CoFo’s Rising Stars

December 17, 2015
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Each month College Forward recognizes the contributions of amazing coaches who are working tirelessly to improve college access and completion across Texas. Meet two of our coaches below!

Ashley Blanco
College Access Coach – Houston
Hometown: Houston, TX
College: University of Texas-Austin

Fun Fact: Music is a big part of Ashley’s life. She enjoys going to concerts, played clarinet for 7 years, and even wrote her senior thesis on “Women & Punk Rock.” She is also a fan of One Direction and basically all boy bands… and is “not ashamed to say it!” In fact, she wrote ANOTHER thesis on boy band culture.

Ashley’s Impact: Ashley has been a wonderful addition to the CoFo Access Team this semester, and with her support her students have completed the highest number of college applications! She is an organizational leader, participating in several committees and taking the lead in planning Junior Recruitment activities. We’re grateful and honored to have her on the team!

“My favorite part about working at College Forward is the students. I love to help them in any way they need and just talk to them about whatever is going on. One of College Forward’s core values is ‘Students First’ and I couldn’t put it any better way! I remember needing guidance when I was in high school when it came to college and the program I was in made me feel like I was just a number. College Forward doesn’t make our students feel like just a number, but like we actually want to help and guide them on their journey to and through college.”


Maribel Hernández

Maribel Hernandez
College Access Coach – Austin
Hometown: Kaufman, TX
College: St. Edward’s University

Fun Facts: Maribel has a purple front door, as well as a pet donkey named Shrek back home. She is also incredibly invested in “Master Chef Jr.”

Maribel’s Impact: Maribel embodies several of CoFo’s values. She understands the importance of relationships — whether it’s checking in with campus staff or a fellow coach, she is highly collaborative and able to work well with many different people. She finds joy in work and always has a friendly smile for for everyone in the office and in her classroom. She has also been willing to take on new challenges, finding creative ways to implement new projects and problem-solve.

“I love working with our students! Getting to know them and helping them apply to their dream schools is so much fun! From teaching them beneficial skills to helping them graduate college, College Forward puts students first! Making their education and futures a priority is something that I really like and I feel makes this a strong organization.”