By Troy Wilde
August 3, 2016
Yuma, AZ – As a teenager in Yuma, Andrea Anguiano helped students in her middle school overcome conflict, now she’s pursuing a college education that will enable her to help counsel adults.
Andrea explains, “In middle school I was part of a program called ‘peer mediation,’ where I would mediate between students who had been in fights, and try to solve the problems they had with each other. That motivated me because I could see that I was able to counsel people and change the way they were thinking, and I would be able to calm them.”
Andrea, age 22, adds that she’s looking forward to a career as a counselor, “I have several options, but one thing that I would like to do is counsel people and also be a counselor within families, or in a high school, or just counsel people in programs or any type of counseling department.”
Andrea started the third grade in Yuma not speaking English after her family moved to the U.S. from Mexico. She recalls that it was a challenging time, “It was a really hard transition because I did not know English and my mother did not know English. So, it was really hard to communicate and I had to go to E.L.L. classes so that I could learn the language.”
Andrea graduated from Cibola High School and Arizona Western College, and now she’s pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona’s Yuma Campus.
Andrea is among the hardworking students who have earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona, which provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses. The students also receive specialized mentoring services from Success Advisers – essentially mentors who help the scholars overcome academic and personal challenges.
Andrea says her Success Adviser, Matt Sotelo, has provided a lot of guidance, “He has helped me a lot in everything, such as guiding me in my classes, because classes can be really hard – especially if you’re doing them online. Matt has helped motivate me to keep on going, which is great, because I really want to finish my bachelor’s degree.”
Andrea adds that the scholarship has been a big financial help:
“Coming from a single-parent household made it really difficult to pay for college – so the scholarship has been really helpful. I would have gone to college even without the scholarship, but I probably would have ended up in a lot of debt.”
Andrea has some advice for middle and high school students considering college, “I would advise them to keep on going with their education and to set goals. If you have goals in your life, you will always try to achieve them and work towards what you want.”
As for the long-term, Andrea says she is open to change, “I would like to stay in Yuma, since I was raised here. However, I’m open to new opportunities – so, if I was to move for a better job and for a better education, I would definitely do that.”