Our 2017-18 Mentors!


Hello! My name is Brian, and I’m a second year Carleton student doing my combined honours in History and Music. After struggling academically and having a difficult time through high school, I felt that post-secondary was out of my reach and I entered the workforce. I discovered ESP/AESP when a friend and former mentor of the program recommended it to me, and I’m happy I listened.

The transition from working life to university was made unbelievably smooth by all the helpful and friendly ESP staff who wanted to see me succeed as much as I did. All of the available resources not only helped me hone my academic skills to get admitted to my program; but the accepting and laid back atmosphere made student life less daunting. It is a great way to get to know like-minded people and make good friends along the way.

I am thrilled to be part of the ESP/AESP team this year as a mentor and to start helping with your transition to university, as I remember just how much the mentors helped me as an ESP student. Get ready for a great experience!


Ayy! My name is Brittany and I am a second year student here at Carleton University in the Criminology & Criminal Justice Program, with a concentration in Law. I was uncertain of the degree program I wanted to be in, and still am – if you find yourself in the same situation, don’t worry! There is plenty of time to change, as I probably will do at least once more! If you are like me and uncertain about your major, see an ESP Advisor- they will support and assist you however they can! That is the sort of thing that happens here every day.

Aside from academics, I also love to dance, sing (though I am probably the only person who enjoys my singing), read mystery novels, socialize a lot, and play with children – specifically my own. So that’s another piece of information about me. I am a parent to a beautiful 4-year-old girl, so, not unlike yourself I have had a few bumps in the pursuit of my education. However, being a parent has also been an inspiration and has become my drive. My intention as a mentor is to help address any new students’ obstacles, finding the bright side to the setbacks, whatever that might be. There are endless unique resources in the ESP/AESP community and I hope I can be there as a friendly support to point you to the ones you need.


Hello! My name is Cameron and I am a second year Human Rights and Social Justice student minoring in Religion and American Sign Language. I am so excited to be a mentor this year!

I entered ESP in 2016 after a year out of high school. I originally went to college for Early Childhood Education and switched into Health Sciences thinking I wanted to be a nurse. Then I realized I hated science. So, I dropped out after six months of living away from home, and moved back to Ottawa. I was somewhat lost and wasn’t sure what to do as I didn’t have a diploma and didn’t have the necessary courses to apply directly to a degree program at Carleton. Then I found ESP.

My guidance counsellor from high school suggested I check out this program after re-enrolling to finish my needed high school courses. I was so excited because I really did not want to go back to high school after having a taste of adult life. I could apply with my completed college courses and I haven’t looked back since. ESP was a life changer. I had the support of my seminar professor, the mentors, coaches and advisors, and they all help me succeed and end up in the top 15% of my program. I never thought I would achieve this after dropping out of college, but here I am and I would have never been able to get this far without the help of the Enriched Support Program and the entire ESP team.


Hey! My name is Carleigh, I’m a Women’s and Gender Studies student, and I have a mild coffee addiction. When I’m not mentoring I can be found in my natural habitat on campus: the line at Starbucks, or studying in Starbucks.

I’m so excited to be a mentor! I remember when I started last year I felt overwhelmed and that’s why I’m so thankful to ESP for enabling me to succeed in university in a way I was never able to in high school. My experience with ESP was overwhelmingly positive and I really hope I can be part of that experience with everyone else!

Looking forward to getting to know students and helping you out with your questions, don’t be shy!


Hi everyone, I’m Dave. I’m majoring in Computer Science and in my third year at Carleton. I love watching NBA. My favorite NBA player is LeBron James.  I was very blessed to be given the Senior Mentor position and excited to be working in CIE department again. I would not be in this position if it wasn’t for the help of my facils, coaches, instructors and best of all, God. Being a former ESP student and now working in this department has changed my life for the better. During all my years in high school I was never able to reach honour roll; however using the resources that ESP has to offer, I was able to earn a spot on Dean’s list. I enjoy meeting with students and just getting to know them and working with them to help them succeed in university. If you see me around campus, then come and chat with me.


Hey everybody! My name is David and I am majoring in Communications and Media Studies. My hope is to one day work in Public Relations and/or branding and if I’m lucky, start my own PR firm. I am a huge hockey and Ottawa Senators fan, plus I love some good hockey talk. I also like soccer and have an eclectic music taste.

Last year was not my first year in ESP. I had attempted to complete ESP in 2012-13 but I didn’t have the work ethic to do it. I didn’t show up to class, I didn’t show up to workshops and I ultimately dropped out. After three years of soul searching I came to the realization that I needed to try ESP again. I came back hoping just to get my C+ average but instead, I got the best marks I’ve ever gotten because I went to all of my classes and workshops.

I wanted to be a mentor because ESP gave me a second chance and I felt it was my obligation to give back and help the next group of students reach heights they never thought possible. I know what it takes to fail but I also know what it takes to succeed and I hope to impart that wisdom on all new ESP students I meet this year.


Hi! My name is Deeqa; I am a second-year student at Carleton University majoring in Law with a Minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. My journey to ESP is a little different than most; as a previous Carleton student, I did not do as well as I had hoped in my first year and took some time away from academia. A few years later, after deciding to go back to university and finish my degree, I stumbled upon the ESP on the Carleton website. I was accepted into this amazing program which changed the course of my life.

The ESP program facilitated my transition into university and made it an easy process. The resources within the ESP program are unlike any other at the university. Students have access to amazing mentors, facilitators and coaches, advisors and instructors all here to facilitate your success.

Welcome to the ESP family, I look forward to meeting each and every one of you and providing guidance and support to make this year the best start to your academic journey.


Why hello there! Welcome to Carleton university & the ESP/AESP. My name is Farooq Nafis, and I am a former ESP student. I moved here from Toronto.

I have been given the privilege of being a mentor for the academic year of 2017/2018. I came to the ESP in 2016, with one thing going for me: my Drive. Through the ESP program, I was able to work on my weaknesses, and develop my strengths. The ESP provided me with the support and resources I needed to thrive. From the mentors, to the coaches, and the academic advisors, and peers, I was always in good hands, working towards achieving my full potential. I was never one to succeed in school before this, however, with so many resources to help me stay on track through the ESP, I am now on my way through my undergraduate studies, following my life long aspirations of going to law school and becoming a lawyer, corporate litigation.

Currently, I am in the Bachelor of Global & International studies program with an Honours in Global Law & Social Justice and a Minor in African Studies. I truly look forward to giving back to the program by helping new students who are seeking to pursue their academic careers. I will aim to do whatever is in my power to ensure I help each and every person I interact with.

One bit of advice: “Don’t pursue success, reach for excellence…This way, you’ll consequently be succeeding a long your journey.” Oh, and! “Do it now! don’t wait for tomorrow…”

Toronto Maple Leafs is the best hockey team on the planet FYI.


Hello, my name is Gordon and this is my third year at Carleton. I am studying Business commerce and minoring in entrepreneurship. I worked for several years following high school, and finally came to the realization that university was not just for landing a job. It is also an important opportunity to condition you in ways that help build a work ethic and give you a broader perspective on life. It is not just about the information you are learning, but university equips you with the skills of how to learn and how to take on the stresses life presents you.

My goal is to become a private consultant in the software industry. I knew that I wanted to achieve this goal, but I had not developed the skills to be academically successful while I was in high school. The ESP program changed all of that! I learned how to succeed in university by using all of the wonderful resources ESP offers. It is a fantastic program that helps with the challenging and important transition into university. Without this program, I would not be here.

This year I am excited to return and serve as a senior mentor. I am looking forward to passing on some of the knowledge and experience I gained from ESP and helping you achieve the goals you have set for yourself here at Carleton!


Hello, everyone welcome to the ESP/AESP Program. I am happy to be a mentor in your journey at Carleton University. A bit about myself: before coming to Carleton University, I came from a background of addiction and as result became a high school drop out. Since turning my life around, I wanted to be a productive member of society this is where the ESP came into my life. Since my grades were not the best ESP was one of my chances to make that change that I desperately wanted. After applying and getting accepted, I was faced with a lot of doubt and fears. However, with all the ESP resources available and having the ability to ask for help, my success has been tremendous. ESP was able to help develop my skills as a student and in addition to laying an excellent foundation for the rest of my academic career. However, I’m not the only one to experience this… ESP can do the same for you!

I look forward to meeting you all, and being able to help whenever possible and hope that this year can grant you many successes as it did for me! Cheers!


Hi, I’m Madeleine. I’m a second-year Cognitive Science student, which is a dream come true for me! When I discovered the Cognitive Science program at Carleton, I felt that I had finally found my path. Unfortunately, my high school life had not been focused on my academics and my grades reflected that. It had also been quite a few years since I was last in school and I was afraid that I wouldn’t remember the first thing about writing an essay or studying for a test. I’m not certain that I ever learned those skills to begin with! Determined to find a way, I was directed to ESP. Beyond supporting my transition back into academics and allowing me a path into my program, my year in ESP returned to me the confidence I used to feel when I was younger. I’ve always had big plans for my future, but I believed I’d missed my chance to achieve them. Today, I feel I can achieve anything with the right tools and effort. As a mentor this year, I hope to see you gain that same self-assurance. Whatever your dreams may be, I am eager to help you find success in their pursuit, as my year helped me!


Wachay (Hello)! My name is Natacha and I am a former AESP student entering into first year environmental engineering. I was born and raised in Ottawa on unceded Algonquin territory but my roots are wolf clan in Mushkegowuk Aski, specifically Attawapiskat.

Three of my favourite things about AESP were the workshops, the opportunity to make new friends, and the variety of available resources. Workshops had helped prepare me for studying at the university level by building study skills through active learning. The AESP first year seminar course contains students from a variety of streams which gave me the chance to make amazing friends that I would have not met otherwise. I never felt alone through this academic journey as there are many resources such as coaches, advising, and mentors.

I like to meet new people and I am happy to have the opportunity to be your mentor on your academic path. You can doooo it!


Hey there, my name is Nick and I was a student in the ESP during both the 2014 semester and 2016/2017 semesters. I am now an excellent student in the mechanical engineering program here at Carleton, but getting to this point was no easy task. My first attempt at post secondary education, in 2014, didn’t go well and I dropped out. I didn’t use any of the support offered to me through ESP, as I thought it would be the same as high school. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and my grades suffered. After stepping away from school for a while I returned to pursue mechanical engineering through ESP once again. This time around, utilizing every ounce of support available to me, I succeeded. A change in mindset can make the difference from being an underperforming student to a high-achieving student.

After my two very different experiences through the ESP, some advice I can give new students is to ‘use as much of the support available to you as you possibly can’. Your coaches, facilitators, instructors, mentors, and everyone else who is a part of the ESP wants to see you succeed. We will all be here to support you along the way, and many of us have been in your shoes. Don’t ignore the fact that you’re not in a traditional university program, embrace it, because the ESP is the best program out there. If you’re willing, you will learn so much about your education and yourself. I would not be where I am today without it, and I hope it will do the same for all of you! Good luck to you all, I’m sure you’ll all do great!


My name is Peggea, I am a former ESP/AESP student. I am bilingual (French and English), majoring in Law with a minor in Business. I spent most of my life here in Ottawa. I like sports, mostly basketball. I spend most of my time thinking. I am easily approachable and understanding.

I came into ESP directly from high school, after finding out that I did not meet the requirement. To me, ESP/AESP was like a second chance. ESP/AESP helped me succeed in many ways. Through attending workshops, I was able to learn what works for me and how to create success for myself. I gained a sense of individuality and self-awareness. I also developed different ways of interacting with people. Thanks to many of the programs such as mentoring, coaching, workshops, I was able to gain success in my academics. Being part of ESP/AESP made me realize that University is not hard as long as you are willing to put in the necessary effort to succeed. Overall, ESP/AESP is an exceptional program, where many have found their success through great support, and I hope that throughout ESP/AESP you can also find your success just as I did.


“How does a lion greet the other animals in the field?” A: Pleased to eat you.


Okay, but seriously. Welcome! My name is Rebeccah, I’m currently majoring in Psychology but will be transferring over to Health Sciences next Fall and I am a former ESP student. I enjoy podcasts, drumming, dance, beatboxing/making, creative writing and having fun! I also love creative facilitation and am constantly looking for ways on how we can incorporate creativity, thoughtfulness, and authenticity into an academic environment.

Out of high school I had big dreams but struggled because I did not have the right prerequisites and grades. Going through ESP has given me a second chance at creating the future that I want, and I am very fortunate to have had this opportunity.

ESP, to me, has been so much more than just a transition program. To me, it has created a sense of solid community within the staff and students and I have created some life long friends because of this. To maintain a place in this community by being a mentor means the world to me. University can be daunting with big lecture halls, and so many students, but when you have these small workshops and first year seminars, you get to know the staff and your peers and with those relationships you are able to create some life long bonds and a network of support.

Good luck and safe journeys.


She:kon, my English name is RJ Mitchell, I am a Mohawk from Akwesasne, my traditional name is Oniatekon and I am of the Bear Clan. I am currently in my 3rd year at Carleton University pursuing my Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Geomatics Engineering with a double-minor in Indigenous Studies and Business Entrepreneurship. I completed the Aboriginal Enriched Support Program and am in my second year of mentoring AESP students within the program.

I decided to return to post-secondary after a career change, having previously worked in the music industry for several years, to better serve my community. AESP was a blessing in that not only was I given extra support and resources to make that transition to university, but to do so in a manner that nurtures the specific cultural needs of an Indigenous student. Having been so thankful for a program such as AESP, I decided the best way to give back was to offer my experiences to incoming students, to ensure they received the same positive and fulfilling experience I did.

I hope to offer my unique insights, perspectives, and experiences as an Indigenous student, to the students, my co-mentors, and the program as a whole, so that it may become better every year!


My name is Samar El Faki and I am in the Bachelor of Arts Child Studies program with a Minor in Psychology. I want to become a clinical social worker after I graduate. Advocating for mental health is one of my passions, and I want to work with youth who have mental illnesses.

I have volunteered a lot, including: the Pop the Stigma campaign at Carleton University, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, and the Youth Advisory Committee with the Youth Net organization (affiliated with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario). I was a youth leader for the Rainbow Youth Advisory Committee.

I am a Canadian citizen but I have spent time living in Pakistan and in Egypt. I am originally from Sudan, which is a country in northern Africa. I currently reside in Ottawa. Some unique facts about me: I have been crowned as one of the Top 10 Ottawa Idols for the past two years; as well, I have an obsession with hair products and Chinese food. (I end up spending all of my money on take-out and hair products, which a pretty problematic experience.)

I am thrilled to be a mentor this year with ESP and I look forward to getting to know my mentees!


Welcome to Carleton! My name is Sarah, and I am a third-year student with a double major in Human Rights and Political Science, and a minor in African Studies. I was a mentor last year, and I am a senior mentor this year! My journey to ESP has been a little unusual, as I was homeschooled through high school, and had no traditional grades or diplomas when applying for postsecondary. I graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma in Nursing in 2011, but I had barely passed, and I could not get accepted into any programs here at Carleton. I spent five years in the workforce, and then decided to try again as a mature student. When I got accepted into ESP, I never looked back! The extra guidance, my FYSM mentors and the amazing coaches really helped me adjust to University life and succeed at getting into my program. I can’t wait to help you all reach that same level of success and fulfillment, and I am really excited to be a part of your Carleton experience!

Sarah Lynn

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah, and I am going into Psychology with a Concentration in Forensics and a Minor in Neuroscience and Mental Health. I am super excited to be starting in my program of choice, and I made it here thanks to the ESP Program! I came in to the Enriched Support Program after not being in school for several years, and with little confidence that I could achieve my dreams of being a university student. With a lot of dedication and the strength to ask for help when needed, I can proudly say that I have great marks as well as confidence and hope for my future.

Using all the available services that the ESP offers such as academic advising, academic coaching, and attending workshops made all the difference! My advice to anyone coming into the ESP program is to take advantage of all the supports offered and don’t be shy to ask for help!

I am excited for what the next year holds, and I look forward to meeting everybody and helping you reach your full potential. Come and say hi anytime!


Hello everyone and welcome to the best university ever! My name is Shifaa and I am a second year student, majoring in Human Rights & Social Justice.

I graduated high school back in 2008. Due to certain life circumstances, I was unable to succeed in high school and therefore I barely passed grade 12. It took me almost 10 years to come back to school, but I am so grateful that I did!

I always thought there was no hope for me, and that university was out of my league. As a single mom of two young children, the thought of university scared me because I was worried about how I could manage looking after my kids as well as my education.

I was very fortunate to come across the Enriched Support Program at Carleton University.  After attending one of the information sessions about the program, I was certain that this program was the perfect fit for me and my life as a single mom.

ESP has changed my life forever. I never thought I would be where I am today and I am so grateful for the opportunity that ESP gave me and my family. Because of ESP, I was able to juggle being a mom, working, and studying full-time without compromising my duties as a mother, while excelling in my studies. The support offered by ESP is exceptional and I could not have finished my first year without the support of my amazing mentors, coaches, workshop facilitators and instructors!

I am super excited to be a mentor this year, and even more excited to be working with amazing students on their path to success!


My name is Taylor and I am a second-year student majoring in International Business and minoring in German and law. In high school, I studied abroad in for two years in Israel. My studies were all done in Hebrew, thus when I returned for my final year of high school, my grades did not match the work put in due to a huge language and curricular barrier. I had initially been accepted for an arts degree in law, but my first choice was International Business. I knew my potential and that it was better to not settle. And here I am now as your mentor, a year after I’ve successfully completed ESP in my program of choice; gaining more than just great grades – a support system, new opportunities and a new-found confidence.

I like to lift heavy, dance, learn languages, make people laugh/happy and help them succeed. I have always been told by people that I CANNOT do X, Y, or Z. Growing up, I let it consume me, but with years of self-work, perseverance, good people and patience, I can happily say that I now use past barriers as motivation and fuel to accomplish what I want. If you set you mind to something, you can do it. The only thing you can control is your reaction. Hot water can either soften a potato or harden an egg. My goal this year is to help as many of you as possible recognize your potential and chase your goals. You are capable of so much more than you know – believe in yourself and you’re half way there!


Hi there! My name is Trevor, and I am a second-year student in the International Business Program.

My journey at Carleton started last year in the ESP Program. During my twelfth grade in high school, I took on too many responsibilities (such as working over 30 hours a week and being on the student council), which influenced my academic performance. This left me with an average so low that I could not apply directly to a university. Thus, after graduation I took a year off school to gauge what my next action in life must be. Through that, I realized that post-secondary education is the stepping stone to a successful and favorable life. It is then that I decided to apply to the ESP program.

As your mentor, I strive to spark an aspiration for a better self through education and hard work. Although this can be a daunting experience, I assure you that as an ESP Student, you have access to the best support and resources on Campus. Feel free to use them to ensure a successful first year at Carleton. You can do it!

All the best in your first academic year here at Carleton.