Project Leaders

Our Project Leaders dedicate themselves to providing fun, engaging projects to the SMU community. Mustang Heroes could not serve Dallas to its fullest without the hard work of its PLs. Read about our Fall 2021 Project Leaders below.

Anna Curtin

St. Louis, Missouri | Dallas Life Homeless Shelter

Anna is a senior majoring in Economics and Finance. She has always enjoyed volunteering and is so excited to be a able to lead a trip this year with Mustang Heroes. Anna loves being apart of Mustang Heroes because it offers a way to give back to Dallas.

Lauren Sylvester

Sacramento, California | Dog and Kitty City

Lauren is from Sacramento and is majoring in Economics. She truly loves being involved in Mustang Heroes because it has allowed her to connect with a new city and see the change MH has done in the community. The positive change that this club facilitates in the community is undeniable and it brings her joy to be a part of that growth and outreach. She is really excited to be a Project Leader this year because it allows her to work closely with an organization off campus that is close to her heart and she gets to connect with new students on campus with a love of service.

Palmer Beldy

Lexington, Kentucky | E-Quest

Palmer is a senior majoring in Public Relations and Strategic Communication and Creative Advertising. She is the Project Leader for E-Quest. Palmer remarks that Mustang Heroes is an incredible organization that has allowed her to help Dallas while also getting to know the SMU community simultaneously. She has met so many amazing students, and loves working with determined leaders to positively impact the city. She is excited to be back on-campus and see new and familiar faces, volunteer at E-Quest (safely!), and see how SMU can continually shape the Dallas community. Oh, and she is especially excited for the Starbucks runs and lunches with her project members before and after volunteering.

Anna Garrett

Dallas, TX | Habitat for Humanity

Anna is from Dallas and is majoring in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. Service has always been a part of her education experience, so coming to SMU she knew she wanted to get involved with an organization that helped me serve our surrounding Dallas community. Anna loves Mustang Heroes because it helps build community among SMU students, as well as with people in the greater Dallas area. The opportunity to serve others allows us to get out of our college bubble and be reminded of reality, which is refreshing and very rewarding! She is excited to be a leader this year to help foster the building of community within Mustang Heroes, as well as encourage people to get out of their comfort zones and experience true fulfillment by helping others.

Emily Stein

Dallas, Texas | Parson’s House

Emily is a senior majoring in Biology and Health and Society. She is always looking for opportunities to get involved with my community and serve others. She is excited to kick off this school year and absolutely loves volunteering through Mustang Heroes. As an incoming freshman, Emily knew she wanted to join a service organization that was flexible with her schedule, and Mustang Heroes provided her the perfect platform to accomplish this goal. She loves hearing the stories of others and looking at the world through a different perspective. With Parsons House, Emily interacted with the elderly residents and enjoyed listening to their experiences. Although this year will be unconventional, she can’t wait to institute our remote programs for these residents and is also excited to welcome new participants!

Zach Mickelson

Kirkland, Washington | Parson’s House

Zach is senior majoring in English and Management. He is so excited that, despite the difficulties, Mustang Heroes is finding ways to continue to help others in a time when our communities need cooperation and service most. He believes that this could be our most meaningful semester yet!

McKenzie Ertel

The Woodlands, Texas | Promise of Peace

McKenzie is a junior majoring in Marketing and Psychology with a minor in Statistical Science. She decided to join Mustang Heroes because it allows SMU students to help out the local Dallas community that supports our school so greatly. She is extremely excited to be a Co-Project Leader for Promise of Peace this year and can’t wait to get in the garden!

Emma McRae

Promise of Peace

Saima Alwani

Houston, Texas | Acing Autism

Saima is a junior majoring in Health and Society and Film Media Arts. She joined Mustang Heroes her spring semester of Freshman year. As a spring transfer, Mustang Heroes last year gave her the opportunity to build a family within an organization as well have many volunteering opportunities. Saima is super excited to be Co-Project Leader for Acing Autism and cannot wait to meet her members!

Dinobi Onyeagocha

Germantown, Tennessee | Acing Autism

Dinobi is junior majoring in Health and Society and Psychology. She joined Mustang Heroes as a way to meet new people, and loved the numerous outlets it offered its members to serve the Dallas community. This year, she is happy to serve as the Co-Project Leader of Acing Autism and cannot wait to share this rewarding experience with all of her members!

Mackenzie Zimmerman

Dallas, Texas | Special Olympics

Mackenzie is from Dallas and is majoring in Psychology and Human Rights. She loves Mustang Heroes because it provides SMU students with a wide variety of opportunities to volunteer around Dallas. She loves being a Project Leader for Special Olympics because she has a passion for working with people with special needs. Plus, the practices are always a blast. Mackenzie is excited to find new ways to provide the athletes with a great experience this year.

Avinash Raja

Coppell, Texas | VNA Meals on Wheels

Avinash is a senior majoring in Finance. Outside of Mustang Heroes, he is involved in the Boulevard Investment Group, Ultimate Frisbee, Asian Council, and intramurals. He loves Mustang Heroes because it provides an opportunity to give back to the community he grew up in and has given him so much over the years. This year Avinash is excited to inspire people to volunteer and help people during these uncertain times.

Nathan Snare

VNA Meals on Wheels

Nathan is a junior majoring in Marketing and Film.

Alyssa Wilson

The Stewpot

Alyssa is a sophomore majoring in Marketing.

Sayumi Mahawanniarachchi

The Bridge Dallas

Sayumi is a junior majoring in Biological Sciences and Psychology.

Anna Su

Dallas Hope Charities

Anna is a sophomore majoring in Biology and Economics.

Ebun Omoniyi


Ebun is a sophomore majoring in Biochemistry and Psychology.

Gwen Mayo

Thrift for Change

Gwen is a junior majoring in Journalism.

Guiliet Kibler

Texas Pawprints

Kaitlyn Kotake

Texas Pawprints

Nick Benso

For the Love of the Lake