Meet Alexandra

I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me.

Grades

“I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me.”

When I was a junior, I was expelled.

Grades

“When I was a junior, I was expelled.”

I didn't know what I wanted to do.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I didn't know what I wanted to do.”

I don’t really put myself out there a lot.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I don’t really put myself out there a lot.”

I’m proud to say that I’m doing very well.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I’m very proud to say that I’m doing very well.”

I went to school for practically nothing.

Cost

“I went to school for practically nothing.”

Money is out there to help you—just look.

Cost

“Money is out there to help you—just look.”

It was stressful but rewarding in the end.

Cost

“It was stressful but rewarding in the end.”

I wanted to be a teacher.

Cost

“I wanted to be a teacher.”

I just assumed I wasn’t going to go.

Cost

“I just assumed I wasn’t going to go.”

It hits you at once.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“It hits you at once.”

I wasn’t sure what to do.

Cost

“I wasn’t sure what to do.”

Everything was in fine print.

Cost

“Everything was in fine print.”

I was a quiet freshman but now I'm outgoing.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I was a quiet freshman but now I'm outgoing.”

I had to deal with a lot all at once.

Responsibilities

“I had to deal with a lot all at once.”

I stayed close to home so my parents could visit.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I stayed close to home so my parents could visit.”

It pretty much gave me a full ride.

Cost

“It pretty much gave me a full ride.”

People are willing to help if you ask them.

Cost

“People are willing to help if you ask them.”

I was intimidated since I was undocumented.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I was intimidated since I was undocumented.”

My father did not want to help me.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“My father did not want to help me.”

I have a good chance of becoming more stable.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I have a good chance of becoming more stable.”

Leaving the reservation is a huge step.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“Leaving the reservation is a huge step.”

Meet Alexandra

 

It was stressful but rewarding in the end.
Alexandra found a successful strategy for paying for college.
It was stressful but rewarding in the end. (01:04)
Alexandra found a successful strategy for paying for college.
It was stressful but rewarding in the end.
Now Playing
My mentor still helps me today. (00:21)
Alexandra talks about the teacher who helped her while she was applying to college.
My mentor still helps me today.
Now Playing

Snapshot

Year in college
Senior
Major
Psychology
Family income
$40,000–$60,000
College
Public four-year university
Published yearly in-state tuition and fees
$8,736
Financial aid received
State academic scholarship, Federal Pell Grant, subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Favorite book
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Jobs held in college
Residence hall desk assistant, bilingual telemarketing representative, summer camp counselor, nanny
Career goal
Therapist
At a time when many students are thinking about college, Alexandra faced a tough transition to a much larger school.
Her obstacle 

As a high school junior, Alexandra moved to a new state. “It was really hard for me to adapt,” she says. “I was overwhelmed not only by the size of the school but also because I didn’t know anyone. I remember feeling scared that I would get lost or miss the bus to school (I had never taken a bus before).” Alexandra was also worried about not being accepted by her new classmates.

At the same time, Alexandra started to think about college. Her parents wanted her to go, but they told her she would have to find a way to pay for it.

How she overcame it 

To help adjust to her new school and meet other students, Alexandra joined the newly formed Latino club. She soon realized the club needed leadership, and became its president.

“There was a lot of work to do,” she says, “Our main goal was to get Latino [students] more involved with extracurricular activities.” Alexandra’s group hoped this would help lower the Hispanic dropout rate.

Her science teacher, an advisor to the club, eventually became an important mentor. “She reached out to me,” Alexandra recalls. “She was willing to spend time with me after school or on weekends to look over my [college] essays and give me advice.”

By her senior year, Alexandra was full of confidence. She began filling out college applications and researching financial aid. She chose a public university in her new state and received an academic scholarship as well as federal grants and loans.

Life at college 

Alexandra continues to be involved at college, joining a sorority and the Hispanic Student Association. But her favorite activity was tutoring at the Boys and Girls Club. “I learned so much from the kids. I still think about the impact I had on them and that they had on me.”

She credits being active, on and off campus, with helping her get the most out of college. “You learn things that you cannot learn in class,” she says.

After earning her bachelor’s degree, Alexandra will head to graduate school — the next step on her path to becoming a therapist.

Alexandra’s timeline

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NEW SCHOOL

Alexandra moves to a new state and a bigger school during her junior year of high school.

NEW CLUB

Alexandra joins the Latino club and gets to know her science teacher, who becomes a valued mentor.

NEW LEADER

At the start of senior year, Alexandra becomes president of the Latino club.

COLLEGE

Alexandra joins the Hispanic Student Association and pledges a sorority. She’s enjoyed speaking to alumni sorority sisters who shared her major. “I was able to talk to them about where they went with their careers, and it helped me decide what I might want to do in the future."

GRADUATION

When Alexandra makes her next move, she’ll be equipped with more than a diploma; her extracurriculars have made her “more organized and a better team player [who] understands other people and communicates better.”



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