National College Signing Day Profile: Angela Ponce

Author: Angela Ponce

April 20, 2018

As we approach National College Signing Day, Helios Education Foundation is excited to share stories of success as conveyed by college students who are experiencing the transformational power of education. 

By Angela Ponce, University of Arizona Student, College Success Arizona(CSA) Scholar

College Success Arizona has been a huge factor as to why I have been able to succeed in college- and I am not exaggerating. If anyone who is reading this knows what it is like to be a first-generation student then you know how confusing it is to try to get involved with a completely new world without any help.  

Looking back I can honestly say that it has been because of programs such as CSA that I was able to make good decisions that have steered me into the right direction. Notice how I did not say that I was any less confused- a lot of this college life was very confusing for a very long time. The very unique thing about CSA is that they have mentorship program unlike any other. I have been involved in many other mentorship programs due to the fact that I am a first-generation student but none of them were like CSA’s mentorship program. My freshmen year of college I did not think of this program to make any sort of impact in my life. I thought it would slowly disappear much like all other programs I have been involved with- where I am paired up with someone who tries to help me but never really reached out or made much of an effort to get to know me outside of school and eventually I would never hear from them again. It wasn’t until I attended CSA’s first leadership symposium when my mentor, Matt reached out to me and asked how all my classes were going along with how I spent my holidays. I was surprised that he was even able to distinguish me as one of his students- that was the first time I began to trust this mentorship program. We are also required to attend networking events with other scholars and it has been amazing to see how my mentor, along with other mentors, had very unique relationships with each of their students. One event in particular, I had a dress rehearsal for a dance competition and I was able to invite friends, I told Matt and Myrna, a former mentor with CSA, and to my surprise they actually showed up! They were there cheering me on- it was at that moment that I felt that this mentorship program was actually a sincere one. 

From that point on, I knew that Matt was the person to go to if I ever had any questions (which I always had) or if I ever needed anything - Matt has written me many recommendation letters. I will now be graduating in about 6 weeks with a Bachelor’s of Science and was able to finish in four years. I have said it before and I’ll say it many times again, CSA is one of the main reasons I am one step closer to reaching my dreams.

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