Alumni Councilor April Yee

Learn more about how you can make a difference as part of UCSC’s 2024 Alumni Council

April Yee (Oakes ’02, psychology and American studies) joined the UCSC Alumni Council in 2017.

April Yee is passionate about helping others. 

A longtime certified life coach, April has helped countless individuals discover their passions, paths, and goals. She says that her job is extremely rewarding, but early on, her career had started on an entirely different path. 

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz in 2002 with two degrees in psychology and American studies, April began working in venture capital and private equity. After 7 years in San Francisco, her company offered her the opportunity to move to New York. After she relocated, she found herself working 14-hour days, taking on massive workloads, and not knowing how to set boundaries. By her third year in New York, she experienced burnout—which quickly escalated into health issues. 

“My body was affected by the stress that I was carrying,” April said. “My health declined, and I got sick and needed emergency open heart surgery. After the surgery, I was recovering and felt like I didn’t know how to be in the world anymore because a lot of what my identity was attached to was being able to work hard, work long hours, and do whatever it takes.” 

After having an affirming and empowering experience in therapy, April decided she wanted to do what she could to help others experiencing burnout and work-related stress. This desire to help others led April to earn two life coaching certifications and begin her new career as a life coach. She emphasizes that fellow Banana Slugs are more than welcome to reach out to her if they are seeking coaching.

 In 2017, April began looking for a way to connect back to her alma mater and joined the UCSC Alumni Council

“I had such a great experience at UC Santa Cruz,” April says. “I wanted to give back and contribute whatever talents or skills I have to the Council to continue to help the campus be an environment where students can thrive, learn, and grow.”

In addition to her role as a councilor, April occasionally hosts mindfulness sessions at UCSC-related meetings and events. 

She says she is grateful for her experience with the Alumni Council and had the opportunity to make many meaningful connections with a diverse group of councilors, support current students, and give back to the campus. 

“I definitely recommend joining the Alumni Council to anyone involved on campus or anyone who enjoyed their experience at UC Santa Cruz,” April says. “Especially people who felt like they received a lot from attending UCSC and want to give their time, energy, and effort to continuing to make sure the campus exists for other students to learn, thrive, and grow.”

Attending UC Santa Cruz

April knew she had chosen the right university when she stepped onto campus for the first time in 1998. She immediately fell in love with the campus’s natural beauty and soon joined many organizations and assumed leadership roles. 

In 1999, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Resource Center had its grand opening, and April became one of the center’s first-ever student workers. She said the center gave her plentiful opportunities for leadership and growth, and she worked there until graduating in 2002.

“That gave me a lot of opportunity for leadership and growth,” April says. “From being involved with student organizations on campus to being so involved with the Alumni Council, it’s sort of an extension of the work, activity, and leadership that I did as a student. And so, it’s been really rewarding to continue that.” 

Alumni Councilors are volunteer leaders who collaborate with UCSC staff to communicate with and engage over 140,000 alumni, support student success, advocate for UCSC, fundraise to support campus initiatives, and ensure the alumni voice as part of UCSC’s culture and future. In addition, the Council manages endowments that sponsor student scholarships, college experiential learning programs, and support student projects.

The UCSC Alumni Council is accepting applications and recommendations through Friday, March 10, at 12 pm PT. Candidates will undergo an interview process, and the 2024 cohort will be selected to begin a two-year term on July 1.