By Troy Wilde
January 26, 2017
Tucson, AZ – Aimee Rodriguez is well on her way to achieving her goal of becoming a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner – a career choice born from having survived a difficult birth with her twin sister Naiby.
Aimee explains, “This is definitely what I want to do because I love to have the connection, not just with the babies, but also with the family members. They worry so much about what the future holds for their kids, and I relate to them because my mother had a critical pregnancy with my twin sister and me. I can offer the families support, because me and my sister survived a tough pregnancy, and medical science has come a long way in the past 22 years.”
Aimee, age 22, was born in Phoenix but grew up in Yuma where she graduated from Cibola High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Arizona and now plans on pursuing a master’s degree to become a registered nurse.
Aimee, who now lives in the Phoenix area, says that down the road she plans on pursuing another graduate degree to become a nurse practitioner, “I currently work as a Patient Care Technician at a Banner hospital here in Phoenix, and what I’ve learned is that it’s better to get some good job experience as a nurse, and then go back and finish up school.”
Aimee and her sister Naiby are among the hundreds of hardworking students from low income backgrounds who have earned scholarships from College Success Arizona. The scholarship provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses, which Aimee says, “Has helped us tremendously because we come from a low socioeconomic background. Our parents our immigrants to this country, and there was no way that they could have afforded to send me and my sister to college at the same time – so we worked hard and were lucky to earn this scholarship. That money played a big role in us pursuing our goals, and pursuing our dreams, and we were able to do it with the help of the College Success Arizona scholarship. Six thousand dollars (per year) goes a long way, let me tell you.”
The scholarship also provides students with specialized mentoring services from a team of highly skilled “Success Advisers”. Matt Sotelo is Aimee’s Adviser:
“It’s so hard not to get a smile when I think about Matt, because when he started being our adviser it was a like a breath of fresh air. Every time we met with Matt it was always such positivity, and such good vibes in the middle of finals, or in the middle of taking an exam. At times he believed in me more than I believed in myself, and he was always so motivating, and so encouraging about everything we ever did. Having Matt there monitoring my grades was super helpful because I didn’t want to let him down.”
To date, College Success Arizona has provided scholarships and mentoring services, valued at more than 15-million dollars, to more than eleven-hundred students.
Aimee has some advice for middle and high school students considering college, “Going to college is a lot of hard work. You can prepare and that helps, but when you start you just have to put in the hours, and put in the hard work necessary to achieve your goals. You may not see it now, but just realize that there is going to be some very positive stuff happen down the road, so just keep working hard.