Jessica Salas Parra, Arizona State University

Jessica Salas Parra is a college graduate who worked at Education at Work for more than three years throughout her university career. She earned her Bachelors in English with a focus in Secondary Education from Arizona State University this past May, along with $11,150 in tuition assistance from Education at Work.

As a first generation college student Jessica never imagined graduating debt free. “This was the kind of dream I had to work for and not wish for,'' says Jessica.

As a student attending Arizona State University, she dedicated most of her time to her studies but she also worked part-time to pay for her remaining missing finances. During her freshman year, Jessica heard about EAW through an email sent directly to her. Within a couple of days she decided to fill out the application. She heard back right away. “I didn’t expect to apply and get accepted for a job to be this quick,” says Jessica speaking about the hiring process.

One of the things Jessica cherishes while working at EAW is the constant support she receives from her supervisors. She’s also learned valuable professional and software skills that she finds useful in any work setting.

Coming from a title one high school Jessica is constantly reminded of all the struggles she’s faced to get accepted into one of the leading public universities in Arizona. This is why she decided to continue her professional career as a high school English teacher. “I got accepted to work my dream job this upcoming fall in the same school district that I went to school in,” says Jessica. “There is no greater feeling than giving back to the community to where it all started.”

Jessica’s passion for teaching is fulfilled by being able to help people, whether it be her new students or families as well. She realized with one of her previous part-time jobs that she enjoys having those “one-on-one” moments with students, similar to how she appreciates the same mentorship from her supervisors. “At the end of the day I want to be there for my students,” says Jessica.

Through her time with Education at Work Jessica built great friendships with her coworkers and felt strongly engaged with the positive environment EAW offers. “I am thankful for EAW for caring so much about their students,” says Jessica. “It was because of the tuition assistance I was able to live on campus and pay for summer classes.” Jessica is now committed to spend the rest of her time traveling and learning about other cultures.

We are thankful and so proud of Jessica for all of her accomplishments. Education at Work wishes her the best on her first year of teaching!

 

Published June 22, 2019

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