We're delighted to welcome Anthony Villagrana, who coordinates our Career & College Center at North Community High School! Anthony works one-on-one with students to help them explore their career passions, find their best postsecondary options, complete the FAFSA, apply for financial aid and connect with other resources as they prepare for life after high school.
We asked Anthony to share a bit about his life as a young student, his favorite memories from school and what he enjoys about working at Achieve:
What was your favorite class in high school and why?
My favorite class was definitely English. All of my English classes were both fun and challenging. We got to read some really great stuff!
Did you have a favorite teacher or other adult who made a big difference for you? Who was that person and why?
My 12th grade English teacher, Ms. Freeberg-Lawson. She always pushed me even when I thought I had already done my best. Her class is where I strongly developed my writing and reading skills and I gained knowledge that has helped me ever since.
What did you enjoy most about your high school years, in or out of school?
I really enjoyed the easiness and lack of responsibility - no deadlines or bills! And also the freedom to spend time with friends outside of school, whether it was playing sports or just hanging out. In school, I enjoyed just being in class, working on projects with friends/classmates and being social.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I never had a set career or role in mind. I went through different phases where I had various interests but never anything concrete. Now I am very happy to be in a position where I can serve my community and grow as a person.
If you could go back in time and have a conversation with your teen-aged self, what would you say?
I would tell teenage Anthony to take in every moment, focus more on the present and key an eye on the most important things.
What interested you in working at Achieve?
My job at Achieve allows me to be a direct, accessible resource for students, which is so appealing. College and career planning is never easy and knowing that I would have the opportunity to support students during a critical time in their lives really drew me to Achieve.
What do you like most about working at Achieve so far?
I really appreciate how everyone is willing to help and share wisdom. Working with the Achieve team as well as the school community is very exciting. I really enjoy the student-centered collaboration and relationship-building that happens in an out of the school building.