Promise Team Spotlight - Antonyo Tigues0
The September edition of our Promise Team Spotlight series is here! Let’s get to know Antonyo Tigues, a Promise Pathway Coach for The Kalamazoo Promise (The Promise).
A former Promise Scholar, Tigues attended Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) from kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School in 2012. Tigues went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Industry Management from Michigan State University (MSU); however, he soon found himself drawn to a career in education.
“In college, I thought I wanted to study food retail/marketing, but I found out that it was not my passion,” he said. “Working with students at MSU was a great experience and it made me want to pursue a career path within that field.”
“In high school, I was a part of Jeter’s Leaders, Michigan GEAR UP, and Upward Bound,” he recalled. “These supplemental programs helped me prepare for college and provided great exposure. It felt great to participate in Upward Bound as an employee.”
Now a Promise Pathway Coach, Tigues finds himself working with students who were once in his shoes. By drawing from his own experiences as a Promise Scholar, he can better relate to the post-secondary transition that these young adults face.
“Sometimes students just need a resource to understand how to use their Promise,” Tigues said of his role. “That is why we must empower them on their journey.”
In his current position, Tigues aids students with career exploration, paperwork, and circumventing the various hurdles that impede college access. When the students he has supported are finally enrolled in their respective programs, he cannot help but feel gratified.
“I wish I knew how to advocate for myself earlier in my life,” said Tigues. “Everyone has needs and they need the confidence to speak up for themselves. We tell students that it’s ok to ask questions and ask for help. We encourage them to follow their passions and explore the things that they love and turn it into a career.”
Being able to provide this kind of support to KPS students is important to Tigues. He sees it as the perfect way to honor those who have helped him discover his path as a professional, as well as prepare the next generation.
“I want to thank everyone who’ve helped me in many ways along my journey and continue to do so in my role,” he said.
Truly an honorable goal to work towards. Thank you for giving us some insight on your role within The Promise, Antonyo. We appreciate everything you do!