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Meet Our ASCS Team

Meet Our ASCS Team

Our Alumni Support & College Success Program Leadership

Genoveva
Cortes

Director, Alumni Support and College Success

Genoveva Cortes

Genoveva Cortes

Director, Alumni Support and College Success

Supporting: All wý Alumni with with the graduate school application process

M.A., Harvard Graduate School of Education, Class of 2010

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Class of 1997

Genoveva Garibay Cortes has over two decades of experience working as an elementary and middle school teacher, K-12 and college administrator, and program coordinator. She was wý’ founding math teacher for Stella Middle Charter Academy in 2003, and currently serves as the Director of the Alumni Support and College Success (ASCS) Program for the organization. Geno developed and launched Bright Star’s ASCS Program to support the organization’s alumni to persist in and graduate from higher education. ASCS tracks, supports, and coaches wý' alumni to get to and through higher education, with a goal of 60% of wý alumni graduating with a bachelor's or associate's degree, vocational certificate, or from a workplace development program within six years of high school graduation. Geno is a former foster youth and the first in her family to have graduated from college. She is passionate about educational equity and reform, and social justice. 

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Our Alumni Support & College Success Program Team

Elizabeth
Rojas

Coordinator, Alumni Support and College Success

Elizabeth Rojas

Elizabeth Rojas

Coordinator, Alumni Support and College Success

Originally born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Elizabeth, a first-generation college graduate, went to Gertz-Ressler High School near the Pico-Union area of the city. At 18, she took the biggest leap of faith that would change her life and moved to the midwest to attend the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in St. Joseph, Minnesota.

St. Joseph became her new home for the next 4 years. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies and Communications, and also studied abroad in Guatemala where she was able to connect to her roots through food and poetry.

After graduating from college, Elizabeth served in College Possible AmeriCorps as a college coach, where she mentored and coached numerous first-generation and low-income college students. She then became a high school college counselor for the next 4 years at a private Jesuit high school in Twin Cities, Minnesota. She fulfilled a goal of 100% college acceptance rate for all students and collaborated with Georgetown University to create a retention and persistence program.

After living in Minnesota for 10 years, she returned to replant her California roots. She is thankful and grateful for the countless mentors she had along her journey. She looks to pay it forward to under-resourced and historically excluded communities to ensure they have access to information, resources, and higher education.

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Idera
Adagun

Coordinator, Alumni Support and College Success

Idera Adagun

Idera Adagun

Coordinator, Alumni Support and College Success

Supporting: VAHS & SHCA Class of 2018-2023 (Community College & CTE programs)

MPA, Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, University of Washington, Class of 2019

B.A., Barnard College, Class of 2015

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Idera Adagun’s passion for college access and success started at a young age. With a mother who received her master’s in special education and a father who emigrated from Nigeria with only a high school education, she grew up hearing various perspectives on how college would help overcome the societal inequalities that come with being African-American, low-income, female, and from an inner city. 

These narratives followed her through various education nonprofits, leadership development programs, Downtown Magnet High School and eventually college, where in 2015 she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Africana Studies from Barnard College of Columbia University. 

In pursuit of supporting students like herself, Idera went on to complete a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in 2019. There, she focused her research on Social Policy, Education Policy, and Nonprofit Management. Most notably, she completed a graduate internship with the UW Academic Support Programs Office. 

Idera has gone on to serve as the Assistant Director of the Summer Academy with Thrive Scholars (formerly South Central Scholars/SCS Noonan Scholars), helping high school graduates prepare for the academic and socio-emotional transition into college. Her most recent roles of College Counselor and College Success Director at C5LA also helped Idera further her passion of getting first-generation, low-income, and minoritized students to and through college.

Idera is excited to bring her years of experience, resources, and knowledge to wý as the Alumni Support and College Success Coordinator for VAHS & SHCA’s community college and CTE alumni. She hopes to help alumni reach their full potential, complete postsecondary programs, and enter into careers no matter the circumstances or challenges stacked against them.

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Kimberly
Arteaga

Coordinator, Alumni Support and College Success

Kimberly Arteaga

Kimberly Arteaga

Coordinator, Alumni Support and College Success

Coordinator, Alumni Support and College Success
Supporting: RKHS Class of 2020-2023

B.A., UC San Diego, Class of 2014

Kimberly Arteaga received her B.A. in Human Development and minor in Chicana/o studies from UC San Diego. She was born and raised in LA and is the first one in her family to go to college and graduate. She has been supporting students in higher education, college access and retention programs for over 7 years. Part of her passion for working with students comes from her own lived experiences. Through her multiple roles she has supported and guided high school and college students in attaining higher education and beyond. She has also worked with community members and parents in supporting students' achieving their hopes and dreams.

Kimberly is excited to continue working with students in her current role as the RKHS Alumni Support and College Success Coordinator. She is here to support and guide students in achieving their maximum potential whether it is with attending higher education or entering the workforce.

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Kyle
Petrie

Coordinator, Alumni Support and College Success

Kyle Petrie

Kyle Petrie

Coordinator, Alumni Support and College Success

Supporting: VAHS Class of 2018-2023 (4-Year Colleges & Universities)

B.A., Bowdoin College, Class of 2006

Kyle Petrie has worked in urban public education for over 12 years. He initially entered the field as a high school history teacher in the Bronx, NY, as part of Teach For America. After his time in New York, Kyle spent seven years as an AP teacher, advisor, coach, and Director of Alumni Support at Gary Comer College Prep on Chicago's south side.

As the ASCS Coordinator at Valor Academy High School, Kyle's primary responsibilities revolve around ensuring that all Valor alumni receive adequate support with the financial, academic, and social-emotional concerns that they face while pursuing higher education. Kyle is primarily motivated by the belief that higher education is the foundation that will allow our students to be successful and happy in both their careers and personal lives.

 

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