Tag Archives: PUC student

Faces of PUC: Taytan Bereket

Meet one of our new Pioneers, Taytan Bereket. She’s a biotechnology pre-med student from Riverside, CA., and is passionate about lifestyle, growth, and her relationship with Jesus. By the end of her senior year of high school, Taytan had a feeling she would attend PUC. “I’m glad that I made that decision,” she shares. “And I am so blessed to be here.” 

What is your dream job? 

My dream job is to be a neurologist or neurosurgeon. I’ve always been interested in the way the brain works, especially in the area of medicine. Maybe one day I’ll own/be a founder of a facility that works with diseases in the brain like Alzheimer’s, brain tumors, etc., receiving treatments, from natural remedies and receiving healthy foods, and to dedicated nurses and researchers. 

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young? 

I wanted to be a doctor when I was five, then wanted to be an actor for some reason- I don’t know what I was thinking, and then I wanted to be a counselor during my sophomore and junior year, it wasn’t till senior year where I knew exactly what I wanted to be.  

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family? 

I love the beauty of the campus and the teachers as well. You could tell that they are dedicated to the things that they teach and that is something that I appreciate. At times, I don’t want to go to class, but when I arrive in class, the hospitality that the professors here give you makes you feel like you are at home, making the day better. 

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

I love to go to the beach! The sounds of the waves and the feeling of the air and the sun give you peace. 

If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?

A Journal for Jordan

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am very passionate about lifestyle, growth, and my relationship with Jesus. Also, I love music and learning things about music in different genres. 

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend 

I’m not from the bay area, I’m from Socal haha. But I’ll say from what I know, go to Oakland or San Francisco, they have wonderful sights that you can drive through, walk or take pictures of. 

Faces of PUC: Ashley Castro-Rodriguez

Ashley Castro-Rodriguez is studying theology and minoring in communications. Coming from Salem, Oregon. She chose PUC because she received scholarships and guidance from her advisor, Pastor and Professor Wibberding. He explained and showed her how the Theology program worked and made her feel welcome. Ashley shared that the admissions team was also super welcoming and helped guide her through the entire application process. Living in the PNW, she found the campus pretty and reminded her of home.

What is your dream job? 

Anything relating to Pastoral Ministry, knowing I am making an impact being able to help people.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young?

I never really knew what I wanted to be as a kid, it always changed. It wasn’t until I understood how my mom had studied Theology and was going to be a pastor for the Oregon conference, that I realized that was even an option.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

How easy it is to be involved in things, and the people you get to meet because of it. Being able to go from class to working at the grind to working at the campus ministries office to running to orchestra practice and seeing so many different familiar faces makes my day.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Anywhere as long as I’m with my friends and family

If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?

Eternals, because a) ancient history, b) the music (more specifically the song “Friends”), c) super cool superheroes (and Harry Styles). But as a main character, I wouldn’t want to be an innocent bystander who doesn’t know what’s going on. 

What is something you’re passionate about?

Music! I listen to a lot of music styles, and I love live music and the impact it can have. Whether I’m leading, playing bass for worship, or simply listening. Ministry and Jesus too, they tie together and are a big part of my life.

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend

The Petrified Forest in Calistoga is pretty cool and makes for a nice hike

Faces of PUC: Frances Velarde 

Frances Velarde is a nursing major from Arizona. She found her calling to be a nurse and dreams of working in pediatrics. One of her favorite things about PUC is being in a welcoming community that helps her grow spiritually. 

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be a pediatric nurse.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young?

I always wanted to help people and educate others when I was younger and become a teacher, but today, I feel like my calling is to be a nurse instead, and I’m very passionate about it.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

My favorite thing about being part of the Pioneers family is that a lot of the people here in PUC are very wholesome. It’s nice to have a community of people that make you feel included and help you grow spiritually.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Wherever my friends are because I feel happiest when I’m with them.

If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose? 

Crazy Rich Asians

What is something you’re passionate about? 

Music 

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend

Daeho, because they have bomb food.

You Will Never Regret Studying Abroad

Sarah West graduated from PUC this past school year with a Bachelor of Social Work & Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Studies. One year during college, she enrolled in the ACA Argentina program and loved the experience so much that she wanted to do a summer program- so she did. Sarah recently returned stateside after spending the majority of her summer studying abroad at Villa Aurora in Italy. Although there were a few setbacks, she shares that you will never regret going abroad. 

Tell us about your time in Italy. 

My time in Italy was amazing, even with the few bumps in the road. I got COVID my first week there, so I had to isolate for a week. But once I was freed (tested negative), I was able to return to class with ease. The classes all students take are Conversation, Grammar, art for tours, art history, and Italian culture. If you are not in the intermediate level, then you also take Phonetics. With the ACA program, we visited Cinque Terre, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Venice, and Siena. All of them are day trips, except Rome, which is an overnight stay. 

What made you want to study in Italy?

I loved the ACA Argentina program so much that I knew I wanted to do a summer program before I graduate. So for me, it was between Italy and Spain. I had heard great things about the Italian cafeteria and that made my choice. I also had been to Italy once before and loved it, so I wanted to spend more time there. 

You’ve also studied in Argentina. How have these experiences been different from each other? 

The differences between the Argentina and Italy programs are the ability to travel. Italy is about the size of California, so with access to a car, bus, or train, you can really go anywhere in the county. Argentina on the other hand is about as long as the United States, and there are little pockets of towns/cities with nothing in-between. Argentina is good if your goal is to learn Spanish and experience the culture of Argentina. Italy, and I assume other European programs, are good for traveling, but more people will probably know English, so finding a push to learn the language may be a little more difficult. 

Describe your time in Italy in three words.  

Amazing food/travel. 

What have been your favorite things about studying abroad in Italy?

I have loved learning about different cultures and history of the countries. I also like meeting people. While I was at the school in Italy, I ran into someone who I had met at the school in Argentina, and that was one of the craziest things I will probably ever experience. 

Did PUC play a part in your preparation for Italy?

Yes, because one of my friends had done the ACA Italy year program, and she gave me some good heads up on what to expect. I was also able to conquer the hills of Italy due to the cardio of running around PUC campus. 

What would you say to someone who is interested in ACA?

If you are interested in it, DO IT. You will never regret going, and all was regret not doing it. There will never be a time in your life when you will live in Italy for 6 weeks or Argentina for a year. You grow so much as a person and have a better understanding of yourself and the world. 

Faces of PUC: Danika Saucelo 

Danika Saucelo is a nursing student from Antioch who has worked as a CNA and aspires to become a nurse practitioner. She loves helping patients, giving the best care, and connecting with them. To relax from school and work, Danika finds taking nature photos calming.

What is your dream job? 

As of right now, my dream job would be to become an RN (Registered Nurse). But I also aspire to hopefully reach the level of becoming a Nurse Practitioner. This career is so versatile and I would be able to experience long-lasting connections with my patients by providing basic preventative health care. As I am already working as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), being able to help patients with everyday activities, providing the best possible care, and also building connections with patients, is something that I would love to continue doing in the future.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young? 

When I was younger, I already knew that I wanted to be involved in healthcare. Around 6th grade, I had planned on wanting to become a Dermatologist. It was within the healthcare career, and I was really interested in skin, and how the skin can be prone to certain cancers or diseases. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

My favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family is the constant feeling of being welcome. Ever since I first visited the campus, I knew that I was in a safe, peaceful, and welcoming environment. Everyone was beyond helpful and respectful, and it just gave me an overwhelming feeling of happiness. 

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

I think my favorite place in the world would be Lake Tahoe. I always go there to camp with my family, and you just can’t beat their crystal-clear water. It’s getting more and more crowded, but I love going there.

What song have you been listening to on repeat?

Dynamite by BTS has been my go-to song lately. It’s such a mood-booster and it always makes me happy whenever I listen to it!

What is something you’re passionate about?

Singing and photography are some things that I am really passionate about. I love listening to music, so singing is just something that makes me happy. I’m not an expert photographer or anything, but taking pictures (especially in nature settings) is something that I find to be calming.

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend 

A place I would recommend to go to the Bay Area would probably be Bethel Island. It’s a wonderful place to go if you love boating and swimming. Plus, they have this amazing place to eat called “Sugar Barge Restaurant & Bar.” Their fish-n-chips are AMAZING!

Faces of PUC: Madison Nelson

Madison Nelson is from Kaneohe, HI., and finished her first year of college last month. She shared that she chose PUC because it aligns with mud-Christian values and will help her achieve her goals. Madison also heard the community was close-knit, which she now knows to be true.

What is your dream job?

My dream job would be to be an Athletic trainer. I would love to work in a job that involves both health care and sports.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young?

When I was younger I wanted to be a hairstylist, which is very different compared to a Athletic trainer.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

My favorite thing would be the community that is here. Everyone is very supportive and sweet which makes being at PUC easier.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

My favorite place would be the beach. Specifically back at home because of the ocean and weather while being out.

If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?

I would want to be trapped in any Harry Potter movie, especially The Goblet of Fire.

What is something you’re passionate about?

I am passionate about photography and basketball.

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend

I would recommend going to Muir Beach.