Alejandra Alvarado started the third grade in Phoenix not speaking English after her family moved to the United States from Mexico. Today, Alejandra is a junior at Arizona State University (ASU) pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She’s planning on a career in corporate management and eventually hopes to start her own business.
Alejandra says her first academic challenge in the U.S. may have been the hardest, “I remember being scared of the testing in school because I couldn’t understand any of the content. They put me in summer school that first year, but I haven’t had to repeat any classes since then.”
Alejandra went on to get good grades and explains that in high school she really started to focus on college, “I began to understand that doing really well in high school would help me get into a good university and also help to earn scholarships.”
Alejandra earned her scholarship through the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and receives intensive mentoring and other services from College Success Arizona.
She says it has helped her to avoid taking out student loans which can cause some college students to accumulate massive amounts of debt, “I have not had to get myself in any kind of debt so far. It has also motivated me to push harder because maintaining the scholarship means that I have to keep getting good grades.”
Alejandra encourages students still in school to try and keep an eye on preparing for college, “Don’t hang out with the wrong people and stay involved in school activities. Always try and keep your grades up because it will get you recognized and it will pay off.” Alejandra expects to graduate from ASU in late 2016.
Another aspect of getting a scholarship through College Success Arizona is the mentorship provided by success advisers to students throughout their college experience. Alejandra says, “We have one-on-one meetings which always been very helpful so far as providing me with guidance and encouragement.”