Promise Team Spotlight - Alexia Jones0
Going back to school can be intimidating. Luckily, the latest Promise Team Spotlight follows a member of The Kalamazoo Promise (The Promise) that makes this transition easy for Promise Scholars who have yet to utilize their eligibility.
“I worked as an intern with Angelita Aguilar, Director of Credential Completion for The Promise, locating students who had yet to complete their eligibility,” Jones said.
After graduating from WMU during the fall of 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Sciences, Jones was offered the role of Reconnection Specialist for The Promise.
As a Reconnection Specialist, Jones’ primary function is to identify, locate, and help reconnect Promise Scholars who are still eligible but not using The Promise.
“Using a database of Promise Scholars, one group of scholars I look into are those reaching the end of their eligibility with The Promise,” she explained. “A lot of times, the contact information is out of date, so I have found creative ways to reach scholars using social media outreach.”
Once she has located a Promise Scholar, Jones informs them of their remaining eligibility and how many credits they have left to use. From there, she assists the individual with devising a plan.
“We give scholars options, maybe the path they are looking for is available at Kalamazoo Valley Community College or WMU,” she said. “By working with the Promise support staff at these schools, we try to help our scholars by connecting them with the resources they need.”
In situations where a Promise Scholar will run out of eligibility with The Promise, Jones tries to connect them with alternative resources and scholarships to lessen the financial burden.
“When meeting with Promise Scholars, we take things one step at a time and try to connect at a personal level,” she shared. “It’s about learning what their interests are.”
Having recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with The Promise, Jones describes this transition from Promise Scholar to Promise employee as eye-opening.
“When I was in high school, I didn’t know all of the options available through The Promise,” she revealed. “I now see that there is a lot more that goes into The Promise than I realized. We must be intentional about what we’re doing to make this investment work. I’m so appreciative to the donors for everything they’ve done and continue to do.”
Now a mother herself, Jones hopes her son’s generation takes full advantage of the opportunities afforded by The Promise.
“There’s no one right or wrong way to use The Promise,” she said. “You need to make it work for you, whether that’s going into a trade, to a two-year institution, or a four-year institution. Put your puzzle together the way you want and let The Promise pave the way.”
It was great getting to know you Alexia. We are glad you’re reminding Promise Scholars of the opportunities they have. Keep up the great work!