We are a student-run, public health organization that works to bridge the gap between preventive care and medical treatment by providing nutrition and exercise education and professional resources to underserved communities in the greater Sacramento and Davis areas.



RIVER partners with Yolo Food Bank where our interns help serve part of their 52,000+ individuals a month. Interns directly interact with underserved community members through the main distribution service as well as create their own action plans to better implement nutrition, exercise, and overall well-being in the food bank.


Meet the R.I.V.E.R. team!

Jenna McCarthy


Major: Human Development

Class of 2020 

Interests: Education, painting, playing guitar, and healthy living 

Career goals: Dentistry

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I'm very passionate about empowering underserved communities through education to live their happiest and healthiest lives. 

Sims Ma

Co-Vice President

Major: Global Disease Biology

Interests: Archery, Memes

Career goals: Medical School

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: Seeking out leadership experience and impactful projects to contribute towards

Eric Do


Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Interests: Basketball, science, teaching

Career Goals: Medicine

Why R.I.V.E.R.? To contribute alongside a group of highly motivated individuals towards an organization that strives to make a meaningful, positive impact on the health outcomes of the under-served populations

Alyssa Bravo

Exercise Director

Major: Nutrition Biology, minor in Exercise Biology

Class of 2022

Interests: Weightlifting, Run, Reading, Drawing, Arts and Crafts, Biking, Nutrition

Career goals: Pediatrician

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I joined RIVER because I love learning about exercise and nutrition and I love the volunteer work that they do for the food banks and for the children. They raise awareness and help prevent disease like diabetes or heart disease etc with exercise and healthier foods. I thought it would be a good experience for me to join.

James Yu


Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior with minor in Psychology

Class of 2020

Interests: Cooking, Eating, Exercise

Career goals: Physical Therapy

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: To work with a dedicated and qualified team to effectively serve underserved communities through nutrition and exercise.

Pryanka Sabharwal


Major: Microbiology

Class of 2020

Interests: reading, writing, drawing

Career goals: Medical School

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: Positive impact to local community

Roxanna Sharifi

Co-Nutrition Director

Major: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Class of 2022

Interests: hiking, drinking coffee, playing volleyball

Career goals: Pediatrician

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I wanted the opportunity to work with the pediatric population in an aspect of medicine I believe is extremely important: preventative care, specifically regarding nutrition and exercise, as implementing these lifestyle changes early on can allow for the prevention of diseases later in life. In addition, I wanted to help bring education and awareness regarding these topics (as well as health in general) to underserved areas and the Davis campus!

Fatima Opeyany

Co-Outreach Director

Major: Biopsychology with minor in History

Interests: read, paint, play tennis, travel

Career goals: Medical School

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: I was extremely interested in joining a preventative health organization that gives back to underserved communities because I think preventative health is one of the most critical forms of healthcare and can have such a huge impact on the community. I think it’s our duty as a community to help individuals who need it if we have the ability to do so because every single individual matters and sometimes resources are hard to come by; RIVER makes those resources available and stand by other organizations that also offer these support systems. I also love working with kids, building relationships with my peers and those in my community, and helping others so it was love at first sight with river :,)

Tara Allison

Co-Vice President

Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology & Spanish

Class of 2020

Interests: Soccer, Running, Photography, Sketching

Career goals: Medical School

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: Educating and providing resources to underserved communities regarding fitness, nutrition, and overall medical wellness is something I am strongly passionate about.

Claire Benoist

Media Director

Major: Clinical Nutrition 

Class of 2021

Interests: cooking, singing, guitar, healthy living

Career goals: Registered Dietitian with private practice

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: To gain nutrition knowledge and to volunteer in my community in a health related capacity

Paola Garcia

Co-Nutrition Director

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Class of 2021

Interests: Boxing, Crafty stuff, Aesthetics, Nature Adventures 

Career goals: Health Profession

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: To gain knowledge and leadership skills associated with health and use it to educate the low-income communities and raise awareness. With my previous background knowledge along with others put together can help provide for these communities that lack the knowledge and resources.

Luciano Herrera Guijosa

Co-Outreach Director

Major: Global Disease Biology with minor in Luso-Brazilian Studies

Interests: I love going to as many concerts as I can, I enjoy analyzing film, and fixing musical instruments.

Career goals: Public Health, Children's Health

Why R.I.V.E.R.?: In all honesty, I wanted to work with children while also gaining more knowledge in preventative health. I wanted to work with communities as a whole rather than only work people one on one and I believed that RIVER could give me that experience. 


David Hawkins, Ph.D

Exercise Advisor

Francene Steinberg, Ph.D

Nutrition Advisor

Linda Adams, RD  Nutrition Advisor

Thank you for your continued support!