TRV (formally DARTS) has been a great influence to our Fellows and Scholars in their personal, academic, and professional paths. Here are a few testimonials from past Fellows on how DARTS affected their lives while at UC Merced.
Always TRV Family
Yarelin M. - Graduated Spring 2016
"As a first-generation college student, I had no idea what to expect when I enrolled in San Diego Community College. I met with my counselor a few times and she talked to me about 4-year institutions and about her degree and experience as a first-generation college student herself. Each time I met with her I learned something new about what it meant to transfer and my aspirations grew into something I once believed to be intangible. After three years, I transferred to the University of California, Merced and I was scared ****less to think I would be so far from home for the first time in my life.
I didn't know anyone and the thought that anything could happen in the span of two years was even more daunting. When I joined the D.A.R.T.S. Program, it felt good to know that there was a program created to help students just like me transition and become a part of the UC community; little did I know that the people in the program would become more than a classmate. I honestly don't know what I would have done without the friends I made through being a part of the D.A.R.T.S. Program. In the two years that I've been at UC Merced, I have dealt with the most difficult life experiences I never imagined could happen to me. I experienced heart-break in relationships, the death of close family members, and in repressed childhood memories; all of which took a toll on my academics.
If it weren't for D.A.R.T.S. and the resources it offers and recommends to its Scholars, I don't know how I would have made it through the stress, the anxiety, and the heavy depression that weighed down on my shoulders as I walked to each of my classes. I'm not saying that D.A.R.T.S. is the most perfect program on campus, but I am saying that there is not other program like D.A.R.T.S. and I am genuinely grateful for the moral, physical, and emotional support that I found each time I walked through their door."
Adrian E. - Graduated Fall 2017
“When I first came to UC Merced, I didn't know what to expect. I was not really exposed to the UC because when I was in Merced College, the counselors set me on the path to go to a CSU rather than a UC.
When I came here, I experienced two types of emotions: joy and frustration. Fortunately, I experienced the former much more than the latter. I signed up for DARTS within the first week of classes, and the DARTS Program ended up giving me a sense of family and friendship in a completely unknown and new campus (for me, that is). The joy I felt here at the UC stemmed from the friendships I made while being part of the DARTS program and how others in the program helped each other out.
Overall, I would say that the DARTS Program has been a great program to help me transition from a mostly closed-off campus to a campus that has a very active community.
(We also got snacks that are pretty good!)"
Melissa C. - Graduated Fall 2016
"My first week of Merced was a tough one, I didn’t have housing and I didn’t know a soul. It was orientation were I met a younger transfer student who offered to let me sleep on her couch if I didn’t find housing in time. I ended up taking her up on that offer because housing was not able to give me a response in time. Housing in other places (off campus) wasn’t available either until the week after the first week of classes.
I was on my way to UC Merced and on my way there I got into a car accident, it was my first one but thankfully it wasn’t critical but it was a rocky way to start the day. After that was sorted I remember driving up into campus and walking up to the DARTS office where a fellow greeted me. The fellow noticed I was a little upset and greeted me warmly, she asked me if I was ok. I ended up telling her about my accident and she immediately took the initiative to take me to the health center and make sure I was ok. It was then that I knew I had a place here at UC Merced.
Karina H. - Graduated Spring 2017
"When I first came to UC Merced I was very homesick, coming from San Diego/ Tijuana. I didn’t know what to expect at UC Merced, I had never been so far away from home and the city life. When I first joined the DARTS Program I felt like I needed to make connections fast because I was only going to be here for 2 years or less (I was planning to study abroad) but when I first met people in the program it didn’t feel like artificial friendship, it felt like I could connect with different people on everything I was learning and I felt like I was making a good network circle. Every time I came into the office I was greeted by a fellow and most days I went into the office my day got better because I knew I had a good support system. That following semester I decided to apply for a DARTS Position and I got hired. Now I am so ecstatic whenever a scholar comes in and I am able to greet them the same way I was greeted, and maybe even brighten their day. I’m so glad I joined DARTS because my professional and personal life has improved so much. Now I’m studying abroad and leaving DARTS for now but I am so humbled I was able to make a difference to the transfer and returning community at UC Merced."