Preparing for College – Things To Consider

There is a lot to consider when preparing for college. Some of the questions you might have include:
  • What college is best for you and the career you want to go into?
  • How will you pay for everything?
  • Will you have to work while you are in school?
  • Do you want to live on or off-campus?
  • Should you go to a junior college before transferring to a university?
  • Do you want to choose a college close to home to save on living expenses?
Thankfully, there are many ways to help make college less overwhelming. Take a look at these tips to help you get started.

What Careers Are You Interested In?

There are so many career choices and pathways, and not everyone is born knowing what they want to do. Here are some ways to help you decide what your college path should be:
  • Asking family members and other adults in your life about their careers
  • Asking questions and researching careers
  • Taking an aptitude test to help you find what you’re good at and passionate about
  • Joining groups such as Junior Achievement
  • Attending College and Career Fairs
High school guidance counselors, like Mr. Beebe at TIA, are a valuable resource. They can help with college preparations. In addition to working with you to choose high school courses that will benefit you in your transition to college. They can also:
  • Help make lists of colleges and college majors that suits you
  • Provide information and help you qualify for scholarships, grants, and financial aid
  • Give guidance on standardized testing, scholarship essays, and admission essays

Extra-Curricular Activities

Get involved in extra-curricular activities — it looks good on applications and helps you develop life skills. Extra-curricular activities are also a great way to learn networking skills that can help in your future career and help improve your overall college experience.

Create a Budget

Starting a savings account early can be a good strategy for preparing for college and the many financial costs. Having a cushion of savings can help relieve some of the stress of deciding where to go to college. It will also be a big factor in deciding if you will have to work while attending classes. Working part-time while in high school is a great way to start saving. However, you shouldn’t neglect your schoolwork for a job. Deciding on living situations is another important aspect of your first year in college. How far away from home your choice of school is will have a factor in your options. Living at home while attending college has benefits like not having to buy groceries or pay rent. The first year of college can also be stressful, and it may help to stay close to friends and family. If you choose a college farther from home, living in a dorm versus living in a house or apartment with others will affect your budget.

How Can You Earn Income and What Are Some Potential Expenses?

Income can come from:

    • A part-time job
    • Parental support
    • Work-study
    • Scholarships and grants
    • Financial aid and loans
    • Other income, such as if you sell crafts or do freelance work

Expenses you might have include:

    • Groceries
    • Transportation costs such as fuel, insurance, or bus fares
    • Rent if not living on campus, as well as utility bills
    • Entertainment costs
    • Tuition, books, and supplies
    • Clothing
    • Beauty supplies
    • Savings

What Can Parents Do to Help?

There are a variety of ways you can help in your child’s college preparations:
  • Start saving money early. There are options like 529 plans that allow you to save money tax-free for your child's education. Creating a Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) account also gives you resources for scholarships, grants, and other ways to invest and save money for your child’s college needs.
  • Model healthy life habits and teach them to your children. Instill a love for knowledge by reading, learning, and exploring together. Time-management skills can help them when creating their class and study schedules, as well as making time for fun.
  • Help your child figure out how they learn best and study skills for their style of learning. Create an open dialogue with your child so that they feel comfortable talking to you about their hopes, dreams, and plans for their future.
  • Research colleges with your child and schedule campus visits during their junior and senior year to learn about the atmosphere of their favorite schools. You can also help your child take note of application requirements and keep track of deadlines.

What TIA Does for Their Students

Every graduating TIA student gets accepted to college with financial aid and/or scholarships due to the help that the TIA leadership teams contribute to each student. TIA middle and high school students have many opportunities to explore careers and college through events such as the College and Career Fair, fields trips to tour colleges, business classes, clubs such as Junior Achievement, and one-on-one help from Mr. Beebe, (the College and Career Readiness Coach).

Looking for a great school to help you prepare and get accepted to college?

Enroll Today at TIA!

Preparing for College - Things To Consider

TIA Interview Day 2019

Tucson International Academy (TIA) has been building a magnificent Business Program for the students. TIA high school students create their own companies, work out the financials and a 5-year plan for that company, make a website, create a marketing plan along with brochures and so much more. Part of this program is Interview Day.

Interview Day 

The TIA Business Program also helps to prepare the students for college by getting them ready for job interviews. Business week is an opportunity for students to get a taste of corporate America. Whether the students decide to go to a business college or a university of their dreams or it’s a job that they get, at the end of the Busines Week, what students have is a lot of experience. They have the opportunity to interview for their dream careers and professions that they really want feedback for. 

Many Local Companies Participate in Interview Day

TIA is fortunate to have representatives from local businesses and agencies from Tucson that cover a variety of opportunities come to Interview Day to help interview the students. This week TIA had local law enforcement, military, creative arts, media, veterinarians, veterinarian assistants, education, biotech, engineering and all kinds of other opportunities for the students to interview with. 

Showcase: BOSC Beauty - A New TIA Student Created Business

During the Business Interview Day, TIA was able to showcase one business (BOSC Beauty) that a group of their high school students created through the High School Business Program. This student-led company delivered its mission statement, its business plan and also their 5-year plan for the future of the business. They shared their website, products, how and why they created the company, their pamphlets, who they are and the different positions they hold within the company. The business BOSC Beauty consists of jewelry and a soon to be an accessory line at affordably priced products. The main goal of their company is to share today’s beauty trends at an affordable price. Their website lists the products in different categories based on the personalities of their group, so it’s easier for a customer to find what they like based on a personality type. The students feel they will be able to expand their product line into stores within 5 years and bring more jobs into the Tucson area because of the business. Even though their business is mostly online, BOSC Beauty is a local company. They cater to the English speaking market but since TIA teaches all their students Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, they also will cater to those markets as well. You can find them at

A Special Thanks to All the Businesses That Participated in Interview Day at TIA

Amy Autret - Tucson Police Dept CSI Andrew Bevington - PIMA County Superintendent’s Office Samantha Blake - Tucson Police Dept CSI Lt. Ashley Carey - Air Force Cynthia Carsten - Tucson Medical Center Dr. Eric Conidez - Pain Institute of Southern Arizona Kim Ebeling - Ebeling Events Evan Gray Davis - J3 Effect James Donovan - RAYTHEON Marisela Felix - Sunnyside Unified School District Gwen Gorbette - PIMA Mark McKenna - Prestamos CDFI Chicanos Por la Causa John Morgan & fellow officers - Tucson Police Dept Kimberly Neal - Eastland Alley Design Co. Steven Schneider - Sunshine Watson - Southern Arizona Veterinary Clinic Dustin Williams - PIMA County Superintendent Stacey Woodward Dr. Jennifer Herrera - TIA Superintendent

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Interview Day at TIA 2019BOSC Beauty Creators

TIA Targets AZM2 Testing in Tucson AZ

February can be a tough month. It can be groundhogs dashing hopes for an early spring, horrible snowstorms, and no more football. But February in Tucson means gorgeous, enviable weather, Rodeo Days, and AZM2 testing. Why is AZM2 testing on the list of good things happening in Tucson in February? Because TIA targets AZM2 testing in Tucson AZ. This is just another chance for our students to shine. AZM2 is a standardized assessment in the content areas of writing, reading, and mathematics. The AZM2 tests are administered over a four- week span every March all over the state of Arizona. The Arizona Department of Education describes the 4 levels of performance on the AZM2 tests as follows:

Minimally Proficient

Students who score at this level may have significant gaps and limited knowledge and skills that are necessary to satisfactorily meet the state’s standards. Students will usually require a considerable amount of additional instruction and remediation in order to achieve a satisfactory level of understanding.

Partially Proficient

Students who score in this level show a partial understanding of the knowledge and application of the skills that are fundamental for proficient work. Students who approach the standard possess some understanding and skills necessary to begin working on the content required of the student who meets the standards. Due to incomplete understanding, additional instruction and remediation may be necessary in order to achieve a satisfactory level of achievement.


Students who score in this level demonstrate a solid academic performance on the subject matter as reflected by the standards. Students who perform at this level are prepared to begin work on materials that may be required for the next grade level. Attainment of at least this level is the goal for all students.

Highly Proficient

Students who score in this level illustrate a superior academic performance as evidenced by achievement that is substantially beyond the goal for all students. Students who exceed the standard have demonstrated exceptional and exemplary attainment of knowledge and skills. This year’s sophomore class will be the last one to take the AZM2 test. TIA administrators and teachers make adjustments to their curriculum to prepare students for the test. For more information about AZM2 testing, click here to see the full guidelines provided by the Arizona Department of Education.

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Or Call the school at 520-792-3255


SAT Prep: 5 Classic Books to Read

Summer is a perfect time to catch up on reading – and it’s a great chance for kids to get an early start on books they will likely need to read or know for testing, college, or simply understanding the culture. Many students who take the PSAT, SAT, and ACT often find the reading comprehension segments some of the most challenging.  Some may struggle to accurately interpret passages without the rest of the larger works to provide greater context.

College and ACT, PSAT, ACT Prep

Finding a few books with passages likely to appear in the ACT, PSAT, and SAT is not only a great way to practice reading comprehension in general, but it may also actually provide fantastic preparation by providing the full context of the passages included in the test. Here are some of the most often included books in standardized tests, as well as some that potential college students will likely encounter. 
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s timeless classic has had numerous adaptations in film over the years, which alone is a testament to its legacy. Austen prose is absolutely beautiful, making Pride and Prejudice one of the most beloved examples of 19th-century British literature.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Most literature professors and scholars include Charles Dickens in the list of the most influential authors in history. Great Expectations is a staple of many higher education courses in literature. Great Expectations is equal parts enjoyable and challenging for most high school-level readers. Even if passages don’t appear on the SAT, reading Great Expectations is still a great way to prepare for higher level reading comprehension.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo is quite possibly the most well-known revenge story in literary history. It is compelling and thrilling, and most readers at the high school level will appreciate its darker themes and gripping narrative flow.
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
If you have seen the Les Misérables musical, why not read the original source material? Victor Hugo’s classic is a glimpse into French history, a political commentary on anti-monarchism. It is an emotional tale of regret and redemption. It’s a commonly referenced book, so knowing it ahead of the SATs can be a gift.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Herman Melville’s classic, Moby Dick, is often called one of the greatest novels ever written. The book captures the concept of man versus nature as well as man versus himself in a way no other novel has. Many high schools throughout the country include Moby Dick in their required reading lists. Any students who do not need to read it for high school should make time to do so on their own ahead of standardized tests. Check out your local library for free access to these classics. Some of these will appear on PSATs and SATs as reading comprehension section material, but even when they do not, reading them is not only enriching but also great practice for reading comprehension. If you have a student preparing for the SAT or any other type of standardized test, these books are a great place to start.  List of Recommended Reading for SAT Prep and Classic Reading List for SAT Prep  

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SAT Prep: 5 Classic Books to Readpast post tracking #

2019 College and Career Fair

TIA held it’s twelfth annual 2019 College and Career Fair. This event included booths from 35 local businesses who's representatives shared with the curious students what it takes to work in their industries. For the afternoon session, students were able to visit 10- 15 different booths with representatives from Arizona colleges.

Speakers at the 2019 College and Career Fair

Guest keynote speakers at the morning opening event were Steven C. Shell - architect & musician and Jonathan Rothschild - Tucson Mayor.  The guest speakers were there to inspire and ignite the student's passions and help them pursue their dreams.

Architect and Musician Steven C. Shell

Mr. Shell said, “I hope that you will discover that your passions and desires are one and the same. Passions can lead to your dreams. You don’t have to give up one for the other. Passion will fuel your disciplines, which will then fulfill your dream. So with the proper inspiration, motivation, discipline, and hard work, you actually can have it all.”

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

Mayor Rothschild said, “It’s great that Tucson International does a College and Career Fair every year. The school has such a great reputation for getting young people through high school and onto their next step. You do that by having a career and college fairs like this. I just really want to congratulate the Academy for putting on this event in such an organized fashion. The payoff is seeing those kids get their high school diploma and going on to college.”

TIA Principal Miguel Montemayor

Mr. Montemayor said, “We have a lot of businesses that come out every year to help our students decide what career they are more interested in. This helps them form an idea of what career they want. In the afternoon we have 15-20 different colleges and volunteer opportunities for our students. This helps them connect the dots where they choose a career in the morning and then talk with the colleges of their choice in the afternoon. TIA is committed to getting every graduating senior into a college or university. By choosing their career and getting more informed about that career, then tying it down in the afternoon with a college or university that they can attend to study for that career.”

TIA School Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Herrera

Dr. J said to the TIA students, “We are very proud of you! We believe in you and know that you will have an outstanding future. We are here to support you.”     Link to video on TIA's YouTube Channel  

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2019 College Career Fair

Facing Dragons 2019

Coach Brodie returns for the fourth year to TIA charter school, helping motivate and train TIA high school students to face their fears and move forward when dealing with challenges. This is a two-day event. On the first day, all high school students are involved in the training session. The second day focuses on the seniors, helping them better prepare for graduation, college, and work.

New Theme Each Year

Every year there is a new theme. Previous year themes were Purpose, Success, and Leadership. This years theme was “My Story Quest.” TIA staff is committed to getting all seniors accepted to a college after they graduate. TIA prepares them academically. But many of the students were having issues once they were in college with remaining in college, getting a good GPA, attending their classes, and dealing with the temptations around them. Coach Brodie gives them the life tools that are necessary to succeed in college, maintain a good GPA and college life, so that way they can finish college with a degree and go on to a successful career

What Is My Story?

For each person, it will be different. "Story" is another word for beliefs and the identities that we’ve taken on, who we are and who we are not. Stories can change. It’s a decision. You can commit to a new story today. Any great story includes trials, challenges, and crisis. That’s what often times help us grow to the next level. You need to pursue your dreams by getting out of your comfort zone.

What is “Facing Dragons” About?

Everyone has problems. As we all know, dragons don’t exist. Our problems are tribulations that we go through from time to time. Our problems are the “dragons” in our life. They are here to challenge you and make you grow so that you can reach the next level in your life. In order to slay your dragon or solve your problem, there’s a method to do that. Your dragon might be fear of public speaking, fear of failure, fear of what others think about you, fear of getting through college, etc. The first day of Facing Dragons includes all TIA high school students. The second day focuses on TIA seniors. It’s their grad year and they need to make some decisions. On this day there is more one-on-one work being done with the students because it’s a smaller group. Ninety percent of the TIA student population is Hispanic. Many of these students will be the first in their families to graduate high school, let alone go off to college. They don’t have a clue what college will be like. They are concerned about money, the ability to pay for their schooling, what is college life really like and more. TIA staff helps prepare them for as many of these things ahead of time. Training with Coach Brodie helps in other areas by helping them learn to be mindful, dealing with stressful situations and how to deal with making the best choices.

Creating a Right of Passage

We as a society are soft in many areas when it comes to raising our kids. A thousand years ago people lived in tribes. There was a right of passage into adulthood for each person. In many cases, that person was faced with their mortality. In many ways, Coach Brodie is creating a right of passage for the seniors here at TIA. Last year they started the “Ice Bath Challenge.” The students are asked to jump into an outdoor dunk tank filled with water and 50 bags of ice. Many say, “There’s no way I’m going in!” This year it was 46 degrees on the day they had this challenge. They were all shivering even before they got into the water. But one by one they started jumping into the tank. Why? Because we trained that fear is actually fuel for your purpose. Fear is growth.

How to Confront Your Fears

Coach Brodie says, “The world is going to show up and help you get what you’ve been praying for but it’s not going to be in the most convenient package that you hoped it was going to be. It isn’t going to be easy. It will show up as some sort of challenge or fear. So we are creating an experience where they confront a fear or discomfort and willingly say “yes, I’m going to do this because I know I want to grow and face these challenges.” It’s no longer about other people taking them out of their comfort zone and putting them through a right of passage. Now it’s in their own hands to create this for themselves.” Mr. Montemayor says, "It’s a mentality break through more than anything. It’s thinking outside the box. Sometimes goals seem impossible. But we give them the tools to help them hit those goals."

Create A New Story

Coach Brodie says, “I believe life is actually a game. We signed up for it. Number one challenge, just like a video game, is to remember who we really are. Second is to identify our purpose. Why are we really here? Third, it to take that and live it and put it into action. What is the story they’re telling themselves about college, for example? Or getting into a relationship, their health, grades, what job they want to get or start their own business? Or around things like drugs, addiction, suicidal thoughts, depression. These are all stories, patterns, and identities. So one of the exercises we do is to identify the old story they’ve been telling themselves and believing. The second part is to create a new story. Who they really are, why they are really here, what they are committed to. They are already taking action on some uncomfortable things in this class so we’ve conditioned that. We’ve got them connected to each other in that way versus feeling alone or feeling that no one really gets them. Now we have true accountability. They are coaching each other. They are making commitments and following through on them. So success is really about having a new story about who they are and putting that into action.” Click the link to watch the video on YouTube here  

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How Does TIA Help Their Students Consistently Score High on SAT Tests?

Tucson International Academy offers a tremendously successful business education program for middle and high school students. One of the most effective facets of this educational regimen is test preparation. Standardized tests, particularly the SATs, are a major cause for concern among students who hope to enter prestigious colleges and universities. Some schools have minimum SAT test score requirements for applicants and will not even consider approving entrance to a student with scores below these benchmarks. TIA’s SAT preparation program is the reason why TIA students consistently outscore other schools on the SAT tests.

How Does TIA’s Business Week Help?

Jonathan Basurto is an assistant principal at TIA and recently coordinated Business Week for TIA students, an annual event where TIA students dress professionally and interview with actual businesses in the area. Business Week is an integral part of TIA’s business curriculum, and Mr. Basurto believes that it offers a chance for students to gain some real-world experience of what entering the job force in business is really like.

Eleventh Grade Is Crucial for Business Sense Development

Business Week often leads to internships for students that provide valuable work experience, and most businesses are eager to offer job opportunities to TIA students, thanks to the robust curriculum and students’ consistently high SAT scores. Mr. Basurto believes that eleventh grade is often the most difficult for high school students, and the time they feel the most pressure to perform well on standardized tests like the SATs.

Preparing for the Future at TIA

The SAT preparation regimen at TIA lasts a full year, and students have the opportunity to take the SAT for the first time in eleventh grade. If they do not like their scores, they have the opportunity to retake the test and try to earn entrance into the colleges and universities of their choice. TIA graduates have been accepted to prestigious schools like Notre Dame, Stanford, and Harvard University.

What Makes TIA’s SAT Program Successful?

The TIA SAT program is successful because it offers thorough preparation all year long with multiple rounds of practice testing and has mandatory weekly SAT homework starting in eighth grade. This helps take the pressure off of students to perform at their best with just one chance at the SAT test. Each TIA student gets multiple opportunities to practice, which will lead to better scores when they take the actual test and therefore better their chances on applications to the schools of their choosing. Thanks to the tremendous success of the TIA SAT program for eleventh graders, TIA leaders plan to implement robust PSAT/SAT preparation courses for students starting in eighth grade. This essentially enables them to practice and prepare throughout their entire high school career and take the SAT with additional confidence. TIA does not simply prepare students for the SAT in hopes they pass; they empower them to score as highly as possible on the SATs which sets them up for success in their higher education.  

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SAT tests

TIA Graduates Valaree and Nicolas at NAU

Two graduates of TIA, Valaree and Nicolas (brother and sister), share how TIA helped them prepare for college and what it is like to attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Valaree Cavazos Covarrubias

Valaree attended TIA from 2nd grade through 12th grade. She has been attending NAU for 3 years now as a Business Management major and she will also have a certificate in Human Resources. After she graduates she wants to be in Human Resources for a big company. How TIA Helped Valaree "TIA helped me want to go to college. What I loved about TIA was that it felt like a family. I grew up with these people and didn’t feel pressure in any way. Everyone was so close to one another. I feel the teachers at TIA took the extra mile to help me want to learn more.” Life at NAU for Valaree “What I love about NAU is it’s far enough from home (Tucson) but not too far. I love the seasons and the people are so friendly and nice. I feel like my hardest class is my math class because I’ve always struggled with math. My favorite class that I’ve ever taken is Psych 101. That one was super fun because my teacher was amazing! There were over 300 people in the class but he made it feel like there was only 30 of us.” Advice for Seniors from Valaree “If I was talking to a senior at TIA who’s planning on coming to NAU, I would tell them that it’s an amazing place. In a way, it reminds me of TIA because of the class sizes and the teachers care about you. It felt like home for me. When I first left home to attend NAU, I was scared because I came here not knowing anybody. I thought I was going to be by myself, a little loner. I was so sad but excited too because I get to branch out and leave and figure out what I want to do with my life. Then I came here and found a new best friend who literally lived across the hall from me. A year after that I started Greek Life and it just grew from there. I found my home here. Even though sometimes I can’t wait to graduate and go, I’m going to miss it so much here.”  

Nicolas Cavazos Covarrubias  

Nicolas started TIA in the first grade and his sister Valerie was in second grade. He has been at NAU for one year now and is also studying Business Management with a minor in Human Resources. In the long run, he would like to manage a business or work in Human Resources as well. How TIA Helped Nicolas “I really like TIA because it focused on my education as well as everyone else's. It wasn’t like there were favorites. We were all equally treated and treated very well. I remember them helping me do a leadership program at ASU to help me get scholarships in the future, not just at ASU but at other campuses. I’m here at NAU now utilizing the scholarships I did end up getting. I feel like TIA really prepared us for college by having us meet those deadlines that colleges focus on, FAFSA, scholarships, applications and things of that sort. I was really able to look into multiple scholarships that I would never have considered without the help of TIA.” Life at NAU for Nicolas “At NAU I’ve really enjoyed the classes that they offer. I was able to take a Women and Gender Studies class, even though it doesn’t necessarily pertain to business management, which I’m majoring in. So I was able to expand my knowledge on various aspects of life even if it doesn’t affect me. I was really able to learn a lot from that class as well as the math classes they’ve offered here. I’m kinda a math genius, don’t mean to brag but I love me some math. I’m doing pretty good in the math classes and passed with B’s, which I’m pretty happy with myself. I’d say the only drawback that NAU does have is the weather. It’s extremely cold during the winter. Tucson is nothing like NAU in the slightest. However, when it’s warm here, it’s amazing! Everything here looks nice and you experience all of the seasons, especially fall as you see all of the leaves change colors. It’s really nice to be here.”    Advice to Seniors from Nicolas “My biggest advice to any senior at TIA right now would be to stay busy and prepare yourself for the multitasking that you are going to have to do in college. Any college you go to you will have to multi-task and sacrifice things to make sure work gets done.” Link to video

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Why Are Businesses Interviewing TIA Students During Business Week?

Business Week is a major part of the TIA Business Program. On Friday of Business Week, students 8-12 dress up in professional clothes and interview with local companies. We have Chef Mateo Otero from Rollies Mexican Patio, plus representatives from Raytheon, Pima County, nurses from local hospitals and clinics, and many others. This is the students’ best chance to practice an interview that may eventually lead to their dream careers. It’s an opportunity to identify and correct mistakes--much better than interviewing for a job with no practice at all. During these interviews, many of the local companies also offer internships to TIA students which is great work experience and can lead to college scholarships.

Jonathan Basurto, Vice Principal

“Every year we have students that are offered internships. The biggest ones at the beginning of the program were from Jim Click Automotive, where students would work as service managers and technicians. Then they would get scholarships from Jim Click to go to U of A or other schools. We just had a student get offered an awesome internship to the University of Arizona’s pharmacy program. This student wants to be a doctor in the research and development field. Several of our students are really getting into engineering. So we are trying to work as best we can with engineers to get them internships during the summertime.” 

Arthur Basurto - AZ Workforce Development/SER Youth Coordinator

“We’re here today to look for some interns. I’m looking for interviewing skills and, students with a good GPA. We look at the way they are dressed, how well they speak for themselves, and what type of vocabulary they have. We listen to their stories and where they came from and looking towards their future--where do they see themselves in the next 5 years. TIA is probably one of the best schools I’ve seen. Being a teacher for 35 years prior to what I’m doing now, I would come to TIA back then if I could be here to be part of this. This is a really good school. It’s a college-bound school. It’s a true career path school. ” 

Minette Mercado, TIA student

“I learned a lot of great things today! This helped me overcome my fear of doing interviews and gave me more experience. You learn how to ask good questions during the process to show that you’re interested.” 

Unice Reyes, Senior Class President

“Today we have interviews with the professions that we are interested in. Most of us got internships from one of the companies represented here today. This is a great opportunity for us to explore before we go off to college. I got an internship from the U of A for pharmacy. I’m excited because my future is just beginning. So this is a good opportunity for me to start that way.” 

Jose Diaz, TIA student

“Today I was offered a potential internship for mechanical engineering at Raytheon.” 

Luan Ojeda, TIA student

“Today we are doing our interviews. I had an interview with Raytheon. The career I’d like to have is an aeronautical engineer. The potential internship I have is at Raytheon for aeronautical and mechanical. The most important thing to learn today was that you could get over your fears of talking to people and things will get easier. ” 

Ray Donovan, Raytheon

“There’s a lot of opportunities. You’ve got a lot of runway ahead of you. Raytheon is going to focus on the best and brightest. They are on the right path. This is a group that is really putting in a lot of effort. This is my fourth year here. It’s been really really fun to watch and see the progression of skills. If you want to be competitive, you want to intern at Raytheon. There’s a lot of benefits. I did it for a couple of years. You will get paid much better than you will sitting in one of the areas at the university that you are going to. You will get skills and networking. But you have to keep that GPA up. I don’t care at all if you fail at something. In fact, failing is usually a big plus. Engineering is all about trying something, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and reiterating until you get something that works. We need the best and brightest. And we’ve got some of the best and brightest here. The key is to make sure they are aware of the skills and decisions they can make tomorrow that will help them work with us in the future.”   

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TIA Business Week - Student Interviews

Pima County School Superintendent Visits TIA Students

“Today was the highlight of everything we offer at TIA. Dr. J has a vision where teachers, administrators and students all work together for the betterment of the community. One of the high school teachers, Mr. Goshay, invited Pima County School Superintendent Dustin Williams to come speak to the kids about leadership, how to be successful students, and how to take that success in their education into their future.”  Jonathan Basurto, Vice Principal at Midvale campus. Superintendent Dustin Williams had the opportunity to talk to the students about his life experiences, what made him successful in life, and what were some of the hardships. He also shared what it’s like in politics, what it’s like to be the elected Pima County Superintendent, his experiences in school, how to work on self-confidence, how to make ourselves better each day, goal setting, and more.

Dustin Williams, Pima County School Superintendent

“When I went to college, I wasn’t college-ready; I was lost. I hadn’t put enough time into my academics when I was in high school and didn’t have good study habits. I flunked out of the University of Arizona on my first try at college. So I became a real estate agent for 3 years. Then I moved to San Francisco and became a futon salesman, then I moved back to Tucson and became a server in a restaurant. I quit my job and enrolled at Pima College; I wanted to become a teacher. I knew at that moment I had found my passion. I was 26-27 years old. I found something I loved to do which changes everything. When I became a teacher, I wanted to make sure that I became a mentor for all of the students.” 

Mr. Goshay, a teacher at Midvale campus

“The time is now. One of the things I learned about NOW is it stands for No Opportunity Wasted. I invited the superintendent in because I hoped his story would inspire and reach the students’ hearts. Mr. Williams is a Tucson native who made bad choices in college and failed. But he recovered, overcame his obstacles and is now leading schools. I hope that his story will inspire the students and show them that they have the ability to succeed. As the students learn to find the things that they love, it makes it enjoyable to learn.”  

Dr. J, TIA School Superintendent  

Having Superintendent Dustin Williams here today was inspiring. He has personal experiences about college and about preparation for the future that are pertinent and of great value. Being an educator, he knows the challenges. What I loved about his speech today was how practical he was. Telling the kids his personal story will inspire and encourage them. One of the main things they talked about was the importance of focusing and answering the hard questions. What are you passionate about? What difference do you want to make in the world? Are there problems that you think need to be solved? Those are all good questions when you are considering what to study in school, so that you can be a powerful leader and bring positive change. 

Andrew Bevington, Pima County Business Education Director

My advice is to get involved in clubs and do extra things when you are in college. Get involved in sports if you can. Pima college costs a lot less for the first two years, in terms of debt load, compared to UofA, so unless you have a full scholarship, it makes a lot of sense to attend Pima and get your AA degree there, then go for your higher degrees at another college, which will be a manageable debt load. 

Unice Ryes, TIA Senior Class President

“To have Superintendent Williams share his story will help motivate us to pursue our dreams to go to college.  

Dustin Williams, Pima County School Superintendent

“Speaking to seniors is good because sometimes when you get to your senior year, you want to let off the gas a little bit. We want to help the students find motivation points so they can push through and finish strong, academically and personally. We also talked about the importance of being leaders and the new leadership styles we have in today’s world. With hate crimes and a lot of adversity going on, how do we overcome that and make our community successful? So we want to get to these students and give them tools and strategies, or at least how to start thinking about these things; it’s important to them to hear these words. It’s also important for the students to know that people care about them, which will inspire them and get them to move forward. Not that everything is about money, but without a high school diploma, you will not make more than about $13,000 a year. Once you have that college degree, you will be making $35,000-40,000 a year. TIA is a place that inspires students to think like entrepreneurs. What’s the big picture and where are you going in life? TIA gives students a chance to think outside the box, think about putting together a project that they may want to sell to a community, and empowering students to put together something to make it real. 

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