Alma’s mom cared deeply about her daughter’s success, but as an immigrant who worked multiple jobs to provide for her daughter, she didn’t have the background or time to help her child plan for her post-secondary future.
“I didn’t care about school,” Alma says. “I didn’t even know I was supposed to care about school.”
Everything changed, though, when one of Alma’s teachers pulled her aside. “You do fine on tests,” the teacher said. “But you never turn anything in, so you get failing grades. It doesn’t have to be this way. I can help you learn to succeed.”
The next year, Alma was in honors classes. “I went from getting straight-Fs to being a 4.0 student in advanced placement classes,” she said. “If it wasn’t for that teacher, my perspective would have never changed.”
Today, as an academic coach for Graduation Alliance, Alma seeks to play a similar role in the lives of the students she mentors.
Academic coaches don’t just encourage students to stay on track to complete the classes they need. They keep a vigilant watch to make sure those students don’t fall behind — not even a little.
“My students have everything inside of them they need to be successful,” Alma said. “Sometimes they just need to learn to succeed. That’s my job. And I love it.”