Meet our Mentors

Meet Our Mentors



Bernice Meja

A proud member of the Beyhive. A dedicated scholar. A lighthearted jokester. Greetings everyone! My name is Bernice Meja and I’m the eldest daughter of Zimbabwean immigrants. Being American born but raised in Canada, I’ve had an interesting experience with education and I hope to be able to share those experiences with Equity Fellows! I did my undergraduate studies at Duke University, majoring in Physics and Philosophy. Upon completing my bachelor’s degree, I served with Duke College Advising Corps for the next two years! During this time, I had the privilege of assisting over 500 seniors with their college and post-secondary plans, an experience that enriched my understanding of mentorship and guidance. Becoming an Equity Fellow is a milestone I embrace with boundless enthusiasm. My primary mission is to provide unwavering support and empowerment to my students as they navigate their transformative journey at UNC.



Jacob Hoyt

My name is Jacob Hoyt, and I am a Graduate Student studying Social Work. While from Frederick, MD, I attended Frederick Community College before transferring to North Carolina State University. Throughout college, I always had 2-4 jobs to make ends meet, up until I graduated in 2021 with my Bachelor of Social Work. From 2021-2023, I was a College Adviser through NC State’s College Advising Corps, where I assisted some of the hardest working students that I will ever meet. I firmly believe that education can change lives, and hope to empower students this year to achieve their goals. Additionally, I am a Clinical Intern at Bright Path Behavioral Health, where I work with adolescents in our intensive mental health settings. Also, I work with Project Youth Extension Service (YES), where I teach military youth skills about familial deployments, leadership, and resilience. We’ll get through this year together! In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends, exercising, and playing video games. My favorite band is Radiohead, and I love garlic powder.


Deanna Gibson

Hello Everyone! My name is Deanna Gibson! In addition to working as a 1789 Mentor, I am also an Autism Technician with a background in child development and advocacy for equitable access to education. I received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduation, I looked for something to align with my passion for advocacy and equity and became a College Adviser with the Carolina College Advising Corps from 2021-2023 at Granville High School. I am currently attending UNC Chapel Hill again for the Master in Social Work program. I look forward to applying my skills to helping first-year students achieve their life goals while making long-lasting relationships with those around me! In my free time I play coed and women’s slow pitch softball.


Feel free to reach out!

Send us an email

2024 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill