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 School and is currently in her second year at Glendale Community College, and she has plans to transfer to Arizona State University to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business.
Ashley is among the students who receive specialized mentoring services through College Success Arizona’s team of highly skilled “Success Advisers,” and its partnership with the EXCEL Program, which serves students at Glendale Community College and other community colleges. Ashley’s Success Adviser is Matt Sotelo, “Matt is awesome! We see each other about two times per semester and each time we get together he asks me ‘how I’m doing,’ and gives me information on any questions that I may have. He also catches up on my grades and how I’m doing in school, and even when we don’t get together, he’ll send me a text message and make sure that I’m doing all right. No one else around me knows much about college since I’m the first one (in my family) to go to college, so if I have any questions or if I’m stuck with something, Matt is always there to help.”
Meanwhile, Ashley explains how her interest in business came about
“During my last year of high school I wanted to be a journalist. I was really interested in everything that had to do with television, but when I looked into that career I could see that there was really no future there. I found that the pay is low for journalists and there is a lot of school involved, and you really have to know people to get to the top of the industry. And, ever since I was a little girl I’ve been interested in the management part of business, so I just realized that business is what I’m supposed to do.”
Ashley’s parents have been very encouraging of her education, “Oh, they are amazing. They’ve always encouraged me, ever since I was a little girl they’ve said, ‘that I’m going to have a career.’ It wasn’t really an option – they made it not to be an option, and I will be forever thankful for that. Every single day they push me harder because they know that I can go harder, and they are just really wonderful and encouraging in everything that I do.”
Ashley has some advice for middle and high school students considering their own college options and opportunities, “Your GPA is really important and you always have to stay on track with every single assignment, and as long as you always try hard and give it your best, you will do fine. College is fun! I love going to school and have enjoyed every single part of it. I’ve been so lucky because I get to meet a lot of people from a lot of different places, which is amazing. I’ve also had wonderful instructors and I just love being at college.”
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 circumstances, your tax-deductible contribution can be made through the “Donate” button on the top of this page.