BEAST Building Engagement and Access for Students at Tufts

Group photo of Beast members

BEAST is a free, four-day Pre-Orientation program that focuses on the unique social and cultural experiences specific to students who may be the first in their families to attend college, and for students seeking guidance on navigating financial and academic resources at Tufts.

BEAST provides participants support by acquainting them with useful resources, and skills to navigate the sometimes complicated social and academic aspects of college life, all while connecting them to members of our community who are instrumental in helping our students succeed. Additionally, we strive to promote the development of self-awareness and confidence among first years and provide opportunities for leadership development to participants and staff members. This program is aimed to empower students and enhance the student experience for those who are first generation college goers, low income, have undocumented status, or otherwise seek such a program. Our peer leaders will help guide and mentor incoming students, connecting them to the wealth of staff, resources, and communities available to them. Using their personal experience, each leader will share their solutions to overcoming some of the pitfalls common to the first year of college.


Program Dates: August 24 - August 28

Our goal for BEAST is to engage students with the resources available to them and the staff and students they can support. As part of this, students will need to understand the structure of Tufts, Boston, and the local community. With that in mind, some events we may partake in include: exploring Boston and its various modes of transport , a financial workshop, and an in-depth discussion with experienced Tufts students sharing insight into their personalized journey as First-Generation/low-income. Although the exact details are subject to change, these activities can help give you a sense of our overall objective: enabling students to be their best selves.

A Typical Day of BEAST

Time Activity
8 - 9 a.m. Breakfast in the dining hall with peer leaders
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Workshop on Tufts Campus / Group event
12 - 1 p.m. Lunch on Tufts Campus with peer leaders
1 - 5 p.m. Social Activity / Off-campus exploration
5 - 6 p.m. Dinner 
7 - 9 p.m. Program Sponsored Activity 
9 - 10:30 p.m. Activity with other BEAST students and Peer Leaders/Reflection

2023 Student Coordinators

alexander vang

Alexander Vang, 2026

Alexander Vang is a first-year student studying Community Health and Biopsychology. He is from the Central Valley of California, specifically Fresno. He participated in the BEAST Pre-Orientation program this past year and has been actively involved in the FIRST community: BLAST Scholar and Intern, Tufts Questbridge Freshman Representative, and serves as an Undergraduate Student Representative on the Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Committee. Outside of academics, he enjoys singing karaoke, taking naps at the FIRST Center, and traveling into Boston on the T. They are most excited to introduce the incoming BEAST cohort to college life and help navigate their experience here at Tufts.

jonathan ramirez

Jonathan Ramirez, 2024

Originally from South Texas, Jonathan is currently a third-year student at Tufts University studying Biopsychology and Education. In his free time, Jonathan teaches citizenship classes through Tufts' partnership with CORES and attends a nursing home every Sunday with The Legacy Project. Outside of school, Jonathan is a writer, reader, and a recorder of sounds. Jonathan is the son of Mexican immigrants.


Daniela Pozos Nicolau

Associate Director of the FIRST Resource Center


Daniela is the Associate Director for the FIRST Resource Center at Tufts. In her role, she oversees student programming at the center and advises BEAST among other responsibilities. Daniela is passionate about working with students and empowering the FGLI community to reach their own version of success at Tufts and beyond. Outside of work, Daniela enjoys discovering new music, taking walks with her dog and trying new foods

Contact Us

BEAST | 617-627-2100

BEAST brought us all together, showed us that there are a lot of us on this campus, and that we have a presence.

Molly Laurencin, Class of 2022

Because of the amazing peer-leaders, coordinators, and administrators that helped BEAST, I was able to comfortably seek out advice and help from them when I needed to.

Rossiel Reyes, Class of 2002

We all had a similar goal because of our background and it gave me comfort knowing that I had a community that would support me.

Daniel Trejo, Class of 2022

I have made so many amazing friends through BEAST, and we I know that they will have my back and can truly understand what I am going through!

Ka Man Hau, Class of 2022