WESLACO, Texas – One of IDEA’s Public Schools core value is College For All children. Through their college support model they are ensuring students’ success through college. This year 100 percent of IDEA’s 13th graduating class will step foot on a college campus. Since 2007 IDEA has achieved a near perfect college attendance rate, one of its promised core values.
The school is now taking that value a step further.
“IDEA’s promise is to go through college. We have an Alumni Affairs team that we get to have individualized coaching.”
Janna Wiley is the manager of the Alumni Affairs team. She says it’s not a one size fit’s all approach, it’s a team effort in making sure every student’s college experience is a success. “They need that little push, that little nudge and I think that’s what we provide because we want the success for our students.”
One branch of support for students comes from the Give Me 5 Program, a staff giving campaign awarding students in need with scholarships and emergency loans. Last year the campaign raised more than half a million dollars.
Marifer Guerrero says without their help, college would not have been a reality. “Whenever I would have an issue with a class or finances, or I’m struggling, I don’t know what to do. I never hesitated once to reach out to Miss Wiley or my college counselor. They were always there to provide support.”
Guerrero received a Give Me 5 Scholarship, which aided her through her first year at the University of Texas at Austin. She now works with the campaign. “I love that work because we are constantly evolving. It’s just great for me to be able to come back and help improve the program that once helped me get to where I am today.”
Janna Wiley says it’s full circle experiences like Guerrero’s that inspire her to continue ensuring a student’s success.
She recently delivered twin baby boys and ran into a former student who is now a nurse at the hospital. “She actually assisted me in the birth. That’s like full on circle and I really really love those moments when I see my students out and about in the real world contributing to society.”
Janna Wiley with the Alumni Affairs team says she is very proud of the work her department has done. She adds that IDEA students are rigorously preparing for college beginning in the 6th grade.