Supportive. High Expectations. Considerate. Collaborative. Determined.
These are the words I use to describe Alvaro Carvajal, BASF’s School-To-College (STC) counselor.
This is STC’s third full year on campus, and by far, this year has been its most successful and transformative. As the 2014 – 2015 school year comes to an end, I believe that our Seniors would not have been nearly as informed, prepared and excited about their academic life after high school if Alvaro was not on campus.
The Academy is a small school. When we graduate a class (74 in the class of 2015), they leave our site more as lifelong friends than students. This is why one of the Three Rs we focus on at The Academy is Relationships, (in addition to Relevance and Rigor) because without strong connections with our students, we would not have nearly the same success. Alvaro has embraced our focus on relationships and because of these relationships, has drastically changed students’ outcomes for the better.
Jose started at the Academy as a reserved student and like many freshmen struggled his first year. He righted the ship his sophomore and junior years, but was still not realizing his vast potential. Jose was a student Alvaro made a strong connection with, helping him with his college essay, applications and the financial aid process. I know that it was the connection Alvaro made with Jose that gave him confidence to become the first person in his family to go to college.
There are many other students Alvaro worked with that without his help, may not have graduated, let along matriculated to college. There is Daniel, who Alvaro spent a Saturday with helping with an online course he needed to graduate.
Without Alvaro’s help with homework and finding her a tutor in math, Imani would not have realized her dream of attending a HBCU out of state. Omar is walking the graduation stage on May 28 and attending CCSF because Alvaro made time to not only evaluate his transcript, but give him the confidence to advocate for himself, and take charge of his own education.
As a principal, I always bet on people to transform the organization. By this, I mean that if I am able to assemble a group of adults whose only mission is to serve students and go above and beyond what is expected of them to do so, then the sky is truly the limit. It is with gratitude and excitement that I can say that Alvaro is one of those people, and I am so proud to have him on the Academy team.
Principal, Academy of Arts and Sciences