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Amber Rayes

Phoenix, AZ – Amber Rayes is attending Glendale Community College with a long-term goal of becoming a wildlife biologist, or working in youth ministry in the Catholic Church.

Amber explains, “Right now, I’m still a little undecided. I was going into wildlife biology – I had an internship at the Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium for about a year – but I also recently decided to maybe minor in music, and Catholic Studies and Theology. Right now, my passions are split about fifty-fifty. I really can’t say that I like one more than the other because working at a zoo was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done, but youth ministry is also really rewarding – and that’s why I’m still undecided.”

Amber, age 19, was born and raised in Phoenix and graduated from Centennial High School. She’s attending Glendale Community College (GCC) and pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Science. Amber also runs the Catholic Outreach Club on the GCC campus.

Transitioning from high school to college is a major change for young people, but Amber describes it as a valuable growing experience, “The more you’re thrown into challenges in life, the more you’re going to grow. Especially, when it involves getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people, having to create new friendships and bonds rather quickly, and really just clicking with anyone and everyone.”

Amber is among the many hard-working students receiving specialized mentoring services from College Success Arizona. Essentially, “Success Advisers” work with the young scholars, helping them overcome academic and personal challenges.

Amber says her success adviser, Matt Sotelo, offers a lot of support and guidance, “Matt is awesome because I’m really bad at English and he’s really good at it, so he’s really helped me throughout the classes I’ve been taking. He’s also there for not just school stuff, but life stuff as well. If I have a challenge with a friends or family, he offers really good advice, he’s really wise.”

Amber has some advice for middle and high school students considering college:

“You don’t need to know what you want to do at this moment. College is all about finding what you enjoy doing in life, and nothing is set in stone. You can choose one thing one day, and the next day choose something completely different – there is no pressure.”

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.

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