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Ronnesha Claiborne

Glendale, AZ – Ronnesha Claiborne, was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and she’s now closing in on her goal of earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Studies from Arizona State University, and a long-term goal of having an international career.

Ronnesha explains, “I’ve always wanted to do something with language and culture, and I just love different languages and cultures. Where I work, mostly everyone is Hispanic and they all speak Spanish, so I’ve learned Spanish from being there. I also love Japanese and Korean cultures.”

Ronnesha adds that a recent visit to Australia reinforced her goal to live and work outside of the US, “I recently returned from a trip to Australia that was for business students and students from other majors as well. The experience gave us a sort of global and international outlook on the world from a business perspective. In the long-term I can picture myself working in a foreign country in a business sector.”

Ronnesha, age 23, was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and it’s where she graduated from high school and attended the Art Institute of Dallas for two years. Ronnesha then moved to the Phoenix area and is starting her third year at Glendale Community College, and plans to transfer to ASU.

Ronnesha says she moved to Arizona to restart her educational journey:

“My twin sister and I were the first in our family to attend college, and I really didn’t know what my options were or what I wanted to do, so I just picked something I liked, which was fashion at the Art Institute of Dallas. The environment of my living situation made life really hard and eventually I withdrew, because it just became too much. I wanted to sort of restart everything, and that’s when my father encouraged me to move Arizona, and that’s why I came here.”

Meanwhile, to help support herself, Ronnesha has worked a full-time overnight shift for the past couple of years, and just recently transitioned to a day shift, “Fortunately, my work schedule was the last half of the week and my school schedule was the first half of the week, so I was able to balance working overnights and with school. Now it’s even better because I’m working a day shift and all of my classes are online.”

Ronnesha has some advice for middle and high school students considering their own college options and opportunities, “As soon as you get into high school, try and figure out what it is that you want to do for a career. Utilize the resources at your school like a guidance counselor and try to figure out what you want to do, so that don’t end up like me during your senior year; not knowing what you want to do or where you want to go. Just try to reach out and ask friends, parents of friends, and anybody who can help guide you through that process.”

Ronnesha 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. Ronnesha’s Success Adviser is Matt Sotelo, “When I meet with Matt I update him with what’s going on with school and life, and everything else in general. The advisers, like Matt, are there to help us out with scholarships, applying to different colleges, and they help us to make the next step – whatever it is that we’re trying to do in life.”

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.

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