Mapping the Future: Tiffany’s Path to College

By Alex Cornell, Treehouse Education Specialist

Tiffany and I have been working together for the past two and a half years. During this time, I’ve seen her show tremendous growth and dedication in all areas of her life, but most so academically. Although she was missing a few credits that kept her from graduating from Secondary Learning Center last spring, she didn’t give up. Instead, she worked even harder to focus on her grades and I saw her bring her C’s up to B’s, and eventually, those B’s up to all A’s. It was a really proud moment for her, myself, and her social worker Staci.

Education Specialists help youth in foster care plan for the future

Tiffany is back at Secondary Learning Center this fall to finish up some of her classes and will earn her diploma in February. This year, she’s focusing on the future with hopes to enroll in college within the next year. The college application process is pretty daunting, and Tiffany doesn’t have a lot of support at home to help her navigate all the steps. In partnership with Staci, I’m helping Tiffany make a list of everything she has to do to apply and attend college, and one by one we are checking things off the list. We’ve filled out her FAFSA and have done a lot of research about different college programs. Next, we’re planning to start touring campuses and will figure out scholarships, transportation, and the application process. Tiffany recently got a job as a student assistant with the Renton School District, so we’ll also make a plan for how she can balance both a college workload and her work responsibilities.

Next fall, Tiffany will be the first in her family to go to college. With varied interests in criminal justice and culinary arts, she’s still deciding what she wants to study. I love that in my role as an Education Specialist, I get to help her explore these passions and turn them into a career. No matter what she chooses, I know that she has the drive and determination to succeed in college and beyond.

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About the Author

As a Treehouse Education Specialist, Alex Cornell meets with middle and high school students in the Renton School District to help them stay on track in their classes, set meaningful goals, and transition to fulfill their post-secondary dreams.

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