Aliyah Gonzales Promotes and Encourages Stockton Students to be More Involved in Campus Events
April 22, 2024

Aliyah Gonzales became a Well-Being Ambassador (WBA) at the Stanislaus State Stockton Campus as a field-work requirement for her psychology major. 

Now, she's the face of the program. She conducts tabling outreaches, attends program wellness workshops and trainings and organizes events on campus.  

Aliyah Gonzales

After transferring to Stan State in the fall of 2022 from Modesto Junior College, she helped plan on-campus events and spread mental health awareness through the WBA program. 

“She brings a fantastic attitude into any room and any activity,” said Karen Snell, a faculty member in the Department of Psychology. Snell described Gonzales as an excellent student who is conscientious of others and is a bubbly and positive person. 

“I've gotten to know Aliyah well and the most impressive thing about her is her dedication to the Stockton Campus,” Snell said. "She has participated in almost all events as part of being in the Well-Being Ambassador program.”  

The Well-Being Ambassador program launched at the Stockton Campus in spring 2023 with hopes of implementing it at the Turlock campus. Its goal is to foster a supportive campus culture for students with issues related to wellness by providing accessible mental health resources, peer engagement and educational outreach.  

Through a peer engagement-awareness model, the Stockton Campus is working to break the stigma of maintaining their dimensions of wellness and building a greater sense of belonging and community. 

“Aliyah has been a wonderful addition to our ambassador team,” said WBA Program Coordinator Jaclyn Garcia. “In this role, Aliyah has participated in tabling outreach and attended wellness workshops and trainings. Through our program, Aliyah was connected with mental health training through San Joaquin County to enhance her knowledge in the psychology field and use what she’s learned within her role.” 

Garcia referred to an on-campus event last fall where she and her classmates dressed up and handed out Hispanic treats and sweets.  

“I believe that her involvement with Día De Los Muertos is the epitome of her spirit and contribution to our campus,” Garcia said. During the event, the ambassador team offered information and sweets to approximately 100 students during tabling sessions. 

“We decided to share a piece of our culture with the Stockton Campus,” Gonzales said. “We talked to students about the history and the traditions of the Day of the Dead.”  

“I've gotten to know Aliyah well, and the most impressive thing about her is her dedication to the Stockton Campus.”

- Karen Snell, Faculty Member 

She went on to facilitate her workshop to help bring more awareness to mental health.  

“The ambassador team came together to decorate posters that brought color and life to the halls of the Stockton Campus. We shared tips about mental health such as ‘Remember to breathe, make time to relax, take what you need.’” 

Garcia added that Gonzales conducted outreach to raise more awareness about domestic violence and attended a domestic violence roundtable discussion in partnership with San Joaquin County Pioneering Restoration and Elevating Voices of Advocacy, Idealism and Leadership (PREVAIL).  PREVAIL is a domestic violence prevention organization that has worked closely with the Stockton Campus. 

She has also worked hard to bring her community together by leveraging her previous connections at the Student Recreation Center and the Career & Professional Development Center. Gonzales worked with the Career Center’s interim Director Evelyn Ramos to bring together a group of speakers for a graduate program event. 

“I noticed a lot of my peers had questions about graduate programs and graduate school, and I knew Evelyn was planning on hosting an informational event.”  

Gonzales brought together faculty members from the Library, Basic Needs and other programs to create a panel of first-generation speakers. Organizing the panel event was a big deal for her and her family. 

Currently, Gonzales is on track to be a first-generation grad student. She expresses her gratitude to several mentors at Stockton Campus who have helped her get to where she is today.  

“(Lecturer Karen) Snell motivated me to pursue higher education and without her, I don’t think I would’ve tried,” Gonzales said. “Stockton Campus Librarian Isabel Vargas helped me with writing and citations and was also supportive and welcoming. My fellow Well-Being Ambassador, Jackie, is like a big sister to me, and she helped me feel like I belong here. 
“Evelyn Ramos inspired me to keep going,” Gonzales said. “She is one of my role models. Also, Leticia Caballero from Basic Needs, helped me navigate grad school and stay on track.”