My name is Alexsandra Lott and I’m an AmeriCorps member serving in Tucson at the Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC) Regional College Access Center (RCAC) as their College Coach Team Leader. A non-profit community-based educational advocacy and advising service for Southern Arizona residents who are interested in higher education success. In my Team Leader role, I build community capacity for the Metropolitan Education Commission’s Regional College Access Center by providing administrative responsibilities involved with the College Coach program and relaying information related to college access, financial aid, scholarship resources, college next steps essay/ resume writing workshops, and career preparation to our Student Ambassadors, College Coaches and pre-school to seniors in high school.

As an AmeriCorps member my mission is to empower under represented communities by staying involved in college access events, community outreach; AmeriCorps college coach check-ins/ trainings, FAFSA nights, Teen Town Hall; bringing over 200 high school students together and presenting issues affecting youth, and our Key to Employment Symposium, an event for high school students to be introduced to educational pathways. The College Coach program is designed to work closely within the schools by having them meet with their peers one-on-one to develop educational pathways, promote college access, and relay information on the services we provide. We have 30 college coaches at 12 schools and 4 districts in Southern Arizona. The College Coach program aspires to build capacity and sustainability of college access through our training events by AmeriCorps/ Arizona Serve; these trainings also provide leadership development and skill building strategies to help guide our AmeriCorps College Coaches. I assist the Metropolitan Education Commission staff with implementation, management, and evaluation of the College Coach program throughout Pima County. As a team lead, I travel to 8 high schools in Pima County every 4-6 weeks to meet with school cite liaisons and to check-in on AmeriCorps college coaches progress and offer mentorship/leadership with their projects.

The next MEC RCAC event is the 29th Annual Crystal Apple Awards which will be held at the Desert Diamond Casino on Friday, April 26th, 2019. During this luncheon we honor individuals and organizations who contribute to outstanding educational involvement in the community. The award categories include Lifetime AchievementEducational AdvocateTeacherCounselor. The Youth Advisory Council/ Tucson Teen Congress (YAC/TTC) serves as the primary information source and sounding board for the Metropolitan Education Commission and its constituencies on youth-orientated issues impacting the pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education.

  In addition to the Youth Advisory Council/ Tucson Teen Congress, the Regional College Access Center College Coach program helps alleviate the burden on understaffed high school college and career counseling departments by providing assistance with AmeriCorps members. The Regional College Access Center focuses on our Youth Workforce Development and Postsecondary Attainment that helps strengthen our community through raising awareness for college readiness and academic success.