Yesenia is a first-generation student with roots from Los Angeles. She earned her bachelor's in Psychology and a minor degree in Entrepreneurship from UCLA in 2021. Her passion for mental health led her to volunteering as a research assistant for the Child First Lab and becoming a coach for UCLA’s Depression Grand Challenge. In this work Yesenia was exposed to intense psychotherapy sessions and training in CBT intervention. She had the opportunity to provide feedback to Apple developers on reforming behavioral health research and clinical care. Yesenia gained additional knowledge on genetics through her volunteer work decoding with Ancestry DNA and later through attending genetic case conferences, inpatient rounds and newborn screening meetings. She was also a participant in the genetic counseling prospective student network and the coordinator of the genetic counseling student interest group at UCLA. During her gap year, Yesenia worked in organizing COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites, explaining vaccine safety, aftercare guidance, and actively registering eligible individuals. During this time, she was able to guide high need populations toward services such as social services, health insurance coverage, medical and behavioral health services. Her work has made her passionate about genetic counseling and education on health disparities. In her free time, Yesenia enjoys doodling and learning new sports!

Department: Human Genetics