By Troy Wilde
August 31, 2016
Phoenix, AZ – Angela Ponce loves children and wants to go as far as she can academically. So, that’s why she’s going to combine the two and become a pediatrician.
Angela explains, “At first I wanted to be a teacher, but being a first-generation student and loving children and helping others – I wanted to go even further and expand my horizons and do something bigger than myself – so, I decided to be a pediatrician.”
Angela, age 20, was born and raised in Phoenix, and graduated from Central High School. She’s currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona, “After I complete my undergraduate degree, I hope to go into an accelerated master’s program in molecular and cellular biology, and that will help me prepare for med school.”
Angela adds that she’s planning on attending the College of Medicine at the U of A, and hopes to stay in the Grand Canyon State, “I hope to work wherever my mom is and she lives here in Arizona, so I will likely end up living and working here.”
Angela is among the many hard working students who have earned a scholarship through College Success Arizona, which provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses. Angela says the scholarship has been a life-changer, “Having me go to college really put us in a bad place financially, so having a lot of help from College Success Arizona has really made it possible for me to go to college, because without it I don’t think going to college would even have been an option.”
Students like Angela also receive specialized mentoring services from College Success Arizona’s Success Advisers. Matt Sotelo is Angela’s success adviser, “Matt comes and visits me twice per semester and he checks up on us, and wants to know what we’re doing, and what we’re involved in, and how our grades are. Matt has been really helpful throughout my college experience because I’ve had a couple of times where I’ve struggled with school, and just talking with him makes me feel better and feel like I can achieve anything.”
Angela says one of the hardest parts of college was moving away from her family, “My freshman year was a bit tough because I am very family oriented. So, moving two hours away wasn’t too bad, but at the same time, not having a vehicle made it difficult to go back and forth. Thankfully, I’ve grown to love Tucson, and I hardly ever want to go home at this point.”
Angela adds that in some other ways, she wasn’t prepared for college:
“It was hard coming from a high school that really doesn’t prepare its students for college. At first, it was hard to manage my time because I wasn’t ready for college, and just having to learn some things that many college students probably already knew, was pretty tough going also.”
Angela has some advice for middle and high school students considering college, “I would say the most important thing is to have the desire to do something more, because if you don’t have the desire or the motivation, there’s not much more you can do.”
Since 2005, College Success Arizona has worked with nearly 1,300 students, and provided more than 16 million dollars in scholarships and success services to help increase the college attainment rate in Arizona. If you would like to be part of the mission of providing educational opportunity to high potential students from low income backgrounds, your tax deductible contribution can be made through the “Donate” button on the top of this page.
Your support can help change lives.