Meet the Mentors

2020-2021 Minority Mentors

Whitney Ricardo- Lead Student Mentor (LSM)

Whitney RicardoHome Town: Savannah, GA

Major: Psychology

Fun Fact: I have watched my favorite show, Parks & Recreation 8 times and know everything about it.

Why do I love MMP?: The Minority Mentor Program provides minority students the strong foundation every student needs their first year of university. Whether it's academically, socially, or anything that falls in between, this banded program works together to ensure that all minority students have the best experience possible while in college, setting them up for a bright future to make meaningful contributions to the world around them.

Emily Sophia Juarez Salas

Emily Sophia Juarez Salas

Hometown: Reidsville, GA

Major: International Business (Disciplined in finance)

Fun Fact: I was born in Mexico, and I can speak English, Spanish, and French. 

Why do I love MMP?: I met my best friend through this program! We met during pre-orientation week and have been inseparable since. I also loved how MMP allowed me to get acclimated to campus before classes started and all the cool people I was able to meet. 


Leo Varela

Leo VarelaHometown: Columbus, GA

Major(s): Double major in finance and economics

Fun Fact: I am a first generation child from an immigrant family. 

Why do I love MMP?: I think MMP is a great way to accustom incoming freshman to college life and also bring them together to feel stronger. 


Sheridan King

Sheridan KingHometown: Statesboro, GA

Major(s): Political Science and Communications Studies 

Fun Fact: I have met presidential candidate, Joe Biden. 

Why do I love MMP?: MMP is very dear to my heart because the program shaped me into the undergraduate student that I am. As a mentee during my freshman year, I was surrounded by other mentees and mentors who wanted to make an impact on Mercer's campus and the world. MMP has given us the tools to do just that! This program continuously invests in each student by providing counseling, scholarships, and a forever family. In addition to the services MMP provides, I have been able to meet lifelong friends that I consider family!

Ashley Pemberton

Ashley PembertonHometown: Macon, GA

Major(s): Journalism & Communication Studies

Fun Fact: My favorite genre of music is musical theatre. 

Why do I love MMP?: The Minority Mentor Program allowed me to meet a plethora of new, welcoming people and truly immerse myself in the college experience.






Julia Tra

Julia TraHometown: Lawrenceville, GA

Major: Nursing

Fun Fact: I love creating art during my free time. I design custom shoes, controllers (for gaming systems of course!), and clothes with special paints and materials.  

Why do I love MMP?: One thing that I like about MMP is that it creates special bonds with people you meet throughout the program and its events.


Jamea Harris

Jamea HarrisHometown: Townsend, GA

Major: Public Health, Pre-Dental Track 

Fun Fact: I can learn the words to any song after listening to it about 3 times. 

Why do I love MMP?: I love the Minority Mentor Program because it creates a bridge for minority students coming into college to have a safe and effective transition into adult hood. This program has helped so many people grow and become effective leaders throughout Mercer's campus, including myself.  I plan to do the same as a mentor for all the incoming freshman who will participate in this program. College is all about growing and learning from different experiences, and this program allows students to do just that. I can't wait to meet you all in the fall, and show you all of the things that made me fall in love with Mercer. I'm so excited to welcome you all to the Mercer family! Go Bears!


Rylan Allen 

Rylan AllenHometown: Conyers, GA

Major(s): Political Science and Sociology

Fun Fact: I know all of the presidents and state capitals.

Why do I love MMP?: My favorite thing about MMP is the guidance and helpful tips that the mentors give to their mentees about academics, clubs, and social life on campus!







Taj Patterson

Taj PattersonHometown: Covington, GA

Major(s): Psychology & Management 

Fun Fact: I am an avid sports fan. 

Why do I love MMP?: I love the Minority Mentor Program because it gives students a sense of community. We all love and support each other through the ups and downs of the college year. 


Audene Wilkinson

Audene WilkinsonHometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Major(s): Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pre-Med Track 

Fun Fact: I am Jamaican, and I love my culture very much. 

Why do I love MMP?: The main reason I love the Minority Mentor Program is that is provides a space for individuals, who are seen as a minority, to come together and share their experiences, cultures, and values with one another. MMP provides the platform for minorities to get acquainted with the campus, access peer-to-peer mentoring/tutoring, and even establish friendships before the stress of the semester starts.


Chidimma Uwaomah

Chidimma UwaomahHometown: Woodstock, GA

Major: Biology

Fun Fact: My name is from my parent's Nigerian language and actually means "God is Good"!

Why do I love MMP?: I enjoy embracing and empowering minorities like me. 


Ashley Waters

Ashley WatersHometown: Albany, GA

Major: Biology 

Fun Fact: I enjoy knitting and learning other creative expressions. 

Why do I love MMP?: I love that MMP creates a safe space and community where minority students can grow and succeed.


Rheana Clermont

Rheana ClermontHometown: Brooklyn, NY

Major: Sociology, Pre-Med Track 

Fun Fact: I lived in Haiti for 4 years. 

Why do I love MMP?: I like that MMP gives me the opportunity to form deeper connections with my minority peers to be a support system for the first year students.


Myles Brown

Myles BrownHometown: Lawrenceville, GA 

Major: Neuroscience

Fun Fact: My favorite word is precarious, because I believe it accurately describes the uncertainty of life. 

Why do I love MMP?: It is a great way to connect with other minorities who will not only share your struggles in school, but in life as well. MMP helps you to network, make friends, and adjusting to college life.





Mo Copeland

Mo CopelandHometown: Loganville, GA

Major(s): Neuroscience and Spanish

Fun Fact: Growing up, I was a gymnast and figure skater. 

Why do I love MMP?: I like that MMP offers freshman the opportunity to learn from an upperclassman that looks like them and can provide them with realistic advice.