February 16, 2022

How Nogales is Maximizing College Knowing & Going

This year, Nogales High School is maximizing its resources, especially regarding the College Knowing & Going Ambassador Program.

The College Knowing & Going (CKG) Ambassador Program, which is funded by the Helios Education Foundation and operated by Education Forward Arizona, mobilizes influential students to inspire their peers to pursue higher education and help with the logistics of doing so.

“I like being able to help my peers,” said CKG Student Ambassador Diego Medina. “Especially with applying for college and figuring out their future careers.”

Student Ambassadors are trained and tasked with increasing college preparation and enrollment across the entire school and work in conjunction with their CKG Coordinator and school contact to execute their goals.

CKG Student Ambassador Camila Contreras said being an Ambassador gives them resources like college coaches, counselors and online programs that help encourage students to participate in college activities.

Right now, the Student Ambassadors at Nogales High School are working on a peer-to-peer calling campaign—calling their peers who have not yet started the process of applying to college or for financial aid.

“The call campaign will help students with their college-going goals by providing them with information,” said Contreras. “It will help answer any of the questions they may have at any given time and also give them resources to help with the college-going process.”

“It gets them to get going with their goals,” added Medina. “It gives them a good place to start.”

The staff at Nogales High School is equally invested in the program and loves putting on workshops about college, financial aid and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) throughout the school year.

One of the most integral teachers at the school, Ganesh Tiwari, uses feedback he hears in the classroom to help maximize opportunities for all students.

“Students are an important part of this program. They work as a team with the CRT committee and help us spread out the word to their peers. They are always there to provide support and guidance to their peers thus helping us not only with the improvement in our graduation rate but also in making sure that most students continue with their higher education by enrolling into the college program.”

Ganesh Tiwari, Nogales High School

Nogales High School is dedicated to understanding their school culture and creating intentional goals to create a sustainable, data-driven and student-centered approach to college readiness.

The collaboration between their CKG Coordinator and the high school’s stakeholders to find the the best methods to help their students has made a positive impact on the school—with total agreement from college readiness team members that the program provides a space and structure for strategic thinking, planning and action towards school-wide postsecondary goals.

“The student ambassador program is greatly helping our school’s college-going culture. The student ambassadors share their personal experiences with the high school students and pass on very important information about the college going process,” added Tiwari.

Because of the school’s ability to adapt, adjust and innovate, we are confident the team at Nogales will continue moving the needle upward.