support that will be able to make a difference in the lives of our future generations. 



Marissa Meza

Hello! My name is Marissa Meza and I am from a little town called Woodlake, CA. I graduated with my Bachelors Degree in Psychology at Fresno State in 2022. I am currently interning and substitute teaching at Woodlake High School, where I graduated from back in 2018! It has been such a neat experience to be able to serve my community. I decided to become a school counselor when I was in high school. I had an amazing counselor who gave me a better understanding of my place in school and my options after graduation. I then decided that I wanted be a sense of clarity and guidance to students in a place of a school counselor. As I have learned more in Fresno State’s School Counseling Program, I have fallen in love with my future career and I am so excited to begin this next chapter after graduating this Spring of 2024. I aspire to support students in the areas of academic, social/emotional, and college and careers in order to better prepare them for their life after high school. I would like to make a positive impact on students and give them a person that they can depend on throughout their academic journey. 



Adrienne Ortega

Hello everyone, my name is Adrienne Ortega and I am proud to be representing Fresno State’s School Counseling Program as a student ambassador. I am from Selma CA. I attended Fresno City College and received by Bachelor of Science in Child Development from Fresno State. I have always loved working with children of all ages. Over the years, I worked as a daycare teacher, Teaching Fellow in K-6th, volunteer tutor, and substitute teacher. I decided to focus on school counseling so I could help children of all ages in various domains, such as social emotional, academic, and college/career. I hope to create warm and welcoming environments for students where children from all backgrounds can feel a sense of belonging and support. After graduation, I look forward to starting my career as a school counselor and having more time to focus on myself, my family, exploring new hobbies, and traveling. 



Leslie Sanchez

Hi everyone! My name is Leslie Sanchez and I am a proud Latina first-generation student. I was born and raised in Fresno, CA, where I completed my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minored in Spanish. During my undergrad, I had the opportunity to do research and work as a mentor to other students for their academic excellence. I have always had the passion of helping others and being a mentor in K-12 settings and college students made me realize that I wanted to continue inspiring students to pursue their dreams/goals. I knew that becoming a school counselor was my path to be able to provide resources to parents and students to succeed in their educational journey. Having worked as an academic advisor at Fresno State in my first year of grad school, helped me understand the struggles every student faces at school. It is crucial for students to feel comfortable asking questions or help to be able to pursue their dreams and goals. After graduating, I hope to bring inclusivity to schools and create a safe environment for students, teachers, and parents. I will make sure that we all are comfortable with discussing multicultural issues to promote diversity. I will bring awareness about the students’ mental health and provide support in their psychological, academic, and social development. Day by day, I will plant those seeds among my students that they are able to do anything they set their mind to accomplish their goals. 



Sarah Rios

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah Rios and I am from Dinuba, California. I graduated from Fresno State in Spring 2022 with my B.A in Liberal Studies and I started the Masters Program in School Counseling in Fall 2022. I am beyond proud to be representing the School Counseling program here at Fresno State as a student ambassador! I have always had a passion for education, and that passion strengthened as I began working with students. I have worked as an after school program teacher, an SEL teacher, and now I work as a substitute teacher. As I’ve worked in my community, I recognized my passion for working with students from diverse backgrounds and working with them to achieve academic, social-emotional, and career/college goals. When I become a school counselor, I want to create a safe, welcoming to all students and their families. I want to empower students and their families by giving them the tools they need to successfully navigate their K-12 careers. After graduation, I want to work at a school here in the valley and give back the the communities that made me who I am today. I am beyond excited to begin my career as a school counselor so that I can follow my passion and help make a difference in the lives of my future students. 


Catherine Xiong

I am Catherine Xiong, a proud first-generation college graduate and Hmong-American daughter of refugees. I was born in Merced, CA, and moved to Clovis, CA at the age of 1. I currently reside in Fresno County and received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Fresno State. My desire to work in education began at a very young age. However, it wasn’t until I attended college that I solidified my goal of becoming a school counselor. In my undergraduate years, I was able to gain an abundance of knowledge through my education and work experiences. As a former K-12 tutor, and now, substitute teacher and counselor intern, I have learned so much about the opportunities and obstacles students have in our Central Valley school districts. As a future school counselor, I plan to help students achieve academic success through creating a safe, and accepting environment that allows them to thrive physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. I am a firm believer that you cannot change the cards you’re dealt, but you can change the way you play them. Therefore, I am excited to embark on this journey in which I am able to make a positive impact in the lives of my students.