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DIRECTOR: Susie Sandstrom


Melissa Giddens
Mentor: Bryan Telleria
TELEPHONE: 805-756-5128

Student Academic Services
Building 58, Room 109A
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, Ca 93407



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Susie Sandstrom



Susie Sandstrom is a California native and has worked in the field of education for the past 33 years. She graduated from University of Redlands with a single-subject teaching credential and taught high school Spanish in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and San Francisco while obtaining her Master’s Degree from UC Santa Barbara. In 1997, she moved to Chile for several years where she worked for Torreon de Paredes Winery, and later as a ski guide on an active volcano. Before coming to Cal Poly, she returned to her home-town of Big Bear Lake where she taught high school Spanish again, and later opened a health food store, Sol Food Market. Sandstrom now lives on the coast with her son, Benji, and their dog, Valley. They spend their free time exploring the coast looking for hiking spots, farmer’s markets and music venues.

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Melissa Giddens

Program Coordinator


Education is my passion and I am so grateful that I get to work with our Upward Bound students every day. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and was able to start working with this program during my studies. I even did my Senior Project on the curriculum and effects of a successful Upward Bound program! I have brought my experience with academic advising and multicultural studies to our students and love hearing about their individual goals and passions. Aside from work I am an avid reader/puzzler, cat lover, San Jose Sharks hockey fanatic, passionate Survivor viewer, and occasional tennis player. I love the central coast and am so glad I get to work here with such amazing staff and students.

Bryan Tellaria Headshot

Bryan Telleria


We can succeed in life by helping those in need reach the same heights. Growing up in a low-income single-parent household in East Los Angeles, CA wasn’t simple. Therefore, earning my Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo wasn’t just an accomplishment for myself but for my family and my community as a whole. However, I would have never been able to accomplish this without the help of many mentors. This is why I love working with Upward Bound because it gives me the opportunity to repay those that helped me by helping others. Seeing the passion and dedication from youth with a similar background as my own is priceless.

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