Peter E. Haas Public Service Leaders Program

Haas LeadersThe Peter E. Haas Public Service Leaders Program provides need-based scholarships and supports a community of undergraduate student leaders who have demonstrated a significant commitment to off-campus service activities.

Named in honor of a legendary Cal alumnus who was known for his deep compassion for helping others, the Peter E. Haas Public Service Leaders Program seeks to grow a new generation of leaders committed to helping society. See a more in-depth bio of Peter E. Haas.


Through a generous gift from the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, the Peter E. Haas Public Service Leaders Program supports up to 20 financial aid eligible undergraduates with scholarships and training. This innovative program provides need-based scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $6,000, making it possible for students to serve 10 to 15 hours per week in off-campus social action activities. Students who are selected will participate in a year-long leadership development program through the Public Service Center.



  • Build leadership skills while participating in a community of student leaders serving the public good
  • Advising from faculty and staff
  • Recognition at Chancellor’s Awards for Public Service
  • Scholarships in the range of $2,000 to $6,000 that will complement student financial aid by decreasing the self-help expectation.
  • Students selected as sophomores or juniors are eligible to receive this award for up to two more years (through their 4th year of study).

For more information contact Fela Thomas, Student Leadership Programs Manager at

We have closed our application process for the 2015-16 academic year.  Below is the application process for the 2015-16 cohort.


Application and Selection timeline for the 2015-16 Academic Year

  • March 9, 2015: Application will go live (Check back HERE for the link)
  • March 18, 2015 from 10:30am-11:30pm (127 Sproul Hall): Information session
  • March 20, 2015 from 2:30pm-4pm (263 Dwinelle Hall): Information session
  • April 1, 2015: Application process closes
  • April 13, 2015 between 1:30-4:30pm and April 14th between 3:30-5pm:  In person interviews for applicants offered an interview (30-45minute each)
  • April 17, 2015: Award offers sent out
  • April 20, 2015 by 5pm:  Award acceptance deadline


Criteria for selection includes

  • Student must be eligible for financial aid or Dream Act
  • A compelling case for why a scholarship would facilitate student's ability to be a public service leader
  • Proposal must be a significant service project that will have meaningful community impact
  • Project engages other UC Berkeley students
  • Ability to commit 12-15 hours a week to the project during the 2014-15 academic year
  • Ability to participate in the entire 2014-2015 program, including attending all required trainings and events



Students selected to participate in this year-long leadership development program will participate in two days of orientation, monthly leadership trainings conducted by community members, staff, faculty and peer students,  and other events. Each program participant will need to demonstrate a significant commitment to public service as well as need for financial support to for the academic year.

  • Attend:
    • Chancellor’s Awards for Public Service - April 2015
    • Peter E. Haas Program Orientation - May 2015
    • Tuesday 6-8pm leadership development trainings/reflections - two/month throughout the 2015-2016 academic year
    • Student Leaders in Service Orientation - Late August 2015
    • Student Leaders in Service Retreat - Late January 2016
  • Complete and submit mid-year and final report
  • If invited, assist with selection of the next cohort of scholarship recipients

Peter E. Haas Public Service Leaders, 2014-15



Alejandra Lopez (Class of 2016)

Alejandra Lopez is a third-year, Social Welfare major and will be graduating May 2016.  She was raised in Huron, CA, a small town near the Fresno area.  She is involved with Alternative Breaks and will be co-leading the Central Valley service trip in Spring 2015, with Pilar Manriquez.  She is passionate about the Central Valley because her parents are farmworkers and she wants to find ways in which she can help the farmworkers' community.  This scholarship will help her focus on her education by reducing the amount of hours she works at the Cal 1 Card Office.



Alexandrea Henry (Class of 2017)

Alexandrea is a second year student pursuing a major in Sociology, as well as a minor in Education. When she was a first year, her passion for education equity was formed, when she became a preschool teacher through JumpStart, in which she served a community of Oakland children by promoting literacy and social development. Alexandrea will be continuing her pursuit of social justice in the education system by Co-Program Managing Cal CREATE, which provides students with an opportunity to delve into after school arts enrichment classes. Her role is to help oversee and coordinate the UC Berkeley student-teachers that will serve underprivileged youth in the local Berkeley/Oakland school districts. She has high hopes of spreading an appreciation of arts through education, and a desire to provide children with an opportunity to develop confidence and passion that will last them a lifetime.



Ashley Miller (Class of 2015)

Ashley Miller is entering her final year at the University of California, Berkeley studying global education reform policy through the Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major program. Ashley's interests for domestic and international issues center on the interconnection of civic engagement and structural change. Transferring from a two-year school in Los Angeles, Ashley has focused her engagement in New Orleans with the UC Berkeley Public Service Center program, Magnolia Project, and in Kenya as the co-founder of Maji Yaje Kwanza, a multilateral initiative expanding water pipelines and hygiene infrastructure to primary schools and communities in the coastal province.  Ashley will be serving as the Director of Magnolia Project, for which she was a 2013 trip participant, a 2014 trip co-leader, and a 2014 summer intern. Her responsibilities include summer internship recruitment, working with spring and winter trip leaders to streamline curriculum, and programmatic development. Ashley has been the primary income provider for her family for many years, and she feels incredibly privileged to be a recipient of the institutional and financial resources at UC Berkeley.



Blanca Zepeda (Class of 2015)

Blanca is studying Development Studies with a concentration in Economic Development in Latin America. Simultaneously, she is pursuing a minor in Education. Blanca is driven by her personal experiences, hardships, and upbringing in San Martin Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico and Richmond, California, specifically the lack of financial education that affects her family and community. She is determined to improve the well-being of those in her community, and working to understand the potential impact of financial literacy in disadvantaged communities of color. Blanca founded L.I.F.E (Learning and Inspiring through Financial Education) Courses, a program that seeks to incorporate practical financial literacy curriculum into economics classes at Richmond High School, Blanca’s alma mater. Simultaneously, L.I.F.E. Courses hosts a series of weekly parent workshops on financial literacy to empower families like her own in Richmond. 



Christina Young (Class of 2015)

Christina is a 4th year student studying Art and minoring in Global Poverty. Born in the central valley, she spent her childhood moving to various places in Northern California until her family settled in Tracy CA. Motivated to social action by the disempowerment and unequal opportunity that she witnessed in the Bay area and Central Valley, and inspired by her personal experiences in the arts, she dedicated herself at a young age to finding a link between social activism and the arts. In her first year at Berkeley she became a student teacher for CREATE, an organization which recruits and trains student artists to teach weekly art programs in the community. Currently as a Haas Public Service Leader, she has taken over as Co-program manager for CREATE and is committed to inspiring its members towards community participation and strengthening their abilities to teach personal and social empowerment through the arts.



Danny Murillo  (Class of 2015)

Danny Murillo is from Norwalk, California and is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar.  His research project analyzed the high rates of suspension of Black male students in Oakland’s public schools.    As a Peter E. Haas Public Service Leader, Danny will participate on a nationwide research project that looks at the role that low-income communities of color play in the design of policies that can break the cycles of violence and poverty exacerbated by the criminal justice system. This opportunity is made possible through his upcoming internship at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.   Danny will graduate next spring semester, and plans to study abroad in the summer of 2015.  Upon his return he will work as a community organizer in Oakland, and plans to pursue a Ph. D in the near future with a focus on the history and political economy of prisons in the United States.



Erica Portillo (Class of 2016)

Erica is a first generation high school graduate and college transfer student, she was raised in the San Fernando Valley, and is the eldest of seven children. Growing up in a low-income community she realized that the amount of resources a community has makes a substantial difference in how successful its youth become. As a Haas leader, Erica is determined to increase retention rates of minority, low-income students. Personally knowing the hardships disadvantaged students have to overcome to graduate from a top university has motivated her to develop a course to ease the harsh transition to the University of California Berkeley for transfer students majoring in the Sciences. Erica currently volunteers as a Spanish Health interpreter/translator, ESL Instructor and a Mentor/tutor for the Indigenous Pipeline to UC Berkeley. She plans on working to change health policies to provide access to affordable health care for all residents, including undocumented citizens.



Felix Cruz (Class of 2015)

Felix is from Oceanside, California. Growing up in a working class, Salvadoran immigrant home shaped his passion for social justice and his interests in postcolonialism, global poverty, inequality and social change. He is currently the president of Berkeley’s international affairs professional fraternity, Delta Phi Epsilon. Recognizing that change begins at home, Felix is also a co-leader for the Alternative Breaks New Orleans Program and a Peter E. Haas Leader through the Berkeley Public Service Center.  His project in New Orleans hopes to continue to build on the work of previous Alternative Breaks trips, but with a reinvigorated focus on issues of gentrification, housing, neoliberal practices and coalition building. Felix hopes to merge local knowledge and practice with current on-the-ground projects in an effort to reduce the gap between the real lived experiences of residents and public policy in post-Katrina New Orleans.



Rodrigo Vazquez (Class of 2016)

Rodrigo Vazquez also known as Froggy, was born and raised in Boyle Heights, East LA. He got involved with an organization called the Youth Justice Coalition at the age of 18. The YJC is where he started organizing and developed his passion for community work. As a Youth Organizer and also a Youth himself, He found it difficult and privileged to have an opportunity to organize people like him. Most of his organizing has been centered around the prison industrial complex, ending new jail and prison construction, gang injunctions, gang database, policies affecting young people of color, like the war on drugs.    He has over 10 years experience organizing now and have been teaching organizing and organizing strategies to many people and organizations.    He is a strong believer in empowerment and the creation of strong leadership, critical thinking, and trying to bring an international perspective to how we might see things or not.    His definition of a strong leader is to create even stronger leadership.    He just transferred as a Spring Admit to UC Berkeley from LA, and he has strong connections to the bay with the networks and friends he has met through organizing.    He is really excited to be connecting his community work to his experience as a Cal student. He will be developing and teaching organizing to strengthen the base for an organization called All Of Us Or None, an organization where he calls his family.



Gladys Aparicio (Class of 2015)

Gladys is pursuing a double major in Sociology and Economics and a minor in Education. She was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles where she was fortunate to be surrounded by great mentors who demonstrated the importance of giving back to her community. She believes that participation in service projects are important in retaining college students to degree completion. Gladys is providing students who live in the residence halls with ample outlets for volunteerism through the Residential Service Initiative by coordinating two large-scale service projects and guiding 40 leaders in the residence halls to enact a variety of service projects in their respective halls. Her ultimate goal is to enhance the experience of incoming students who reside in the residence halls by engaging them in service projects that give back to the local community. As a Resident Assistant, Gladys enjoys planning fun outings with her residents and engaging them in the campus community. She can be found organizing community group efforts with those who share her passion for social justice, commitment to public service and her vision for educational equity.



Joseline Gonzalez (Class of 2015)

Joseline Gonzalez was born in Mexico, but at a young age she, along with her parents, immigrated to the United States. She grew up in San Jose, California and is the oldest of six siblings. She is also the first person in her family to graduate high school, and the first to attend college. Her first-hand experiences have shaped her involvement with the undocumented-immigrant community. She is currently a fellow at Pangea Legal Services, which provides direct legal services to the immigrant community. She was previously a liaison for the Multicultural Cultural Community and the Chican@/Latin@ Student Development office. Joseline is the coordinator for the Dreamers Project, which is a mentoring program that provides one-on-one help to undocumented, and AB 540 students in achieving their educational goals. Last year the Dreamers Project helped seven undocumented students from Berkeley High School attend a 4-year university, this year they are expanding to Oakland International High School. The Peter E. Haas Public Service Scholarship allows Joseline to continue to create a sustainable program for low income, first generation, undocumented students.



Kimberly Schwartz (Class of 2017)

Kimberly Schwartz grew up in a small agricultural town in Northern California where she was fortunate to have the support and guidance of her parents and church community throughout her educational career.  Kimberly is now pursing a degree in Economics with a minor in Public Policy. Kimberly is currently working in the ASUC Academic Affairs Vice Presidency to ensure her peers from UC Berkeley have the necessary tools to succeed and have easy access to mentorship, support, and guidance-critical pillars that have helped her navigate the higher education system Kimberly will be working with multiple organizations to create a “UC Berkeley Survival Guide for Undocumented Students” that will be printed as a hard copy and sent out to every student who filed a CA Dream Act Application and will also be accessible on the student’s UC Berkeley Student Portal. This Guide will provide students with information to resource centers on campus, financial aid information, affordable housing information and scholarship information, etc. Kimberly believes education is the single most valuable tool for individual and social change and seeks to enhance students’ academic experience by identifying barriers to academic success and creating proactive solutions through campus wide programming, service, and policy initiatives. Kimberly strives to cultivate a campus environment that increases opportunity, engagement and student representation.



Larry McDaniel (Class of 2015)

Larry is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Education. He was born in Oakland, and has resided in Berkeley for the last fourteen years where he has learned the importance higher education being accessible for minority students. He believes that all communities, across the board, should enjoy the same developmental supports and educational resources. Larry is currently an undergraduate research fellow at UC Berkeley, exploring culturally relevant pedagogy and how it affects classroom behavior. He is also launching “Spread the Word,” a student-ran organization that that aims to mitigate the chasm between students of color and access to higher education. Through workshops and peer-to-peer mentoring at Richmond High School, he hopes to assist students with navigating social adversities and challenging familial circumstances, while supporting them in discovering their intellectual passions, in turn contributing to the further inclusion of minority youth in institutions of higher education.



Maritza González Téllez (Class of 2015)

Maritza is a first generation Xicana from Santa Ana, CA. Having been raised as the youngest of three by a single parent survivor of domestic violence, she quickly navigated through life with an awareness of how oppression and marginalization worked in her family and community. Because of that she has worked with on and off campus organizations to combat human trafficking, violence, racism, homophobia, and sexism in the Bay Area. This year through the help of the Public Service Center Maritza will work with All of Us or None, a non-profit that advocates for the rights of formally incarcerated people. There she will focus her efforts in developing more youth involvement through outreach and organizing. Being able to devote more time to organizing and cultivating social awareness in communities would not be possible without the Haas Leadership Scholarship.



Meia Matsuda  (Class of 2015)

Meia Matsuda is a transfer student from Contra Costa College. She is committed to social justice and wants to co-create outdoor spaces in urban landscapes where beauty and curiosity about nature can thrive. As a Peter E. Haas Public Service Leader, Meia will plant butterfly and caterpillar gardens in three locations in Richmond, California: the Greenway and Verde and Washington Elementary Schools. Meia will work with Friends of the Richmond Greenway (FORG), the City of Richmond, and Urban Tilth, a local nonprofit dedicated to food justice. She will support Urban Tilth's educational activities by sharing the importance of pollinators in our ecosystem as well as designing and building gardens. By helping to create delightful sanctuaries for butterflies she hopes to reconnect people, especially youth, to nature. Meia will also connect Berkeley students to volunteer opportunities in Richmond through her position as president of the Richmond ESC club at Berkeley.




Min Choi (Class of 2015)

Min is a senior at Cal from South Bay (San Jose), CA. She is also a Bonner (BLDS), thrilled to be with Berkeley High Academy of Medicine and Public Service for the third year and working directly with her wonderful supervisor, Fela at the Public Service Center in efforts to enhance the transition process for her supervisors/teachers at Berkeley High and fellow Bonners as her Haas project! She hopes that she will be able to both help apply her public health background to courses taught at the school and maintain healthy parent liasion responsibilities to help grow the small academy in both knowledge and passion for service, more possible with support from the Haas program in order to balance work and service. Min is also involved deeply with her public health department and organization (Cal Undergraduate Public Health Coalition) and a work study student at University Health Services, Tang Center.



Pilar Manriquez (Class of 2016)

Pilar Manriquez is a first generation college student-parent pursuing a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Legal Studies.  Pilar is from Helm, California, a predominantly low-income and unincorporated town in Southwest Fresno County.  Growing up in the Central Valley has allowed her to experience the struggles of farmworking families and see firsthand the educational barriers that exist in rural communities. Her background has motivated her to take on a leading role as a Break Leader through the Alternative Breaks program, a social justice program that provides service nationwide, including the Central Valley. The Peter E. Haas Public Service Program will allow Pilar to expand her position as a Break Leader where she will guide and lead her peers through a weekly seminar and a service trip that will focus on the economic and socio-political realities facing farmworking families in the Central Valley.  Pilar hopes to create social change in her community that will benefit the future generations, including her one-year old daughter, Adilene



Rachel Tsao (Class of 2015)

Rachel is a Bay Area native passionate about using technology solutions to solve social problems. She is involved in the Startup At Berkeley Club and is a Community and Leadership Assistant in the dorms. Her project this year focuses on teaching disabled students how to code and design so they have a flexible and desirable skill-set that can help them find jobs upon graduation. In her free time she enjoys going to technology meet-ups in San Francisco and hiking.



Valeska Castaneda (Class of 2015)

Valeska is a senior finishing up her major in American Studies with a concentration in race, class, gender and immigration policy. She is an immigrant who came here under asylum as a child, a single mother, survivor of domestic abuse, survivor of sexual assault, and above all an advocate for human rights. In her time at Cal Valeska has realized the importance service projects have, and the impact just one person can manifest. Cal Women Warriors will be another outlet for Valeska to create that impact; she will be serving women who suffer from PTSD because of past sexual assault or physical violence. By coordinating weekly luncheons, monthly socials, semester quilt project and end of reflection retreat she will help create a space for those who are at different stages with their trauma. The focus of her work will not be tackling the psychological components of the disorder, but rather in making a space for others to collectively come together to uplift one another. Valeska’s ultimate goal is to lay down the foundation for Cal Women Warriors to grow, for the waves of women who suffer from this disorder that will be attending U.C Berkley after she leaves.   


2013-14 Peter E. Haas Public Service Leaders >>>

2012-13 Peter E. Haas Public Service Leaders >>>

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