October 18, 2022

AdviseAZ welcomes its 2022-23 cohort

AdviseAZ, an AmeriCorps program that places trained, near-peer college advisers in high schools and communities, has welcomed a new cohort of 18 members.

These current college students or recent college graduates were placed at 14 low-income (Title I) high schools and community sites across Arizona to help high school students with the college-going process.

AdviseAZ’s 2022 members at the AdviseAZ New Member Orientation

Before being placed at their sites, AdviseAZ members receive training that provides them with the skills needed to help students navigate the complex college exploration process, prepare and take college admissions tests, apply to colleges that are a good match/fit, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), secure financial aid and matriculate to college. These game-changing advisers serve as experts, mentors and guides to the students they serve in partnership with school counselor(s), educators and community partners.

Each member strives to meet the individual needs of the students and expand the coordination between school districts and other social service and community agencies to increase college-going and attainment rates. 

Meet a few of this year’s advisers:

Surabhi Sajith

Surabhi is currently a sophomore at Arizona State University majoring in Medical Studies and Global Health and pursuing certificates in Evolutionary Medicine and Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

For the 2022-23 academic year, Surabhi will be serving at McClintock High School through College Connect Tempe. Last year, she worked at Mountain Pointe High School.

She says she became an AdviseAZ member because she wants “to give back to the student and help them through a process that I remember struggling with. I look forward to learning more about the students I work with and learning about their backgrounds.”

Valentina Soto

Valentina is currently a General Studies major at Cochise Community College.

For the 2022-23 academic year, Valentina will be serving at PPEP TEC Raul H. Castro Learning Center.

She says she became an AdviseAZ member because she wants to help those who need it. “When I was about to finish high school, my career coach helped me a lot. Thanks to her, I didn’t have a lot of problems when I entered college. That’s what I want to do…be able to help others as they helped me.”

Blayze Vanta

Blayze is currently a junior at Arizona State University studying Liberal Studies.

For the 2022-23 academic year, Blayze will be serving at Miami Junior/Senior High School.

She says she wanted to be an AdviseAZ member because helping people is important to her. “I know how scary and stressful the whole college process is. My goal is to make it easier for all the students at my site.”

“I am looking forward to being able to change students’ lives,” Blayze added. “I want to be there for them during their college journey and open their eyes to the many opportunities that are out there.”