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Student Success Services

Our Student Success Services team provides proven and reliable attainment advice based on Arizona data. Watch our video to learn about student outcomes.

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New Policy Brief: Expanding the Higher Education Pathways in Arizona

Recommendations for how to build a stronger college-going culture and future-ready workforce in Arizona by increasing attainment.

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Our Goal: Ensuring 60 percent of Arizonans have a certificate or college degree by 2030.

Achieve60AZ: Education Advances Everyone

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Arizona’s College Access Network

Helping education professionals ensure Arizona students have the knowledge and ability to achieve postsecondary success.

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Latest News

Low-Income Students Want Opportunity. Why Are We Saying No?

The Hechinger Report recently published an article highlighting our national failure to sufficiently fund financial aid programs intended to help low-income students afford the cost of college. Due to insufficient funding and slashed budgets—and, in some states, aid programs that have been suspended entirely—hundreds of thousands of students who apply and qualify for need-based financial aid are being turned away due to lack of funds.

Policy Brief Highlights Critical Need to Increase College Attainment and Expand Higher Education Pathways in Arizona

College Success Arizona released a policy brief that makes the case for investing in strategies that foster a comprehensive college-going culture and future-ready workforce. Understanding College Credentials: Expanding the Key Higher Education Pathways That Can Increase Attainment in Arizona details the gap in the credentials needed, the various paths to education beyond high school, how attainment aligns to salary, and recommendations for policymakers.

College Attainment and Future Success Begins with Improved Financial Aid

For individuals from all walks of life, higher education is the key to a future of opportunity and success. It is increasingly rare to find well-paying jobs that do not require some sort of education or training beyond high school. Degrees and professional certificates are key drivers of economic opportunity and mobility. Why, then, do […]

The College Access to Success Continuum

Learning About College

Providing timely access to reliable information about the different higher education pathways-including certificate, associate’s degree, and bachelor’s degree programs-as well as funding options, is essential to ensuring that students and families across Arizona are able to make knowledgeable decisions about their education and future.

Getting Into College

Applying to and enrolling in college is a difficult and complicated process that many students and families are not well-prepared for, even if they are certain that college is the right choice for them. Helping students know what they need to do to apply to their chosen institutions, what their financial aid options are, and who to turn to for advice is key to increasing access to higher education in Arizona.

Graduating From College

Once students have enrolled in college, they often face numerous academic and financial hurdles that stand between them and success. Programs and services designed to help students overcome these obstacles-such as mentoring and advisory services and financial support-furnish the resources and knowledge that students need to stay in college and graduate with a certificate or degree that will expand their economic opportunities.

Learn How We Support Access and Success

Support Our Work

Together, we can make a difference in the future of Arizona, one college degree at a time.

Our Student Stories
Salma Valdez

Glendale, AZ – Salma Valdez is a first-generation college student who is working toward her long-term career goal of becoming a psychologist.Salma, age 20, was born and raised in Phoenix and graduated from Thunderbird High School in 2015. She graduated from Glendale Community College with an Associate Degree in the Spring of this year and is scheduled to start classes at Arizona State University this fall, where she plans to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.Salma says she discovered her career passion at college, “I didn’t know that that I wanted to work in psychology until about a year...

Our Student Stories
Robert Madril

Tucson, AZ – Robert Madril, a College Success Arizona alumnus, is fulfilling his career and life goals, by using his college education and work experience to help others.Robert says, “I manage a team of clinicians who work with a children’s population primarily from birth to about 12 years old, and we coordinate effective services to help them, and we offer a pretty wide spectrum of interventions.""We help children and families get to where they need to be - to be successful at whatever it is they’re struggling through as it relates to their mental health. So, the job I do is really rewarding and...

Our Student Stories
Cynthia Lee

Tucson, AZ – Cynthia Lee is a registered nurse in Tucson working toward her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, and she has the long-term career goal of providing mental health care in rural Arizona.Cynthia explains:“I know that psychiatric nursing has been brought more into the light over the past few years, and I feel that I want to be on the front lines of making a difference in that field, because it is very new as far being able to diagnose. It’s kind of a fuzzy line, because you are basically diagnosing people on symptoms that can overlap each other. Right now, I’m in a (U of A) program...

Our Student Stories
Joan Smith

Tucson, AZ – Joan Smith, a College Success Arizona alumnus, is using her college education to help children in Tucson.Joan says, “I currently work as a social worker for a behavioral health organization called Intermountain, which serves children and adult populations, but I’m on the children’s team. In my job I’m considered a recovery coach, where I’ll go in and talk to the family and talk with the kids about setting up some interventions to help with some of the behaviors. So, we’re a behavior-based agency where we believe that going in with some concrete things that allow us to measure progress...

Our Student Stories
Citlalli Celis

Phoenix, AZ – Citlalli Celis, a College Success Arizona scholar and first-generation college student, wants to be an educator.Citlalli explains:“Ever since I was little I’ve always admired teachers, and especially throughout my whole middle school and high school career. During that time, I grew really close bonds to two of my teachers, and I think that really encouraged me to pursue a degree which would allow me to become an educator. I’ve always wanted to work around little children and be in that world, so maybe I’ll end up being a Kindergarten teacher.”Citlalli, age 19, was born and raised...

Our Student Stories
Tim Balzora

Glendale, AZ – Tim Balzora, 19 years old and attending Glendale Community College, has a long-term career goal of using technology to improve microphones.Tim explains, “I’m interested in things like Artificial Intelligence and Speak-to-Text, but I’m even more interested in the wave lengths of audio and the recording values of a computer microphone. I would like to improve those microphones. For instance, we currently have cardioid microphones that can pick up all sorts of sound straight on, and we also have omni-directional microphones. I want to experiment and see where we can go in creating microphones...

Our Student Stories
Ashanti Ruiz

Glendale, AZ – Ashanti Ruiz has a long-term goal of using her college education, a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Health, to serve those in need in the West Phoenix area where she grew up.Ashanti explains, “Behavioral health basically involves taking in a person and seeing how they are doing psychologically and evaluating the environment around them, and just trying to find resources and some type of coping mechanism to help them succeed in their life. With my degree there is a lot of flexibility, I can be a social worker and specialize in trauma, substance abuse, or violence, or another area...

Our Student Stories
Vanessa Hernandez

Phoenix, AZ – Vanessa Hernandez is using her college education to help others navigate their higher education journey.Vanessa explains, “I really enjoy my job as an Admissions Counselor at Grand Canyon University (GCU). It’s a really flexible position, and I get to help high school students who may not necessarily have a lot of support or knowledge about higher education, figure out what they want to do – and, what’s going to be a good path for them. Even if they don’t go to GCU, I can still help them along the way to figure out what direction to point them in and help them figure out their financial...

Our Student Stories
Paulina Vazquez

Tempe, AZ – Paulina Vazquez is working on her dream of one day being an orthopedic surgeon for the Arizona Cardinals, or another professional sports team.Paulina explains, “I’ve played sports since I was in junior high and I love sports so much! I took a sports medicine class in high school where we learned how to wrap ankles and things like that. So, I really loved that class and then I took anatomy, and really loved that as well. Then when I came to ASU and started studying psychology, I thought more about medicine and becoming a doctor in the professional sports world. Basically, I’m hoping...

Our Student Stories
Christina Mintzmyer

Las Vegas, NV – Christina Mintzmyer is a College Success Arizona Scholar with a Master’s Degree in Social Work, who lives in the Las Vegas area with her husband, who’s serving in the United States Air Force.Christina, age 28, was born in Los Angeles and raised in the Phoenix from the age of three. She graduated from Copper Canyon High School in 2008 and then earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communications from Arizona State University, and then a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Texas Arlington.Christina says, “About two years after I graduated from ASU I decided to go...

Our Student Stories
Nazik Kambar

Los Angeles, CA - Nazik Kambar, a registered nurse specializing in bone marrow transplants and a College Success Arizona alumnus, was born in Baghdad, Iraq, graduated high school and university in Phoenix, and now provides care to children dealing with deadly diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.Nazik says her “job” is more of a calling,“I’ve been a nurse for a little less than five years and it has completely exceeded my expectations. There’s not a day that I go into work that I’m not happy to be there, and I don’t look at nursing so much as a career – I look at it more so as a purpose...

Our Student Stories
Cristian Loera

Glendale, AZ –  Cristian Loera is hoping that a college education focused on psychology and business will equip him to be successful in a marketing career.Cristian explains, “Originally, I wanted to do something very artsy and I’ve always enjoyed doing graphic design, but I was never a big fan of it as a job. And, as I went through the community college courses I was taking, I was able to fall in love with psychology. So, I thought if I can use my graphic design abilities to do things I really like, as well as making a lot of money and doing things that I was good at with psychology and apply it...

Our Student Stories
Josh Brown

Glendale, AZ – Josh Brown grew up in the Phoenix-area suburb of Peoria and is well along an educational journey with an end goal of earning a master’s degree in Sociology.Josh, age 20, graduated from Centennial High School before attending Glendale Community College where he’s finishing up his second year, and plans to attend Arizona State University, “I had fun in high school, but after four years I was pretty much ready for it to be over, and ready to move onto the next step, which was community college. And, it’s kind of the same feeling now at GCC, that I’ve done my time here – and there’s...

Our Student Stories
Salvador Macias

Phoenix, AZ – Salvador Macias is an immigration attorney with the Law Offices of Daniel Rodriguez, and a College Success Arizona alumnus, who is helping people navigate America’s complicated, controversial, and often-changing immigration system.Salvador explains, “My day-to-day work comes with some pretty big highs and some pretty low-lows. At moments, we’re helping individuals fill out their immigration petitions, to petition for a relative, a spouse, a child – hoping to get their citizenship, and those are always really rewarding moments. Unfortunately, it also comes with a downside which is...

Our Student Stories
Robin Martinez

Phoenix, AZ – Robin Martinez is pursuing a law degree which will enable him to fight for the rights of Americans who may be disenfranchised.Robin, age 18, was born and raised in Parker Arizona, and graduated from Parker HighSchool. Currently, Robin is attending Arizona State University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Justice Studies, and has the long-term goal of being a civil rights attorney working for the State of Arizona or the ACLU,“I’ve always enjoyed studying civil rights and the rights of others, and the law itself. It’s always fascinated me that there are so many facets to the law, and...

Our Student Stories
Graciela Ortega

Tempe, AZ – Graciela Ortega is working hard toward her long-term goal of becoming an Emergency Room Nurse, and eventually a Nurse Practitioner.Graciela explains, “A Nurse Practitioner can earn a license to run their own practice and it’s basically just one notch under being a doctor. So, as a Nurse Practitioner I would like to open up my own practice and be able to treat patients with acute illnesses.”Graciela, age 19, was born and raised in Mesa and graduated from Desert Ridge High School. Currently, she’s a Freshman at Arizona State University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, “I really...

Our Student Stories
Estephany Garcia Ramirez

Phoenix, AZ – Estephany Garcia Ramirez is pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming an Emergency Room Nurse.Estephany explains:“In my family there was a very terrible accident and they (nurses) were the ones that were rushing to save their lives, and to me, that was my first definition of a hero. I just carry a lot of sentiment for the dedication that nurses have for their jobs, and the importance of their jobs. It’s just a part of me that I’ve always known that I want to help other people around me. Even if it’s just putting on a band aid or providing the band aid, I already feel like I’m accomplishing...

Our Student Stories
Sarbith Aguilar

Glendale, AZ – Sarbith Aguilar is well on her way to achieving her goal of earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering, “I think that industrial engineering is a more open type of engineering because civil engineering is more about construction and things like that. But, industrial engineering is more about business, and you can work more in manufacturing and other areas. In my case, I want to be working in the manufacturing sector.”Sarbith, age 20, graduated from Valley Vista High School in Surprise after her family emigrated from Guatemala during her final year of high school.  Sarbith...

Our Student Stories
Ashley Meraz

Glendale, AZ – Ashley Meraz is attending Glendale Community College with the long-term goal of earning a business degree and owning her own business.Ashley explains, “I want to finish my bachelor’s degree and probably a master’s in business and management, because I really like the accounting aspect and other areas of business, it’s really interesting to me. Ultimately, I want to own my business and manage my own company on a daily basis, and take it as far as I can go.”Ashely, age 20, was born in Salt Lake City and has lived in Arizona from the age of 13. She graduated from Copper Canyon High...

Our Student Stories
Natalie Rivera Cardenas

Phoenix, AZ - Natalie Rivera Cardenas is pursuing an educational and career path that will involve working on dead bodies.Natalie explains, “I have yet to see what a dead body smells like and stuff like that, but I’m up for the challenge and with my college experience and what I’ve gone through my whole life, it’s all a good learning experience. So, I just want to get my feet wet and see what I like best about being a Medical Examiner – and, also what I don’t like, and learn from it and eventually get to where I want to be.Natalie, age 20, was born and raised in Tucson where she graduated from...

Our Student Stories
Consuelo Arroyo

Tempe, AZ – Consuelo Arroyo is working toward a career in sustainability, which could include helping to shape environmental policy from a seat on Tempe City Council, or another elected office.Consuelo explains, “Right now, I’m thinking about working within the city – possibly, in an elected position to promote more sustainability. My definition of sustainability includes water, clean air, and working with communities to see what their needs are. And, just making sure that those needs are fulfilled, and that we’re looking to the future to see what we need and how we can make the world a more livable...

Our Student Stories
Kevin Nguyen

Tucson, AZ – Kevin Nguyen could end up working for Raytheon or another company as an engineer, after he wraps up his degree at the University of Arizona.Kevin explains, “I’m currently applying for internships at Raytheon, and when I’m about to graduate I do plan on applying for a job at Raytheon, and I’m also thinking about applying at Honeywell and IBM, and maybe some local businesses here in Tucson. But, for sure, I want to use my engineering skills that I gain from college to help others. Because, one of the things that I love to do is help others, and that’s kind of why I pursued engineering,...

Our Student Stories
Abreanna Autote

Glendale, AZ – Connecting with a program that helps new students navigate college, inspired Abreanna Autote to pursue a degree and career in nonprofit management.Abreanna explains, “I was undecided for a very long time, and I actually started out as a science major wanting to pursue a degree in veterinary science. However, throughout my time at Glendale Community College I realized that that’s not what I want to do. And, through working with the Excel Program:"I realized that I have a passion for helping students to succeed, and seeing them succeed. And so now, I’m planning to transfer to the ASU...

Our Student Stories
Leslie Bautista

Phoenix, AZ – Leslie Bautista has always loved the Earth, and is now working toward a career where she can have a real impact, helping to preserve and protect our environment.Leslie explains, “My motivation is the sustainability emphasis of civil engineering. I really care about the Earth – so, anything that has to do with saving the planet, my heart and my passion is right there. In civil engineering, you build structures and other things where you have to think about the environment first, before anything is done. And, I feel that that’s something that I’ve always cared about, which is the environment....

Our Student Stories
Sirrene Ayyad

Phoenix, AZ – Sirrene Ayyad is a single mother with a 4-year old son, and a small business owner, who grew up in Chicago, and she’s now attending college in Arizona, pursuing her dream job of becoming a dentist.Sirrene explains, “I’ve always wanted to be a dentist, but when I was in school I took speech therapy and my family was told that I would never be smart enough to get a good education or hold a professional job, and that I would be limited to an entry level job. And then, a few years ago I was inspired by a pastor and a dentist that I was working for at the time. That dentist encouraged...

Our Student Stories
Shayla Felix

Phoenix, AZ – Shayla Felix is a social worker who graduated with her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Arizona State University last year, and she’s only 24!Shayla explains that hard work in college paid off, “People think that social work is something easy to do - but it’s not, because you have to have a pretty strong heart to work in social work. You’re going to hear many, many stories from different individuals with different backgrounds, and there is a lot of diversity. It’s a difficult program and there is a lot of homework involved; it’s a lot of theories you’re learning, it’s a lot of...

Our Student Stories
Carlos Estrada

Tempe, AZ – Carlos Estrada grew up in South Tucson and he’s well on his way to achieving his career goal of working as international interpreter, within the business sector.Carlos explains, “Ever since I was young, I’ve loved interpretation – I love speaking both languages and I love being bilingual. So, my ultimate goal is to work in some type of interpretation for a big Fortune 500 company - doing litigation and just trying to help using my dual language for the betterment of people. Carlos adds, “Being that conduit, being that bridge between a non-English speaker and a non-Spanish speaker, and...

Our Student Stories
Ricardo Palomera

Phoenix, AZ – Ricardo Palomera is a high school history teacher at North High School in Phoenix, and at age 23, he’s not much older than his students.Ricardo explains that his inspiration to teach came from a teacher, “I love my job and there is nothing else that I would rather be doing, because I’ve been wanting to be a teacher since about the seventh grade, and it was my history teacher who helped me get onto that path. I’ll never forget when on the last day of school, our teacher gave us booklets that sort of told us how he felt about us as students.  One of the things that was included in there...

Our Student Stories
Audree Adams Dupont

Safford, AZ – Audree Adams Dupont is living her long-term career goal and dream of working as a registered nurse, and she’s only 22!Audree says, “I’ve actually been working as an emergency room nurse at a rural hospital in the Safford area since January of this year, just after I graduated with my associate’s degree. But, my bachelor’s degree enables me to work at bigger hospitals that are more competitive. I’m also studying to earn my ‘Certified Emergency Nurse” credential, which makes me more marketable to employers in the future. That will be helpful because I plan on moving to Tucson or Phoenix...

Our Student Stories
Nelly Arroyo

Glendale, AZ – Mexico City is where Nelly Arroyo was born and lived until age 4 when her family immigrated to the Phoenix area – and now, at age 19, she is well on her way to achieving her goal of becoming a paralegal.Nelly explains, “I’m going to Glendale Community College to get an associate degree so that I can transfer to ASU, and eventually get a bachelor's degree in Justice Studies, and then work as a corporate paralegal.”Nelly adds that her interest in the Law is a fairly recent development, “I took a class last semester called ‘Civil Rights’ and I just really liked researching and reading...

Our Student Stories
Ronnesha Claiborne

Glendale, AZ - Ronnesha Claiborne, was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and she's now closing in on her goal of earning a Bachelor's Degree in Global Studies from Arizona State University, and a long-term goal of having an international career.Ronnesha explains, “I’ve always wanted to do something with language and culture, and I just love different languages and cultures. Where I work, mostly everyone is Hispanic and they all speak Spanish, so I’ve learned Spanish from being there. I also love Japanese and Korean cultures.”Ronnesha adds that a recent visit to Australia reinforced her goal to...

Our Student Stories
Katelynn Claridge

Thatcher, AZ – Katelynn Claridge is working toward becoming a registered nurse after years of being a caregiver for her grandmother, who has rheumatoid arthritis.Katelynn explains, “My grandma’s arthritis is very severe, and as of now she can only walk with assistance from my grandpa. So, when I was a little kid I would go over to their house and help her make meals, help give her a shower and get her dressed, and whatever else she needed. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was doing everything to be a nurse. And, that’s how I learned that I wanted to be a nurse, when I look back at it, it’s like...

Our Student Stories
Ruben Aguirre

Phoenix, AZ – Ruben Aguirre, who earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona and later worked for the organization, is using his life experience and college education to help keep Arizona’s highest potential high school students within the state’s university system, rather than attending an Ivy League school out of state.Ruben has worked for the Flinn Foundation for more than five years and heads up the organization’s Flinn Scholars Program, “The scholarship program provides an unparalleled package for undergraduate study at an Arizona public university for twenty of the state’s highest-achieving...

Our Student Stories
Ashley Curiel

Tempe, AZ - Ashley Curiel, an Arizona State University graduate, is well along on her educational journey to become a surgeon and medical researcher, “My dream job is to be a surgeon, and work in the clinical research side of medicine more than patient care. But, I would also love to be a surgeon because I know that a lot of surgeons also do medical and clinical work in developing new or different surgical techniques and approaches.”Ashley, age 22, graduated from ASU in May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and she explains how engineering can be a pathway to med school, “The...

Our Student Stories
Geina Corrente

Tucson, AZ -In coming years, if you’re watching an animated movie, Geina Corrente, who recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, may have had a role in creating the animation in that movie you’re watching.Geina is passionate about becoming an animator, but says her education started in a very different area of study, “I’ve always been a doodler but I never actually wanted to be an artist. Originally, I wanted to be a pathologist but I was falling behind on my math and science classes, and kept taking more art classes and just had a lot more fun with...

Our Student Stories
Bianca Uriarte

Tempe, AZ – Bianca Uriarte is tough. She plays basketball in a men’s league and beat the overwhelming odds of getting into college. Bianca says, “I graduated from Alhambra High School, which is a Title 1 School. I’ve learned that only nine percent of students, which is one in ten, coming out of low income backgrounds like mine will earn any type of college degree. I want to work to increase that percentage and help students become exceptions to the statistic, and get a great education.”Bianca, age 22, was born and raised in Phoenix and she expects to graduate later this year from Arizona State...

Our Student Stories
Anselmo Vargas

Tucson, AZ –  Anselmo Vargas is planning on spending his working life in an environment that can be volatile, visionary, and change peoples’ lives forever. Technology.Anselmo explains, “I would love to work for one of the major tech companies such as IBM, Apple, and Microsoft. I feel that those are good companies to work for, but if I could be a systems administrator for another company, I feel like I would enjoy that job too.”Anselmo, age 22, was born in Hollister, California but grew up mostly in Yuma where he graduated from Yuma High School in 2012. Anselmo graduated from the University of Arizona...

Our Student Stories
Channeyla Garcia

Phoenix, AZ – A few years from now, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) or an immigration rights organization, may have a passionate young attorney on staff, serving as an advocate for Americans whose voices are under-represented. Channeyla Garcia is planning on being that attorney, “It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do since I was a lot younger - as young as the fifth grade - and it stuck with me. I’ve become more and more passionate about it, because I guess I’m just so passionate about people. And now that I’ve grown up and seen the different dilemmas that people go through, the...

Our Student Stories
Trey Begaye

Grand Forks, ND – Trey Begaye is attending medical school in Grand Forks, North Dakota and closing in on his goal of becoming a doctor and returning to serve the Navajo Nation, where he grew up, “My plan is to go back to the Navajo Reservation and to work for Indian Health Services. That’s the health care that I grew up with and that I still utilize today. Just giving back to my community is really my goal – so, I hope to specialize in family medicine.”Trey, age 23, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah but he was mostly raised on the Navajo Nation. He later lived in Flagstaff where he graduated from...

Our Student Stories
Jesus Valenzuela

Tucson, AZ – Jesus Valenzuela is in his first year at the University of Arizona, and he’s on a path that could lead to a career in business, law, or perhaps something else.Jesus explains, “Right now I’m directed toward being a pre-business major, but ultimately I’m still undecided. There are bursts of time where I want to work in the medical field, and then I may be about becoming a lawyer to represent people who can’t really represent themselves. What I do know is that I would like to be able to work with people, with individuals.”Jesus, age 19, was born in Tucson and graduated from Desert View...

Our Student Stories
James Shaffer

Phoenix, AZ – James Shaffer is an accomplished ballet dancer and musician, and he’s well on his way to achieving his goal of becoming an electrical engineer and inventor – and he’s 18 years old.James says his long-term goal is to invent a super-efficient and portable battery, “As an electrical engineer I want to create more sustainable energy. I want to figure out some ways to make flexible and versatile batteries in order to create a society that can have more accessible energy. Batteries right now are a little bit heavy, and I want to make batteries that are slimmer and that can be turned into...

Our Student Stories
Laura Cabrera Medina

Phoenix, AZ – Laura Cabrera Medina is hoping to use her college education to develop new types of prosthetic limbs that can help members of her family, and others.Laura explains, “A couple of years ago my uncle lost his leg and has been struggling with his prosthesis which doesn’t always fit right, or it hurts, or he’s uncomfortable with it. Also, a couple of years ago my dad lost his finger and he has really been hurt by the loss, and he would really like to find a way to get that finger back in the future. So, I want to work in the field of prosthetics to see if there is the ability to advance...

Our Student Stories
Kazandra Katzorke

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...

Our Student Stories
Leonor Amaya

Phoenix, AZ – Leonor Amaya is pursuing her lifelong dream of working for NASA and learning more about the Final Frontier, Space.Leonor explains, “I’m very interested in working for NASA and helping to design the space machinery used throughout the government’s space program. I’ve always been curious about space and I believe that we’re not the only beings in the universe, and the fact that we don’t know a lot is intriguing. What we do know is that there is a lot of black space out there that needs to be explored. The curiosity of space is driving me as an adult to become a mechanical engineer,...

Our Student Stories
Yudidt Nonthe Sanchez

Mesa, AZ – Yudidt Nonthe Sanchez is planning on becoming a Medical Doctor or Physician Assistant to help people with health challenges. A career choice and life passion that is linked to her own health issues.”Yudidt explains, “When I was about 15 years old I went through a bad depression and anxiety phase. I wasn’t emotionally well because I didn’t have a lot of friends in high school. Thankfully, I was able to get help through therapy and I started to get more involved in my high school, and my therapist helped me a lot. My plan is either to go to medical school to become a doctor, or enter a...

Our Student Stories
Adeli Valledares

Tempe, AZ – Adeli Valledares, inspired by her family, is working toward becoming a medical doctor so that she can help children.Adeli explains, “It’s actually my brothers, who are mentally disabled, and seeing their struggles and seeing how they are. really just made me appreciate kids a lot more. I want to help as many kids as possible, and I think that medicine is the best way to do that. I think I really started growing up in high school when I started volunteering at a hospital, and that’s when it really became set in stone that medicine is what I want to do.”Adeli, age 19, graduated from North...

Our Student Stories
Aimee Rodriguez

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...

Our Student Stories
Diana Saboria

Flagstaff, AZ – Diana Saboria is working toward a goal of helping children by becoming a child psychologist.Diana explains, “I hope to work in the area of family therapy, and specifically with children who have been physically, mentally, and or emotionally abused. I want to let them know that there is someone out there to help them, and not everything is as bad as it seems. They are our future, so we have to help them build their foundations from when they are children.Diana adds, “Psychology itself is what I love, the way that humans work, and I want to understand why we make the decisions that...

Our Student Stories
Andrew Garcia

Mesa, AZ – Andrew Garcia is planning to use his college degree to become a law enforcement officer in Arizona or California.Andrew explains, “I want to be in law enforcement and my ultimate goal is to work for the California Highway Patrol (CHP). If that doesn’t happen, it would be fine to work in law enforcement somewhere else, or back in my hometown working for the Yuma Police Department. It would be nice to be a policeman there as well, and eventually move up in that system.”Andrew, age 22, was born and raised in Yuma where he graduated from Cibola High School. Andrew recently earned his Bachelor’s...

Our Student Stories
Maria Arteaga

Phoenix, AZ – Maria Arteaga’s educational pursuit and career ambition is a direct result of being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 11 years old.Maria explains, “So pretty much, I’ve been with the same doctor for the past eight years now, and just seeing her and working with the other nurses, I’ve always been interested in what her field consists of. I’ve also volunteered at diabetes walks and heart association walks, and through those hands-on experiences I came to the conclusion that I want to be an endocrinology nurse practitioner, because I enjoy being around children.”Maria, age...

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