Summer Student Stories

September 9, 2015
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Ruby R., Access Student – White House Adventure

East View High School students Ruby R. and Andrea A. were invited by the White House to join the Beating the Odds Summit hosted by The First Lady, Michelle Obama. We asked Ruby what was her most thrilling moment?

“If I had to pick just oneRuby R. exciting moment, it would probably be when I decided to break out of my shell and start to really have a conversation with one of the original students who gave the First Lady the idea to do this. It’s when I realized that I shouldn’t be scared and that this is really a new journey. I do have to take a new approach, and that it’s okay to be uncomfortable!”

CoFo thanks everyone who followed Ruby and Andrea’s journey! “We’re so grateful and proud of all the people who helped create this organization – wonderful students, AmeriCorps members, VISTAs, and friends – and honored to have walked at your sides,” says Lisa Fielder, Founder.


Diana Gomez, CoFo Graduate – Study Abroad TeachingDiana Gomez1.jpg

This summer I’ve had the great privilege of moving to Colombia to teach English to highschool students in the city of Pereira. I’m working through the Colombian Ministry of Education and had the chance to go to the Colombian presidential palace and meet President Santos! My students are hilarious and the people of Colombia are the nicest. I’m excited to continue teaching through the fall.

Jessi Lane, Former AmeriCorps Coach

IMG_4177Grab a tissue, Jessi flew from Washington D.C. to see her student graduate!

I returned to Austin to see Jemmy Mondragon graduate from Texas State University. Jemmy was a student in my College Forward class at Lehman High School from 2009-2011. I served in AmeriCorps and with College Forward for two years, both years at Lehman High School, where I coached the same class during their Junior and Senior years of high school.

The moment when I saw Jemmy after he walked across the stage and received his college diploma is a moment I will never forget. It had been four years since I last saw Jemmy at his high school graduation and the excitement I felt for him and his family then is still palpable for me today. That same sense of excitement and phenomenal pride in Jemmy overtook me again at his college graduation. Six years after meeting the eager teenager with big dreams to be the first in his family to graduate high school and college, I gave a huge hug to the now grown-up Jemmy who reached his dreams and made us all so proud.