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Hey all! My name is Sasha and I am a junior majoring in Environmental Engineering and minoring in Math here at UCF. I am originally from Russia and I moved straight to Orlando when I was 16 and graduated from Freedom High School. I am very excited to be GEMS mentor again this year and help new coming freshman students in transitioning into their college life. Throughout the two years as a member of EXCEL and GEMS programs I noticed how much it has contributed to my success. My GEMS mentor helped me a lot through my first year by introducing me to the EXCEL community, encouraging me to pursue my academic and personal goals, and inspiring me to be involved in things on campus. The second year EXCEL introduced me to undergraduate research through its Undergraduate Research Experience program, which made major changes in my life in a good way. 

Currently I am involved in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club and I am still working on the research project that I was introduced to as a part of URE, however I am planning to be involved in more things as the Fall semester begins. I am looking forward to the beginning of the new academic year so I could meet new members of the EXCEL family, especially my mentees and help them as they need me during their first year at UCF.