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Alternative Breaks Leadership

  • Emily Loui

    Emily Loui


    Emily Loui works as a Community Service Program Coordinator for the Center for Student Involvement where advises the Alternative Breaks program and oversee social innovation initiatives, including CGI U, the Social Innovation Fund, educational efforts and changemaker initiatives. Emily formerly served as the Director of Alumni Affairs for Biological Sciences, where she developed alumni engagement programs that increased community engagement by 20%. Prior to her roles in Alumni, Emily worked as a career advisor for students in the health professions and coordinated service-learning efforts at UC San Diego Extension. As the Manager of Service and Civic Leadership in Extension, Emily co-founded the Center for Global Volunteer Service at UC San Diego Extension, where she planned 8 international service immersion initiatives in 6 countries and developed social innovation projects

    Emily has been the advisor for 18 Alternative Break trips! Emily volunteered with Alternative Breaks for 9 years prior to her official role with the organization.

  • Rey Lautenschlager

    Rey Lautenschlager

    Student Director

    Site Leader - AB Sustainibility

    Rey (she/her/hers) is a second year and currently a global health major (but we’ll see where life takes her!)  After growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Rey made the 2,037 mile move to start her future in CA. Her spirit animal is an ocelot 🐆 but her spirit life form is definitely a tree 🍁. Although Rey has no idea what her future holds, her dream is to see the world 🌎 and leave a mark on it 👣. Rey could not be more excited to witness the incredible work of each trip this year and only wishes that she could be part of them all 💙 She hopes that AB will continue to educate, inspire, and empower as powerfully as it has in her own life ✌🏼

  • Ali Tajkarimi

    Ali Tajkarimi

    Student Director

    Ali (he/him/his is a 4th year anthropology major from Greensboro, North Carolina. His spirit animal is a sloth because everytime you see one they look like they are smiling. One fun fact about him is he can find you a song to describe any situation, whether it’s happy, sad, or somewhere in between. Ali is excited to meet the participants of each trip and see all the hard work of each site leader payoff as the year unfolds. He sees himself surrounded by amazing people and mentors such as Emily Loui. 

  • Olivia Michael

    Olivia Michael

    Site Leader - AB Weekends

    Olivia (she, her, hers) is a second year Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience and Global Health Double Major in Muir college. She has lived all over the US, but considers Carlsbad, CA to be her hometown. ☀️Her spirit animals is definitely the leafy seadragon of East Australia. A fun fact about Olivia is that she can lick her elbow (its not impossible). As the site leader of the weekend trips, Olivia is excited to be able to explore many San Diego non-profits and make a lasting impact in the SD community. In the next 5 years, Olivia would like to attend graduate school for Cognitive Science and work on mental health research and policy. 

  • Carol Alvarez

    Carol Alvarez

    Site Leader - AB Education

    Carol (she/her/hers) is a fourth year Political Science and Ethnic Studies double major. She is from Rosarito Mexico🇲🇽 and a fun fact is that she crosses the border every day to come to school! Her spirit animal is a dog 🐶 and in the future she would like to create a pet shelter for dogs and cats! Carol loves reading, taking pictures, and more reading, you will always catch her with a book on her bag📔. She is excited about AB Education’s trip because she believes that every student should have access to the same quality of education, and wants to learn more about the Education system. In the next five year, Carol sees herself teaching at high school level Ethnic Studies, and begin deconstructing biases that the education system upholds.  


  • Karina Halliman

    Karina Halliman

    Site Leader - AB Education

    Karina (she/her/hers) is a fourth year Environmental Systems major🌏in Muir College. Born and raised in Littlerock, CA (not Arkansas) Karina identifies most with sea otters because she aspires to be as relaxed as they are chilling in the sun.☀️A fun fact about her is Karina likes to collect coffee cups ☕️from places she has traveled to. For the education trip she is excited to serve a community that is familiar to her own. As well as watch the participants grow and learn through the year. She is nervous about traveling to a new area, but also she is super excited about this as well. In 5 years Karina sees herself continuing higher education by working towards a PhD and helping save the planet and dismantle the patriarchy.💕upholds. 

  • Divya Bhatia

    Divya Bhatia

    Site Leader - AB Homes for the Homeless

    Divya (she/her/hers) is a second year Global Health major and Public Service minor from San Diego. She loves expressing herself through all things creative and her happy place is a beautiful sanctuary in Texas that has the BEST sunsets 💘 her spirit animal is definitely a butterfly 🦋 as she tries her best to continue to grow with any field she explores. She is also a huge nerd HENCE the picture from the Star Trek Convention 😋She recently went on AB’s Civic Engagement trip to DC and is ecstatic to return as a Site Leader for New York! Her AB experience opened a HUGE number of opportunities in her life—not to mention the support and love she gets everyday from fellow AB members. She can’t wait to learn alongside her participants, support them on their service-learning journeys, and hopes that the team can discover new ways to best heal the world ✨


    (oh also she’s OBSESSED with her bird who is just glorious and a cutie)

  • Tod Nguyen

    Tod Nguyen

    Site Leader - AB Homes for the Homeless

    Tod (he, him, his) is a third year majoring in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Global Health. Growing up, he moved around a lot but considers Elk Grove, CA his childhood hometown. His spirit animal is a bear (🐻, grrr) because he’s a big omnivore and honey enthusiast. A fun fact about Todd is that his parents used to own a toy shop and he practically grew up in a mall. If you take Tod to any mall, he takes great pride in memorizing the layout, criticizing store placements, and appreciating the interior design of every mall he goes to! Todd is excited about this trip to help educate not only himself, but his participants and hopefully the people he’ll work with on the trip! Tod’s two main goals in life is to achieve a state of happiness that will last for the rest of his life and while doing so, help others achieve the same as well. 

  • Daniella Fairbank

    Daniella Fairbank

    Site Leader - AB Public Health

    Daniella (she, her, hers) is a senior majoring in General Biology with a minor in Marine Science and is doing her BS/MS project as well. She’s a born and raised San Diegan. Sprit marine animal is def a dolphin, terrestrial has to be a lion or bird. Some fun facts about her is she only one fully working lung, she’s a vegan, she reads over 30 books a year, has been to over 15 countries and has 5 pets. 

    She’s SUPER excited about this trip because she loves working with others and making a difference in the world. Daniella has a passion for nature, human rights, wildlife and climate change and this trip allows her to help make the change she wants to see in the world. In the next five years Daniella hopes to be working on her PhD in biology / marine biology, traveling the world working with nonprofits and working towards becoming a research professor.

  • Ivy Huong Nguyen

    Ivy Huong Nguyen

    Site Leader - AB Public Health

    Ivy (she, her, hers) is a third year majoring in Global Health with a minor in Literature/Writing.  She was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, and immigrated to America in the year of 2009.  Ivy is now currently happily residing in Anaheim, California with her older sister and her parents. She does not have a spirit animal but she wishes to be reincarnated as a rock one day because she wants to know what it feels like to do absolutely nothing her entire life. One fun fact about Ivy is that she does not know how to swim even though she lives 5 minutes away from the beach for the past decade, but she can definitely float if she needs to stay alive. 


    As one of our site leaders, Ivy genuinely wishes to get meaningful experiences out of her trip to Bali, to learn about people as human beings, and to understand the world as it is.  She hopes to attend graduate school after her undergraduate program here at UCSD and wishes to do ethnographic research in Southeast Asia in the near future.

  • Pamela Elguezabal

    Pamela Elguezabal

    Site Leader - AB Public Health

    Pamela (she/her) is an ERC senior majoring in Sociology with a minor in International Migration. Born (but not raised) in San Diego, Pam has found a home in many places across her life, the most special ones to her being: Kansas, Bayern, Tijuana, and SoCal. One fun fact about her is that she is the only one in her family without 20/20 vision and has been wearing glasses since she was 6 years old! Last year, Pam joined the public health trip as a participant and learned about the intersections of social, political, and economic factors that influence health. This year, she is honored to be returning as a site leader for the same trip! Pam is nervous about facilitating a memorable and educational experience in a way that is tailored to the individual needs of every single participant — but her awesome partner, Yazmin, is right by her side! She looks forward to an awesome year of AB full of self growth, accountability, and reflection.

  • Yazmin Arambula

    Yazmin Arambula

    Site Leader - AB Public Health

    Yazmin (She, Her, Hers) is a third year majoring in Biochemistry & Cell Biology with a minor in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Her dream career is to be a clinical pharmacist & work in a hospital environment (but away from most patients🤭). She was born and raised in central California (literally in the middle of nowhere) & now she’s loving the beach in SD! Her favorite thing to do is anything outdoors especially hiking🏔. Fun fact, growing up she had 9 chihuahuas, 4 goats, 2 horses, 6 ducks, & +20 chickens! Yazmin’s goal for her team is to build long lasting friendships and help each other grow & learn together☺️

  • Rebecca Donham

    Rebecca Donham

    Site Leader - AB Sustainability

    Rebecca (she/her/hers) is a fourth year Global Health major from Sacramento. She has a three-legged dog lovingly named Tripod, but her spirit animal is a moss piglet (also called water bear or Tardigrade). Having been lucky enough to go on two AB trips before in Public Health and Environmental Justice, Rebecca is ecstatic to explore and engage with her cohort and communities within Iceland. Ultimately going into medical education, Rebecca believes the lessons learned today will be the creation of improvements tomorrow  and she looks to her cohort with pride.

  • Christy Schlutius and Esmeralda Salas

    Christy Schlutius and Esmeralda Salas

    Site Leaders - AB School Reform

    Esmeralda (she/her/hers) and Christy (she/her/hers) are a co-site leader match made in heaven 🥰 Their respective spirit animals, giraffe and elephant, would have been BFFs on the safari just like these two are IRL 🌅 🦒 🐘. AB School Reform has brought these two together from Lawndale and Sebastopol, CA to lead the first ever AB trip to Mumbai, India, and they are excited about forming new connections and learning about socio-emotional education in the Indian context. Esmeralda is most nervous about the diversity of food, and Christy is nervous about leaving all of her plant babies at home alone 🌱 🥺 When looking to the future, y'all better put on your sunglasses 😎 cuz it's looking bright! ☀️✨Esmeralda dreams of creating a non profit that focuses on increasing awareness and destigmatizing mental health illnesses in low income, minority communities while Christy wants to help create a more sustainable, equitable food system that addresses the issues of food waste and food insecurity.