Urban Ed Alumni Highlighted for First-Generation College Student Day

Urban Ed Alumni Highlighted for First-Generation College Student Day

Derek Estrella, Tatyana Villegas, Lezlie Braxton Campbell, Xandria Sotomayor-Wright, Amanda Marte, and Omarthan Clarke 

Six Westfield State Urban Education alumni were recently featured on Instagram in honor of First-Generation College Student Day (November 8). The Urban Education Program (UEP) was founded in 1968 to provide college access, mentoring, and academic advising to students of color that may not have been afforded such an opportunity considering the turbulent social climate. Since its founding, UEP has evolved to provide holistic support services to students that self-identify as first-generation or demonstrate a financial need. The following UEP alumni were highlighted in a recent campaign. 

Tatyana Villegas ’18 is a graduate assistant at Westfield State’s Urban Education Program. Villegas earned her bachelor’s in psychology and Spanish from WSU, and is now working on her master’s degree in counseling from WSU. 

Derek Estrella ’19 is senior community outreach counselor at Holyoke Community College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish, mathematics, and economics from Westfield. He is now completing his M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration at the University of Massachusetts. 

Lezlie Braxton Campbell ’16 is the director of organizing strategy with Leadership for Educational Equity. He earned his B.S. in Business Management from WSU and is now completing a M.A. in Politics and Education from Columbia University. 

Xandria Sotomayer-Wright ’15 is an academic advisor at WSU’s Urban Education Program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Westfield and is now working on her master’s degree in counseling from Westfield. 

Amanda Marte ’15 is the director of the Young Parent Support Program at Children’s Friends & Family Services. She earned her bachelor’s in psychology from WSU and her master’s degree in social work from Simmons University. 

Omarthan Clarke ’07 is the assistant director of UEP at WSU. He earned his bachelor’s degree in art from Westfield and his master’s degree in arts policy and administration from The Ohio State University. 

 UEP is committed to increasing representation of populations that have been historically excluded from higher education. Their mission is to provide college readiness and support for first-generation students that will improve their performance and academic achievement. They provide student support services and social assistance through a college readiness summer program and ongoing advising during the academic year. 

Read more about Westfield State’s UEP here.