Hello. My name is Erwin Sirena. Growing up my parents always encouraged me to do well in school and go to college. But as a teenager, their advice went in one ear and out the other. School was not a priority and therefore it took me longer to finish high school and I decided to work instead of getting a college education. It took me 5 years before I decided that a dead end job is not for me and I needed to go to college to better my life.
Now as an academic advisor, I am the one telling the students to do well and to go to college. Many of the students I work with did not get a high school diploma for multiple reasons. But, like me, they decided to return to better their lives. It is an exciting moment when I get to congratulate a student on getting their High School Equivalency Diploma and more exciting when a student comes to me for guidance on the college process.
As a member of the Within Reach Foundation team I am the first person that the students come in contact with. It is a pleasure to help the applicant with the application process. I am the first to read their essays and know how hungry they are to get a college education. Some are first generation college students and want to go to college so they can be a role model for their children, or other family member. Others want to get a college education becuase they want to get a better job and get better pay. Regardless of the reason, Withinreach foundation can help them get closer to their goal.