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 injustices and mistreatment that I’ve seen, have kept me on this path.”
Channeyla, age 22, is now a graduate of Arizona State University, earning a double-major Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Communication. Chaneyla says she’s planning on taking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and begin working toward earning her law degree, “I’m considering several law schools, including the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law here at ASU. It’s definitely one of my top options because it’s a pretty solid school, and academically it’s pretty good, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.”
Channeyla, was born and raised in Phoenix and graduated from Paradise Valley High School:
“I was definitely like a naïve little child when I graduated high school. So this time around I definitely feel like I have to do something now, and that I’ve learned a lot and endured a lot during college, and it’s helped me grow up. Now, I feel like I have something that I need to do that is for my community.”
Meanwhile, now that she’s graduated from ASU, Channeyla is feeling a blend of satisfaction and nervousness, “I’m definitely feeling a sense of accomplishment, but also a little bit of a sense of anxiety about going into the real world now. But it’s been an awesome experience, and I definitely appreciate my education a whole lot more than ever before. College has definitely opened up my eyes and my mind.”
As is often the case with successful college students, Channeyla’s parents were a huge support, “They’ve been there the whole way, and they definitely went to all of my school events. I was part of a scholarship program when I was growing up, and my parents had to attend parenting classes to know how to support a college student. They went to all of those courses, and I watched my parents really, really help me and be there for me.”
Channeyla is among the hundreds of high potential students from low income circumstances who have earned scholarships from College Success Arizona, “The financial support has been great and I’ve been really fortunate, because I don’t have any student debt. Being part of College Success Arizona has just been awesome, they’ve truly financially helped me and I can’t even thank them enough. It’s definitely made my college experience a lot smoother, because I’m not stressed out about money, and I can just focus on school.”
The scholarship provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses. Students also receive specialized mentoring services from a team of really cool and highly skilled “Success Advisers.” Matt Sotelo is Channeyla’s Success Adviser, “Matt has always been very helpful and very cool, and has always helped me and supported me. He’s always pushed me to do the things that I’ve needed to do, because sometimes I would procrastinate. Matt also helped me get resources that I’ve needed throughout college, and I definitely appreciate him.”
For middle and high school students who may be saying to themselves, ‘I would love to go to college but I don’t much about it,’ Channeyla says, “There are definitely going to be obstacles and nothing is going to be easy, because anything that is worth having is going to be hard to get, but it’s worth it. Pursuing any form of college, any form of education is empowering and it really helps you change the world. So, I encourage all young people to just push forward, and move past anything that is obstructing their education.”
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.