February 21, 2017
Tempe, AZ – Kazandra Katzorke is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming an international lawyer. A dream inspired by a family member.
Kazandra explains, “My grandfather from Mexico was a famous lawyer around the town where he lived, and he would always help different people pro bono, and that really inspired me to do the same.”
Kazandra, age 19, was born in Phoenix and spent several years living in Mexico, where her family is originally from, before returning to the Phoenix area at the age of eight. Kazandra graduated from Desert Vista High School, and is currently attending Arizona State University’s prestigious W.P. Carey School of Business and expects to graduate in 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.
After earning her undergraduate degree, Kazandra’s goal is to get into one of America’s top law schools, “My dream is to attend Stanford Law School and then become an international lawyer. That would mean mixing corporate law and international law, so I would want to work with businesses abroad, mostly.”
Kazandra earned the scholarship through a partnership of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and College Success Arizona. The scholarship provides students, such as Kazandra, with up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses, “This scholarship, which I started receiving during my sophomore year, has been really helpful in that I have not had to take out any more student loans. I did take out student loans during my junior year, and then I found about this scholarship, which is helping me to achieve my dream of graduating from college without any debt.”
Scholarship recipients also receive specialized mentoring services from “Success Advisers,” provided through College Success Arizona. Kazandra says Matt Sotelo, her success adviser, is a big help, “I have met with Matt several times, and he’s a very good role model. We talk a lot about how my life is going and how I am doing. He asks me about my time management and how I’m doing with that, how my classes are going, and if there’s anything he can possibly help me with. I’ve actually asked him for a letter of recommendation for a future job as well. So, it’s great that I have him there.”
So far as the best part of her college experience this far, Kazandra says:
“It’s all of the opportunities that are available for students. There’s so many different people and organizations, and professors, who are ready to help you when you need it. There’s also tutoring centers and writing centers for essays and scholarships, and there’s first year success coaches who can help you navigate through college and your classes. There’s really everything you need to figure things out as you transition from high school to college, and to being a young adult.”
Kazandra has some insight for middle and high school students considering college, “What you should do is figure out what you are most interested in, and then find colleges based on your interest. For example, I knew that I wanted to pursue an undergraduate degree in business, and ASU has a very recognized and well known business school (W.P. Carey), so I chose ASU based on that. So, if you want to do medical or science, or anything like that, I would recommend researching your interests and the location of colleges, and figuring out your university from there.”
Having a supportive family can also be really important for students to succeed in college. Kazandra says her family has always been a source of encouragement, “Because neither of my parents attended university they have always encouraged me to go to college. They really regret not going themselves, and they really wanted college to be an option available for me.”