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

Join the Tucson International Academy Family – Enroll Online

TIA College Visit Tour

How do students make informed decisions about where to apply for college? Most students need more information than what is shown on a website. No guidebook, testimonial or website will give them a better feel for a school than they will get by seeing it for themselves. Many students change their minds after a college visit. This is obviously preferable to changing their minds after they enroll. When it comes to research on which college to attend, there is no substitute for a visit to a campus to help figure out if that college is the right fit. TIA staff and parents take a group of interested students every year on college visit tours. The students envision life beyond high school and can imagine themselves on campus. They meet with current college students, faculty and admissions staff, and explore the local surroundings. They also get the chance to see or do something fun along the way too.

2018 Trip

This year the TIA college visit tour group visited the Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, AZ, on the first day. The second day they visited the beautiful campus of Northern Arizona University. The last day they toured  Grand Canyon University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

What did the students have to say about this trip?

This trip definitely made me reconsider where I was going to go to college, as of now I'm thinking about Embry-Riddle for space physics or GCU for business management.” ~ Janelle Moreno “There's something different about visiting a college campus instead of just hearing things about it.” ~ Alonzo Rodriguez “It made me think a lot about going somewhere different than I originally planned. Experiencing the campus life really changes the way you look at college.” ~ Taylor Pineda

What were some of the student's favorite experiences?

Feeding animals at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park, swimming in an indoor pool when it was freezing cold outside, hanging out with the other students who have all become like a family to each other, and a visit to the planetarium on one of the college campuses to see the planets the way they’ve never been viewed before. 100% of all graduating students at TIA get accepted to colleges. This tour is one more tool that helps accomplish that.

Enroll Your Student today at TIA!

TIA college visit tour 2018

TIA Senior Stories – Nicky Cavazos

Recent TIA graduate, Nicky Cavazos, has been a student at TIA since first grade. The school was highly recommended by family members already attending TIA, so his family felt it was the best place to enroll him. When Nicky was younger, he was told by doctors that he would have a difficult time learning in school. He struggled with pronunciation, reading and writing, but that didn’t stop him. While attending TIA, Nicky worked with a speech specialist to overcome his issues. With a lot of hard work and encouragement from everyone around him, he overcame those obstacles and went on to graduate at the top of his class, speaking and reading very well in not only one language, but two! Life at TIA - Senior Stories Nicky’s favorite classes at TIA were math-related because he’d always had a knack for numbers. Part of that was due to his teachers who, in his opinion, were “amazing teachers” that made math interesting to him. Nicky doesn’t have just one special memory of TIA because “I feel as though every day at TIA carried so many memorable moments, that not one surpasses the other. But some of my favorite moments would include: the seniors taking a break from math class to watch Rupaul’s Drag Race, the competitive matches of volleyball between the high school classes, and the constant development of friendships and relationships over the years.” Nicky feels that TIA has prepared him for life after high school because, as a college prep school, there is the expectation that students will go on to universities. The leaders, principals and teachers want the students to excel in life. College can be an excellent next step toward a fulfilling life. How did TIA Best Prepare Nicky for the College Experience? TIA’s leaders and teachers talk about their own memories of college and are able to give good advice based on personal experience. Nicky feels this will help him be more prepared for what is to come. Two other things stood out for Nicky in TIA’s specific preparation for college: the school visits which helped him choose a college, and the College & Career Fair that TIA puts on every year. About Those College Trips Nicky went on a couple of the TIA-sponsored trips to look at different universities  (Grand Canyon University, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona), one of which included a side trip to the Grand Canyon. Representatives of each college talked about campus life, class specifics, housing and more. He applied to the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University. Nicky chose Northern Arizona University for the environment and beautiful scenery; it will be a brand new experience for him. He also has two close friends going to NAU this coming year, his sister and his friend Kami (whom he met at a leadership program this last school year). Nicky is passionate about many things, specifically writing, marketing, animation, drawing, fashion, the LGBT community, and the media. He plans to major in marketing with a possible minor in English, LGBT studies, graphic design, or creative writing/journalism. But he’ll see how everything works out first, as he may change his views and pursue something entirely different once he’s attending classes. He’s definitely open to anything. Nicky’s Words of Thanks and Encouragement In Nicky’s words, “I’m definitely thankful for my parents, specifically my mother. She has made it her number-one priority to give her children everything possible, and without her I don’t believe I would be where I am right now. She has given me every possible tool to succeed and I like to believe I’m on my way in continuing my success thanks to her. I’m also thankful for the school staff and their selfless efforts to help every student. They definitely put the students first, and on behalf of the entire school I say thank you. I encourage everyone to just focus on their studies and make that a priority. Your capabilities and drive to excel in school subjects will be a huge determining factor in receiving scholarships for college. I also say, enjoy your time in high school, and just ultimately be prepared for the future. For who knows what it holds?” Well said! Congratulations to Nicky and all the TIA senior class!  

Enroll your child at TIA today. Where excellence in teaching is the standard.

Senior storiesSenior storiesSenior stories

Rubina Herrera: First Student to Complete Kindergarten Through High School at TIA!

There are things about Tucson International Academy student Rubina Herrera that make her amazingly unique! There is not one other senior in the high school that can boast about some of the things Rubina has done. As the only child of TIA’s superintendent Dr. Jennifer Herrera and TIA’s co-founder and teacher, Mr. Wences Herrera, Rubina has had the opportunity to experience amazing adventures and accomplishments.

TIA’s True Trailblazer!

One totally unique title Rubina will forever hold is as the first student to attend TIA all the way from kindergarten through 12th grade. When you know that her parents founded the school, this makes perfect sense. It’s fun for Rubina to reminisce about all the changes she has seen at Tucson International Academy over the past 14 years. She has watched as TIA grew from one school to four campuses. As the attendance for TIA grew, so did the opportunities for all the students.

Teacher’s Pet?

Rubina also is unique in that not many kids can say one of their favorite teachers in school is their very own dad. Rubina’s dad has been her Spanish teacher her whole life and she says she loved being able to go to him for help with her homework!

We Have No Secrets!

But having your mom as the superintendent and your dad as a teacher also means there’s not much in your life,  if anything, of which they are unaware. However, since Rubina never had anything to hide, this was not a problem. In fact she and her parents are very close and have an enviable relationship.

The World as Her Classroom

There are not many American kids who can say they have been to New York, Spain, China (twice!), England and France. Part of the amazing thing about being a student for the entire time TIA has been in existence is Rubina was able to go on every single trip the school sponsored. Her first international trip with TIA was as a 7 year old when they traveled to China for the first time.  Just like her parents, Rubina loves to travel. Her favorite destination thus far was Spain. Having discovered the ethereal beauty, delectable food and the warm, friendly people of Spain, Rubina states she could actually see herself living there. And since she has learned both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese at TIA, her desire to live internationally is definitely attainable.

Getting Ready to Spread Her Wings

But Rubina’s first move away from home after completing high school will be to college. She has applied to and already been accepted to many universities. One of her options is to attend school in Oxford, Indiana where her mom grew up and where relatives still live. But she loved the campus at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff as well. Understandably Rubina is both excited to go away to school and a tad nervous to be far away from her family. But being the trail blazing, world traveler that she is, it’s hard to imagine her not embracing her adventuresome spirit!

TIA is an amazing school! Enroll online now!

RubinaTIA 2015 StoneHenge

We Make Dreams to Attend College Come True!

We recently conducted an interview with TIA alumni, Victor Figueroa. Victor graduated from Tucson International Academy-Midvale in May of 2014. Victor’s dream to attend college has become a reality as he prepares to begin his second year at the University of Arizona. How many years did you attend TIA? I attended Tucson International Academy since 7th grade, so 6 years in total. Since I was one of the students that was there for a long time, I experienced the expansion of TIA Midvale which allowed me to be involved in the growth and changes. One of the changes I saw was that we went from having only two teachers teaching all the subjects to multiple teachers teaching various subjects. Have other members of your family attended college? In my immediate family no one has been able to pursue a higher education before, so I am the first generation to attend college. To which colleges did you apply and where did you end up deciding to attend college? When I was in high school I had a very vague idea of college. In my senior year at TIA,  thanks to the dual enrollment program they offered, I was able to take classes at Pima Community College. I knew that I wanted to attend and have the full college experience. However, I always thought that it was out of our family’s financial reach. I had heard terrible stories about students that go to college and obtain a degree, but then end up having so much loan debt that they cannot afford to live on their own. I did not want to end up drowning in debt, so I had to constantly evaluate my goals and my financial status to decide whether college was a viable choice for me. I decided to research schools that were close to home that offered generous scholarships. I found that our very own Northern Arizona University was on the list. Therefore, I decided to apply to NAU. The problem however is that I am a not a person that likes extremely cold weather or snow in the winter! So while I was happy that NAU accepted me with a very good scholarship, I was not sure that the Flagstaff weather was something I wanted to put up with for the next four years. However, I was relieved that the path to paying for college seemed brighter. I knew I wanted to stay in Arizona, so I also decided to apply to Arizona State University and University of Arizona. I received acceptance letters from both, although both colleges offered less aid than NAU. After weighing all the information, I chose to attend college at  University of Arizona. I chose U of A primarily because their computer science program rated higher than NAU and because I had already started an internship there. Did you do anything different to prepare the summer prior to starting college? Since my major is math intensive, I wanted to be more prepared for college level precalculus. Therefore, I decided to rent a trigonometry/precalc book and studied and worked on the questions in the book. Since I was doing an internship with the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN) at the College of Optics, I asked my mentor whenever I had questions or concepts that I did not understand. By taking this initiative, once the semester started I was much more confident about my math skills. Can you remember your feeling the first few days of college? The first few days of college were challenging. I can still remember how out of place I felt coming from a small school into a student body of 35,000. At first I was so intimidated I felt like I may never fit in. However, I did not let that bring me down and kept striving. As each day passed I felt like I belonged there more and more. What have you found to be the biggest difference between high school and college? I would say that the biggest change between high school and college is the rigor of the work load and the freedom. In college there is no one setting up schedules for you or telling you where to go. Instead you have to decide on what’s best and manage your own time. The freedom that college allowed was a big change. While all that freedom is amazing, with bad judgment and or poor study and planning skills, it can become poison. It is ultimately up to the student if he or she wants to succeed. Tell us about where you are living. Are you living on campus? Since I chose a college that is close to home, I live off campus with my parents. However, from what I’ve learned, living on campus is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. What is your major? Minor? My major is Bachelors of Science in computer science. My minor  is Spanish. What have you found to be the most challenging part of college? What I have found most challenging about college is learning how to manage my time. Sometimes it feels as if there is no end to the amount of work needed to be completed. It gets even more stressful when there are multiple tests in one day. Thankfully, time management is a learnable skill and I have learned how to manage my time much better now. What is the best thing about attending college so far? The connections that you make and the material that you learn. While science and math are very challenging subjects, I also have the general education classes to cushion the rigor.  I like the fact that the options to learn whatever you want are limitless. Have you made a lot of new friends? Where did you meet most of them? College is about making connections; therefore, making friends is one exciting aspect that every student should look forward to. Most of my friends I have met through study groups and clubs. Clubs are a great way to make friends. How do you feel TIA best prepared you for college? I think that TIA really helped me prepare for college by offering the dual enrollment classes. Even though I only took 3 dual enrollment classes, it really helped me my first year and I had a pretty good idea of the rigor of college classes. I also think that the college and career fair helped me to ask questions and explore different career options and colleges. What final thoughts would you like to share with your friends back at TIA? I want to tell my fellow schoolmates back at TIA to work hard and don’t let anything make you quit. It is fine if you have no idea what you want to do or where you want to go, but don’t let your uncertainty hold you back from applying for internships, scholarships or colleges. I encourage every student to apply for as many scholarships as they can while they are still in high school no matter the award amount. They really do add up and help when you’re in college. I know I applied to over 50 scholarships while I was in high school and I only ended up getting 3, but those three scholarships put me through my first year of college without debt. I would also share with students that developing good work habits now will really help you to go a long way through college and beyond. Just keep being persistent! The journey to attend college may seem long and hard at times but before you realize it goals have been reached and it was all worth it! TIA makes dreams of college come true! Contact us today!
Victor FigueroaVictor FigueroaVictor Figueroa

TIA 2014 Career and College Fair

This year’s Career and College Fair was a huge success, with over 250 students in attendance. The keynote speech was given by Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel and the first woman to fly a combat mission (she is now running for the US Congress). Then the students had the opportunity to  choose among the booths of 27 different local businesses and organizations, and listen to their 20 minute demonstrations on what such a career would be like. After lunch, the final part of the day was to visit the college booths; close to a dozen colleges participated.  Their representatives talked to the students  about their college options in light of  the students’ interests and future career plans.

History of TIA Career Days

Mr. Montemayor and Mr. Von Croft started the TIA Career Days six years ago with 20 students in Mr. Montemayor’s class. Each student who was interested would be paired up with a local business person to shadow on the job for 2-3 hours. The next year Mr. Montmayer offered the shadowing option to two of his classes. It was so successful that they decided to offer the program district-wide. The overwhelming number of students interested in the program made it impossible to provide shadowing opportunities for them all, so four years ago the Career & College Fair was born. Now local businesses, organizations, and colleges come to the students in one place.

Local Businesses That Participated

Some of the local businesses and organizations that participated this year were; Costco, Target, Tucson Airport Authority, F.B.I., Sandoval Creative, R.O.T.C., Tucson Sheriff & Police Departments, and Arizona Public Media.

Schools That Participated

Among the schools that participated this year were University of Arizona, Tucson College of Beauty, ITT Technical Institute, Grand Canyon University, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, Tucson College, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, The Drawing Studio, Inc., and The Art Institute. For more pictures, click here to go TIA’s Facebook page. Enroll Your Child Now    Article written by Kim Murphey~TheJ3Effect
Martha McSally & Dr J Career & College DaysTIA Career & College Day 2014TIA Career & College Days