“The Peer Mentors were extremely supportive and very easy to talk to. They become your friends. They are in the same boat as you: students at UArts.”



All first-year AAP students who participate in Connect are matched with a Peer Mentor. Peer Mentors are continuing UArts students who are selected through a competitive application process. Peer Mentors serve as leaders during the AAP Connect Program and stay in touch with each student in their group throughout their first year. They coordinate group social activities, connect new students to the UArts community and host free lunches.




2017-2018 Peer Mentor Bios:


Zack Johnson
Dance ‘19

Hello fellow students. My name is Zack Johnson and I am a junior Dance major. I was born in Baltimore, Md., and I have lived in New Port Richey, Fla., and Havre de Grace, Md. I have moved five times and have been to eight different schools growing up so I have no problem putting myself out there and meeting new people. I love all sorts of games, sports and anything that involves hanging out with other people. Don't be worried, although college seems intimidating, you will make memories that you will never forget whilst finding yourself through the arts. You will be exposed to new and exciting things you've never experienced and AAP is the best way to get you started. I am always here to talk to anyone, whether it is about classes and scheduling or if you're just having a bad day and need someone to talk to. The first year can get stressful, but a deep breath and a good talk can make all the difference. I am thrilled to be a mentor this year to help guide you all through your college experience. Hit me up with that social media though!


Facebook: Zack Cantler Johnson
Instagram: AttacktheZack



Zaki Marshall
Dance ‘19

Hey my fellow artists. My name is Zaki Marshall and I am a junior Dance major at UArts! I am from East Orange N.J. The youngest of five siblings, I love social events, outdoor fun sports and anything where I can work with others! Also besides dance, I am a member of the band dancing group The Royals and am also a tour guide in the Admissions office. Being a part of the UArts community was the best decision I ever made. To be surrounded with people who are passionate about the arts is a feeling I can't even describe. Becoming a new AAP Mentor and meeting the new class of 2021 is very exciting! As a mentor, I plan to help guide, influence and be a role model for you through one of the best experiences of your life! COLLEGE! While spending the next few years at UArts, you are going to channel your deeper and educated feeling for your art, while branding yourself into the best artist you can be. Being a part of AAP my first year made coming into college a great experience and I want to give that same precise feeling to the class of 2021.

P.S. Add me on Facebook.





Ashley Perez
Vocal Performance ‘19

Hey guys! My name is Ashley Perez and I am a junior Vocal major and Music Ed minor. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and I love to meet new people! I enjoy watching movies all day in my room and eating food. I'm always singing and laughing and making YouTube tutorials! I came into UArts my freshman year not knowing what to expect but AAP has made the whole experience amazing! I met friends who I am STILL close to within the first week! I am always here to support my peers and talk to you guys about whatever. I'm a laid back person and I want to help make your first year of college experience as great as possible! Welcome class of 2021!




Connor O’Neill
Guitar Performance ’18

My name is Connor O'Neill, and I am a senior Guitar Performance major at UArts. I'm from a small PA town called Sellersville, which is north of Philly. I began playing guitar when I was 10 years old, and have been immersed in music ever since. My favorite music is creative music and my favorite musicians are multi-faceted artists. I love to read (especially philosophy), and I write in my free time. I also am a lover of photography and shoot film as much as I can. I'm lucky enough to be a part of the UArts community, which embraces the ties between all forms of creative expression. Feel free to add me on Facebook or Instagram (@coneillmusic) if you want a glimpse into my life! I look forward to meeting you all and introducing you into the UArts community as well!






Azariah Baker
DPP ‘20

Hey guys! My name is Azariah Baker. I am from Brooklyn, NY. I am a sophomore Directing, Playwriting, and Production major. I enjoy going out, meeting new people and experiencing new things. My favorite way to past time is watching Netflix and youtube tutorials. I was introduced into the AAP program my freshman year, and I can tell you that you're in store for wonderful experiences and great opportunities. You will meet beautiful souls and form lasting bonds and friendships. AAP helped me transition into the college life, making it easier to adjust and getting to know people. I am excited to welcome you to UArts. I look forward to getting to know you all!



Latik Jefferson
Dance ‘19

Hey, my Loves. My name is Latik Jefferson, but everyone calls me Tiki. I am a junior Dance major here at the University of the Arts. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. The rough streets of my neighborhood made me want to get up and dance. I want to be able to show people in my community that they should not let their surroundings and circumstances be the "end all be all." If you have a dream, the best thing to do is to go after it. I have a background in hip-hop, but I was drawn to the school because I wanted to be a well-rounded dancer. Being surrounded by diverse, passionate, and other driven artists is also a major plus. I am someone who thrives from seeing other people smile and have a good time. No one gets left behind. I am also a very great listener, so meeting new people and hearing people's stories makes my day. Here at the University of the Arts you're going to encounter many people of different backgrounds, upbringings, people with the same interest as you, etc. This is a place where you can be yourself 100% of the time. YOU are what makes the university a special place to be. Don't be afraid to meet new people and jump outside of your comfort zone. Collaborate with someone outside of your major and go on adventures around this beautiful city with friends. The best part about being a part of the AAP program is the possibility of meeting people that could be your life-long friends throughout the rest of your journey in college and even after. I was once in your position: a kid that was nervous and didn't know where I would fit in. I am living proof that all your fears and worries will go away eventually. I'm not saying everyday will be sunshine and rainbows, but don't think for one second that when the program is over the mentors and I aren't there to help you with whatever you need. Feel free to add me on Facebook, Instagram, or email me. I am only a message away. I can't wait to meet all of you.



Westley Young
Dance ‘20

Salutations freshmen! My name is Westley Young and I am a sophomore dance major from Chicago Illinois. I started at 15 years old but, I've been in the performing arts my whole life. Besides dance I enjoy video games, animation, traveling and experiencing new things life has to offer. AAP opened so many doors for me. I made some unforgettable friends and got to really experience college life. College can be a scary thing but I promise you it will be the best four years of your life, you'll grow mentally, physically, and you'll be challenged in more ways than one! I can only tell you so much about college but it's something you have to experience yourself. Welcome once again to UArts class of 2021!!






Lydia Ciafonne
Dance ‘20

Hello everyone!! I'm Lydia Ciaffone and I am a sophomore dance major. Dance was the first art form I fell in love with but I also really enjoy painting and photography. I love all types of music besides country. I love traveling even if it's just to the grocery store. I am from Plymouth Meeting Pennsylvania which is only 25 minutes outside of the city. I was lucky enough to be in AAP last year, it was a great opportunity for me to make friends outside my major and get more comfortable with UArts. It was a great experience and I am so grateful I can be a part of it again!







Jelani Stuart
Acting ‘19

What’s Good Class of 2021?! My name is Jelani Stuart I am a junior Acting Major and Musical Theater Minor. I am from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I began acting, singing and dancing because of Church and it always stuck with me, surprisingly enough my first ever dream was to become an Olympian but I guess that wasn't the plan so now I'm here. And I couldn't be happier. I am a city boy so I enjoy being out and about. I love visiting new places and doing adventurous things. I LOVEE RIHANNA! I felt like that was extremely necessary to say. But moreover, I've never been in a more comfortable environment than that of UARTS! You guys are going to love it here. Are you ready for the start of the best time of your life? College is about to be a movie. Literally! Feel free to add me on Social Media and contact me if you need anything.

Fb: Jelani Rousteing
Instagram: Livelaughjelani
SnapChat: Livelaughjelani