First-Year Counselors

JE is delighted to announce 2020 - 2021 Fro-Cos! 

Chika Ogbejesi

Head FroCo, Chika (she/her/hers) is a bit of a local coming from Madison, CT, a town about 20 minutes from Yale that makes New Haven seem like New York in comparison. Academically, she studies Neuroscience, is pre-med, and may pursue a certificate in Spanish (check-in on this at graduation). Beyond the classroom, she has spent much of her time engaged with various communities on campus including the Black/Nigerian community at the House, the STEM community as a former participant and mentor for the Science, Technology, and Research Scholars (STARS) program, and of course the JE community as a college aide, housing counselor, and IM player. Additionally, she cares about health holistically so she served as the president and treasurer of the Crisis Text Line at Yale, volunteered at Yale New Haven Hospital, and will be spending this upcoming year working on a health tech startup she co-founded with fellow JE seniors. This year you’ll also likely catch her dancing or giggling in the JE courtyard so feel free to join in whenever you want! She is very excited to meet the first-years and hear about all of the interests you have (particularly any good shows you’ve watched or funny memes you’ve seen)!
Chika’s $0.02: Leave your shame at the door. Where you came from no longer controls where you’re going. Your first year is a time where a lot of mistakes will be made but also where lessons will be learned, lifelong friendships will begin, and great moments will be experienced. Take it all in stride and be sure to reflect on your experience along the way. And don’t be afraid to be bold!

Fiona Asbury

Fiona Asbury (she/her/hers) is from Potomac, MD—just outside of Washington, D.C. She is an Economics and East Asian Studies (China concentration) double major. Learning Chinese has been the highlight of Fiona’s academic life at Yale, and she has been able to travel with the Light Fellowship twice: one summer in Beijing and one gap year in Taipei. Originally a member of the Class of 2020, she is excited to embark on what feels like a bonus year of her college experience (and a unique one, at that)! Fiona has been involved in a variety of extra curriculars on campus, but as an Air Force ROTC cadet, she spends much of her time mentoring cadets from Yale and other universities. She also hopes a few first-years will join her on JE college council, one of the best parts of JE! Fiona loves swimming, hiking, biking, and being outdoors, so she sincerely hopes some of her first-years are down for some socially-distanced walks to East Rock! But if not, she is just as happy staying in and watching the highly acclaimed “worst movies in cinematic history.”

Fiona’s $0.02: Your first year will offer a plethora of opportunities, and you are going to want to experience as much as you can. It’s exciting! Take the time to explore, to integrate yourself in new communities, to learn new skills. But once you’re immersed in all these things, it’s important to take a step back and re evaluate. Sometimes the way you spend your time doesn’t reflect the things you value most. It’s easy to get stuck in the activities you committed to early in your first-year or to feel overwhelmed as your time is claimed by groups you don’t find fulfilling. But it’s okay to take ownership of your time, and it’s never too late to make changes. You are going to change as a person, and your interests may change with you!

Nathalie Beauchamps

Nathalie (she/hers) is from Randolph, NJ and she won’t stop talking about how much she loves her state. She considers Jersey bagels a close second to her list of favorite foods, the first being anything her mom cooks. Nathalie is an Economics and Political science double major with a concentration in French. Her love for French stems from her Haitian roots (both of her parents are Haitian immigrants) and it also took her all the way to Paris (at least for half a semester before the pandemic turned the world upside down)! Nathalie loves playing violin for the Davenport Pops orchestra, coaching for the Urban Debate league, and initiated a chapter organization at Yale called Women Everywhere Believe which is a mentorship program for girls of color in the New Haven community. She also served as a Yale College Council senator during her sophomore year. Nathalie loves long and aimless conversations, reading, and breakout dance sessions and is always looking for more people do join her in doing so. She is most proud of the friends she made in Jonathan Edwards, and she hopes JE can do the same for her first-years. Nathalie is immensely excited to spend the year getting to know the Class of 2024!
Nathalie’s $0.02: Do not compare yourself to others! It is of course very energizing to be motivated, inspired, or enlightened by your peers around you. This is a beautiful phenomenon that will occur naturally during your time spent at Yale. This comes as no surprise, as Yale is a small space filled with amazingly talented people. You are amongst them! If I have learned anything from comparing, however, it is that holding yourself certain standards because the people around you have achieved certain things is not only unnecessary, but totally exhausting. It is simply impossible to be the best at everything and in trying to be, you will only spread yourself too thin. On technique I’ve learned to become mindful of the habit of comparing is to practice self-empathy. You are only one person. Give yourself a break. Moreover, when you begin to compare yourself to others, you hold yourself to standards that are almost impossible to achieve. This is because you are operating under pressure, rather than from passion, which is what should be driving your endeavors. Once you table the habit of comparing, it becomes a lot easier to celebrate others’ successes and to even be motivated by them. Your best bet is to find what you’re passionate about and pursue it! And it’s okay if you don’t discern your passions in the next couple of years or even in the next couple of decades. Yale is just one step in your journey of doing so.

Matt LaMirande 

Matt (he/him/his) comes from the rural Midwest fields of Dresser, Wisconsin. In the classroom, he studies History, focusing on American political and legal history. Outside of academics, he has been involved with a cappella as a part of The Society of Orpheus and Bacchus, GED tutoring through the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project, and working as a shelving assistant in Sterling Memorial Library and as a JE College Aide. In his free time, he enjoys running, reading about the Supreme Court, discovering new music, and binging shows on Netflix (he has many recommendations). He cannot wait to meet the Class of 2024 (even if he can’t discern facial expressions beneath masks)!

Matt’s $0.02: The biggest thing I learned in my first year at Yale is that it’s absolutely necessary to set aside time to destress and unwind. If you’re stressed all the time and laser focused on academics 24/7, you miss so many opportunities to make friends and live a healthy life. As my first year wore on, I designated a two-hour slot every day dedicated solely to non-academic work, whether that be hanging out with friends, watching a show on netflix, learning new music for my a cappella group, or going on a long run. By maintaining a healthy balance between relaxation and my academics, I found it much easier to focus on my studies when the time came to buckle down, and generally enjoyed my classes more.

Hang Nguyen

Hang (she/her/hers) was born and raised in a small city in south Vietnam, where her parents ran a sweet potatoes business(!) When she was 11, her family moved to Tampa, Florida, where she spent her formative years and grew into the person that she is today — a Florida woman. She is premed and majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Outside of her research at a cell biology lab, Hang is involved with A Leg Even, a first-generation/low-income group on campus. She also volunteers at the pediatric Oncology Unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital and at the New Haven Legal Assistance Association as a legal translator. Hang enjoys painting, adding chili pepper to everything, and drinking cold brew coffee for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She can’t wait to meet the Class of 2024!

Hang’s $0.02: You don’t have to finish all the requirements for your major by the end of your first year, or sophomore year, or junior year, or even the first semester of your senior year! Give yourself time to take fun classes, explore New Haven, watch that movie, sleep in until noon, stay up until the birds start chirping, or do nothing. Don’t feel ashamed or guilty to relax, to rest, or to just be present.

Raajii Daniel

Raajii (he/him/his) was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota after his parents immigrated from Ethiopia. He is a first-generation college student studying Economics and he is interested in improving financial literacy for lower-income communities. On-campus, Raajii has served as the Co-President of the Black Student Alliance at Yale as well as a Peer Liasion for the Afro-American Cultural Center. He has spent most of his summers working in Equity Research and WealthManagement. You can often find Raajii on-campus dancing to one of his Spotify playlists. He loves watching Netflix and talking about his favorite shows with others. Raajii is looking forward to getting to know the First-Years and to serve as a resource to make their transition to Yale easier.

Raajii’s $0.02: Try not to overwork yourself! It’s important to find a balance between your school work and mental health. Also, try to utilize all of the resources available to you! The JE FroCos and Dean are here to help you, so never be afraid to come to us with questions. Use your first year at Yale to gauge your interests and passions! Enjoy yourself and make the most of your time.