Phoenix, AZ – Itzel Garcia enjoyed playing teacher when she was in grade school. Now, after graduating from Arizona State University, Itzel is nearing completion of her lifelong dream of becoming an educator.
“When I was little I always liked going to school and playing teacher, but then in high school I changed my mind and wanted to do nursing. But by the end of my senior year, I decided that I really wanted to teach and work with younger kids, so that’s why I chose early childhood education.”
Itzel graduated from Coronado High School in Scottsdale, and now enters the workforce after gaining valuable classroom experience as a student teacher, “It was not always easy and there was some hard times, because I’m still getting used to certain things like behavior management. Some days I would come home and be tired because I couldn’t control the students, but I learn how to get through it – and it’s all really a learning process, and teaching is my passion.”
Itzel is among the many hard-working students who have earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona, which provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses. Itzel says the money has been a huge help, “It really helped me in school because I haven’t gotten any loans and I haven’t had to pay out of pocket. My goal in high school was to get scholarships for college and not have to take out any loans, so the scholarship from College Success allowed me to focus on school without having to worry about money.”
Students such as Itzel, also receive specialized mentoring services from Success Advisers, who help guide them through academic and personal challenges. Itzel says she feels fortunate that her success adviser, Barbra Scrivner, has worked in the classroom, “I really like how she used to be a second grade teacher and was in education too – so, she was able to understand what I was going through. Barbra was always very helpful in talking about challenges I had in college, and always gave me good advice.”
Itzel also credits her success in college to her parents, “They’ve always encouraged me to further my education, and work hard in school, so that I can have access to more opportunities than they did after moving to the U.S. from Mexico.”
Itzel has some advice for middle and high school students who may be considering college, “Do what you want to do, and do something that you really like. I would also encourage students to always try your best because that is really going to help in the long run. I know for me, that I’m doing something that I really like, and I’m excited about what’s coming next.”
“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.”