What is a Peer Wellness Coach?

Peer Wellness Coaches (PWC) are upper-level undergraduate and graduate students who assist students in accomplishing their academic, social, and personal goals. Sponsored by Student Counseling Services and Student Affairs, the primary goal of the program is to provide students who are stressed, unmotivated or worried about their grades or life in general with a personal coach. The role of the PWC is to assist students in their endeavor for college success.

What does a Peer Wellness Coach Do?

Peer Wellness Coaches help NEIU students one-on-one with coaching/mentoring, linkage to Student Counseling Services when necessary, as well as linkage to University or community resources, and peer advocacy. They also provide some outreach programming to the University community on a variety of mental health-related topics.

What kind of training do Peer Wellness Coaches receive?

Peer Wellness Coaches receive training in basic counseling and leadership skills, Mental Health First Aid, healthy relationships and consent, social justice issues, choosing a major, self-care, information on University resources, and community social service resources. Peer Wellness Coaches receive weekly supervision and seminars for ongoing training in these areas.

Peer Wellness Program Locations AND HOURS

Peer Wellness Coaches can be found on campus in convenient, private locations, including the Pedroso Center, The Nest, the Library, or Campus Recreation. Coaches can also meet for remote appointments using a secure Zoom connection.

Hours for Spring 2022

  • 3-7 p.m. Monday
  • 1-7 p.m. Tuesday
  • 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Wednesday
  • 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday
  • 3-5 p.m. Friday

Make an Appointment with a Peer Wellness Coach

Peer Wellness Coaches are available throughout the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters! You can schedule an appointment by contacting Student Counseling Services at counsect@neiu.edu or (773) 442-4650. You can also fill out Peer Wellness Coach Mentee application to schedule an appointment.

Meet Our Peer Wellness Coaches (2021-2022)

Kathy Reyes Hernandez

Kathy Reyes Hernandez is a first-generation college student and a DACA recipient. After graduating high school, she was unsure how she would finance her college education. Kathy has encountered many setbacks during her college journey, but she is grateful to organizations and mentors that have helped her along the way. She graduated from Malcolm X College with an associate in science degree, and she is currently a senior at Northeastern Illinois University pursuing a bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Computer Science. 

Kathy has worked previously as an intern for the Chicago Public Schools for the Foreign Student Services Department where she translated for Spanish-speaking families. She has also worked as an intern at NEIU as a student aide for El Centro, as a peer mentor for the Google Computer Science Summer Institute program at El Centro, and as a peer leader for the Computer Science Department. Given her experience in a variety of internships and her setbacks, she seeks to mentor students to help them achieve their goals. Her areas of interest include stress and trauma in undocumented immigrants, coping with anxiety and depression, productivity, time management, study skills, habit formation, mindfulness, neuroscience, and the application of technology in psychology.

Jennifer Puga Hernandez

Jennifer Puga Hernandez is an undergraduate student receiving her bachelor’s degree in Psychology in the spring of 2022. She intends to pursue graduate school to receive her master’s or Ph.D. in school counseling. Afterward, she anticipates working in under-resourced communities to help high school students with their life after high school and their personal lives. She has had some setbacks in life, especially when it came to financing college and mental health all while doing it on her own. As a peer wellness coach Jennifer would be the person many of her fellow students would go to with similar concerns. Her counseling interests include students with mental health concerns, those questioning their personal life and/or college, working with first-generation students, and those who like her who did not have a person to assist while pursuing a higher education degree. As a McNair Scholar, Jennifer is researching the effectiveness of recent high school students from under-resourced communities with their high school counselors.

Randa Alshawabkeh

Randa received her bachelor’s degree in social work and minor in psychology from Northeastern Illinois University. She interned at Sullivan High School and was able to help the refugee community and students. Through this experience, she was able to see many situations that many high schoolers encounter. Randa is interested in helping young adults define themselves; her goal is to guide, support, and motivate students to succeed academically and professionally. She cares about the well being of others. She speaks Arabic and would like to learn more languages such as Spanish. She loves to do mindfulness meditation and is able to teach others as well. 

Carli Cinquegrani

Carli Cinquegrani received her bachelor of arts degree from DePaul University where she studied psychology and sociology. She is currently in her second year in the Clinical Mental Health graduate program at NEIU. Carli is interested in researching multicultural factors, trauma, and anxiety-related issues. She is also passionate about advocating for social justice for underserved populations. Carli has extensive experience working with LGBTQ individuals and providing them with resources and support. Carli enjoys utilizing approaches that integrate the mind and body connection. She is passionate about art, movement and self-care.