Meet the Peer Counselors

Alexis Taliento


Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Major: Finance and Public Relations

Hi! My name is Alexis Taliento and I am currently a senior here at Syracuse University. I am pursuing a dual major in Finance and Public Relations with a concentration in Investor Relations. I was also recently selected as a Whitman Scholar which I am excited to celebrate upon graduation. I came to SU because of the wide range of resources, networks, and strong college community. My professional journey has been diverse, ranging from a Financial Technology internship at Bloomberg L.P. to managing an acting career alongside academic pursuits. I have also been extensively involved in the SU community through social and professional Greek life, volunteer organizations, campus jobs, and holding leadership roles in these involvements. This unique blend of experiences has equipped me with a versatile skill set, allowing me to navigate financial intricacies, creative endeavors, and professional pursuits. Throughout my studies, I’ve developed a profound interest in financial literacy, driven by a passion to make a meaningful impact in the lives of others. This interest and passion are what drew me to apply to my current position at the Office of Financial Literacy. My goal is to serve as a resource for individuals navigating the complexities of finance, leveraging my experiences to offer guidance and support to become the resource I didn’t have. Beyond the classroom and looking towards the future, I hope to have a career in the TV/Film industry post-grad, where I aim to pursue my passion for acting and cinematography. The intersection of finance and creative pursuits has shaped my unique perspective, and I am excited about the prospect of making meaningful contributions to both fields. Syracuse University has played a crucial role in shaping my path, providing a platform for growth and learning. I am enthusiastic about leveraging my skills to bridge the gap between finance and the arts, fostering connections, and driving positive change in my future endeavors.

Astrid - Financial Literacy Peer Counselor


Hometown: Miami, Florida

Major: Management

Hi, I’m Astrid. I’m a member of the Real Estate Club and the Entrepreneurship Club. My favorite thing to do at SU is probably participating in the Orange After Dark activities. In my free time, I enjoy reading books, watching movies, and going out to eat. I am passionate about financial literacy because growing up I saw a lack of it in my community which negatively impacted my life along with others around me. I told myself when I got older I would not only educate myself on these topics but educate others to break this cycle.

Emily Castillo-Langley


Hometown: Dallas, TX

Major: Musical Theatre

Emily Castillo-Langley is a Junior at Syracuse University pursuing her BFA in Musical Theatre as well as minors in Finance and Applied Data Analytics. On campus, she is currently a part of Syracuse U100 as a Tour Guide, a tutor for the Stevensen Education Center, the Assistant Finance Director for First Year Players, and serves as the Musical Theatre Student Representative in the Department of Drama. She is also a part of the Renee Crown Honors Program and is excited to be an Orientation Leader at Syracuse’s 2024 Welcome Week! You may have seen Emily recently in Syracuse Stage’s productions of “A Christmas Carol” and “What the Constitution Means to Me”. Originally from Texas, Emily has grown up in the theatre and is a lifelong supporter of the arts. Through her time at Syracuse, she has found joy in exploring new disciplines such as accounting, investing, and coding. She aims to blend her interdisciplinary passions into a career in New York City post-graduation. She hopes to always encourage students and friends to pursue anything that interests them (even if it’s a bit out-of-the-box!) through a love for learning, for she believes that anything is possible with tenacity, discipline, and gratitude.

Jeremiah - Peer Counselor


Hometown: Scarborough, ME

Major: Information Management & Technology

I am a sophomore majoring in Information Management and Technology in the iSchool. I am from Scarborough, Maine, where I grew up super close to the ocean and spent most of my days at the beach. As a student, I am drawn to SU’s dynamic school spirit, which is part of why I am passionate about being a peer counselor. I care deeply about my own finances and I feel that I can help other students who may have less knowledge on the subject.

Keeva - Peer Counselor


Hometown: Marston Mills, MA

Major: Citizenship and Civic Engagement & Writing and Rhetorical Studies

Originally from a small close-knit village called Marston Mills in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I am currently a sophomore double majoring in Citizenship and Civic Engagement and Writing and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University. My favorite thing about SU is the football games as well as the various outlets accessible to students to explore their individual expression. I am passionate about the financial literacy program because despite attending a private college preparatory school, I received no education regarding personal finances and ways to prepare myself for financial independence. I believe that this knowledge should be available to everyone without barriers such as cost or education.

Marie - Peer Counselor


Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Major: International Relations & Art History

Hello, I am Marie Krou ’26, a sophomore double majoring in International Relations and Art History with a minor in French on the pre-law track. I am from Brooklyn, but I was born in Ivory Coast and immigrated to America when I was five years old. In addition to being a Smart Money Peer Counselor, I am the clerk for the Student Association Supreme Court and a Main Desk Assistant for Boland, Brewster, and Brockway. Financial literacy is important to me because without knowledge low-income black and brown young adults are kept in a cycle of poverty and are not able to get their families and themselves to financial freedom. Even if someone is not looking to get out of a cycle of poverty, financial freedom is important to everyone whether you are learning how to pay off student loans, budget, or how trying to retire early. Outside of financial literacy, I love language learning, watching television and YouTube, hanging out with my friends, and learning about niche things.

Max - Peer Counselor


Hometown: New York City

Major: Real Estate

I am a sophomore majoring in Real Estate at SU, but I originally am from New York City. Growing up in New York City was very fun and fast-paced, and it felt like one could do anything at any time because there was always something going on. My favorite thing about SU is the food culture – specifically the Latenight Halal on Marshall Street. I am passionate about being a peer counselor because the prospect of being able to share knowledge regarding financial literacy with others is exciting, considering that I feel school never adequately prepared us for it.

Miani Stafford


Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Major: Political Science, Public Policy, and English and Textual Studies

Hey there. My name is Miani Stafford and I am an undergraduate third year student here at SU! I am in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, currently studying Political Science, Public Policy, and English & Textual Studies. After undergrad, I plan to go into law school to pursue a career in law; I’m most passionate in immigration law and public policy reform. Last summer, I interned at a small litigation firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. This opportunity exposed me to the art of legal writing and the preparation necessary to succeed in court. Last semester, I was a congressional intern with Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. This opportunity exposed me to how congress works, professional memo writing with and for legislative staffers, and how to quickly synthesize information for the congresswoman. In short, these two experiences solidified my passion for law and supporting individuals who typically receive very little personal and public representation in the United States. I’m passionate about giving underrepresented individuals the attention they need to succeed in the United States, whether that means legally or financially. In turn, I have taken up a role as a Student Assistant within this office! I look forward to providing students curious about financial literacy with both support and knowledge through outreach and student contact.

Yewon Hong


Hometown: Seattle, WA

Major: Public Relations, Sociology, and English & Textual Studies

I am a sophomore from Seattle, Washington majoring in Public Relations and double minoring in English & Textual Studies and Sociology. I am a part of the Honors program and involved in student organizations like Jerk Magazine and Hill Communications. In my free time, I love to watch movies, discover new foods, and travel! I was initially drawn to Syracuse University because of its uniquely rich academic and professional opportunities and the beautiful campus. I can say that those expectations have truly been exceeded and I am very grateful to have gotten to know so many amazing people here. I joined the Office of Financial Literacy because I believe trauma-informed financial literacy is a skill that is absolutely essential for any young adult, especially ones in college and I hope to be able to spread awareness of various financial topics and issues that affect many of our lives and increase student engagement with the amazing resources that the Office of Financial Literacy offers.