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 being able to help people get their point across, and help everyone involved to understand what they’re talking about.”
Carlos, age 21, graduated from Sunnyside High School in Tucson in 2014, and he’s currently working on earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Arizona State University’s prestigious W.P. Carey School of Business, with a focus on business in Spanish Language and Culture, “They (W.P. Carey) give you the business side and you learn all of the ins and outs of business, but also you learn Spanish as go. Although I did grow up speaking Spanish, there is so much more you have to learn, so far as having to speak it properly and write it properly. Even though Spanish is one language, there are many dialects from all over the world that you have to know, and be sure that you’re not offending anybody – but also be sure that you’re getting your point across properly.”
Carlos says he’s looking forward to an exciting international career, “I would love to be based in the US and then have the opportunity to travel to South America and wherever they would need me, so far if there is some type of contract going on – or some type of meeting, I would be able to step in and help.”
Meanwhile, Carlos is among the hundreds of students to earn the College Success Arizona scholarship, which provides up to six-thousand dollars per for educational expenses. Carlos has words of praise for College Success Arizona and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which is helping fund his scholarship, “Both organizations have made a huge impact on my college career. Prior to receiving the scholarship, I had to take out loans, I had to work two jobs, just to be able to meet my expenses. Not being from Phoenix and not having any family up here, it was a little bit harder to get around and to have somewhere to live, and buy food and have the bare necessities. Luckily, I had a friend who told me about the scholarship and encouraged me to apply, and thanks to him I’ve been able to experience all of things that College Success Arizona and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has offered to me, through the scholarship program.”
In addition to the financial support, students also receive specialized mentoring services provided by a team of talented Success Advisers. Matt Sotelo is Carlos’ adviser:
“Matt has helped with our one-on-one meetings where I get to meet up with him and talk to him. He’s not only there for the school part of it, but he’s also there in my personal life whenever I’m having any problems. It’s cool to have Matt not only as an adviser, but also as a friend that I can go to when I need advice.”
Carlos offers some advice for middle and high school students considering their own college options and opportunities, “Don’t give up, don’t be a statistic. Growing up in South Tucson, my high school was very well known for teen pregnancy, high school dropouts, and students never making it to college. So, I love it that I’m breaking that statistic. So, I give this advice to anyone who feels that there’s no point in going to college; there’s so much more to the world than we see in South Tucson – that’s the biggest reason that I left Tucson, because I didn’t see a future for myself. So, if someone decides to attend the U of A or ASU, just break out of that comfort zone and go for your dreams, because if you can dream anything, and you can achieve it.”
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.