What Do 2 TIA Alumni Recommend for Future College Students?

Nixy Salcido and Maria Carmella Ocaya are TIA alumni and freshmen college students at the University of Arizona. Nixy is majoring in nursing. Maria Carmella Ocaya is majoring in Biomedical Engineering. They both met in the 6th grade at TIA and become good friends.

How Did TIA Prepare Nixie and Maria to be Good College Students?

They feel that TIA prepared them for college life by teaching them the basic fundamentals of being a successful student. Examples are: turning in quality work, leadership skills, communication skills. All very important for succeeding in college. TIA also helped them prepare for college by not settling for less. They never turned in work at TIA that wasn’t almost perfect. What they also loved about their years at TIA was how their small school was very family-like with their relationships with the teachers. 

Why Did the Girls Choose U of A?

Nixy and Maria chose to go to the University of Arizona because of the scholarship opportunities that they got. It is also very close to home, which they both like. They are both family-oriented people so when picking a college, it was important to them to be able to be close to their families, at least for the first few years. One of the things that Nixy and Maria liked about the U of A is how nice and approachable the professors are. They have been able to bond with the professors, even in an online format during the pandemic, the same way they would when coming in-person to classes. They also really like the environment on the campus. People at the school are friendly and approachable. The projects that they do with their groups in the classes really help them be able to make friends. 

What Does the Upcoming Semester Hold For Nixy and Maria?

For the returning semester, they are able to attend classes in person. They are both very excited about the clubs that they will be able to join. Also, being able to walk to class, rather than everything being online will be another plus.  Maria is excited about this next semester with the research opportunities that the college will provide. Also, she is looking forward to joining clubs that are geared towards engineering. This will give her more experience than what she could get during the pandemic.  Maria and Nixy are both very glad to have had each other to lean on for their first year at the U of A. Since so many of their classes were online, it was harder to make friends. But they knew each other well from all their years together at TIA. That helped a lot. Now they are looking forward to attendant U of A football games and getting into the school spirit.

What are Their Future Plans?

After Nixy graduates from the U of A, she will be a Labor and Delivery nurse and work in a hospital.  When Maria graduates with a Biomedical Engineering degree, her ultimate goal is to work in the field of cancer research or other possible areas would be cardiac and diabetes research. 

Nixy and Maria Recommend for Future College Students

The girls recommend to other TIA students to go to a college like the U of A. You will have an adult life but still have your parents to live with if you chose (if you go to a college in your hometown). And if you go to a college out of town, that is good too. At any college, you will still make many great connections for your future, in addition to all that you learn. Link to their YouTube video

Enroll Today at TIA!

Nixy Salcido and Maria Carmella Ocaya are TIA alumni and freshmen college students at the University of Arizona

Success Stories at TIA – Teo

Teo is a 2018 graduate of TIA. He plans on attending the UofA to get a business degree and minor in music. Teo feels that his friends and teachers at TIA have been like a family to him and that everyone looks out for each other, something that did not happen at his previous school.

TIA Business Program Creates Success Stories

At TIA they have a high school business program where the students come together as a group and start thinking as a group. They do all the marketing together for their business. As a team, they go out and talk to people about the business that they are starting and what they are trying to accomplish. This program has helped Teo with his own business and taught him how to market it, how to deal with time management and the way to speak to people. He feels that he was not very good at communicating prior to this class and now feels confident about speaking to people. For Teo, going through this program has made a big a difference in his belief in himself too.

Valerie Enriquez - Principal at TIA

Valerie Enriquez says, “Teo has been at TIA for 7 years and it's been a real privilege and honor to see him grow academically as well as in his leadership ability. I remember when he first came to TIA, he would sit in class quietly with no motivation, no confidence, mostly with his head down. Now he is a confident student and one of the biggest leaders in our school. He is setting an example for the other students. He plays on the sports teams, helps other students find their motivation and passion in life.  He helps in the community too.”

Landscape Kings

Teo has created a business called Landscape Kings. He loves doing landscaping, something he feels is an art, a canvas that he is putting his name on as he works. He has younger siblings and wants to show them that they, too, can succeed by going to college and having a successful business. Teo is another TIA success story! Watch video.

Enroll today at TIA!

success stories

Star Party at TIA – What is it All About?

This year’s Star Party at TIA was held on Jan 16th, 2018 at West campus with an attendance of about 350 people.

What is the Star Party about?

Every two years when the high school is studying earth science, the whole K-12 school will do a unit study on anything related to the universe, galaxy and solar system. This allows for each teacher to teach something age appropriate in earth science. The students create presentations for their particular subject matter and bring them to one spot (West Campus) to share with all the parents and other students from all campuses. It’s called the Star Party. TIA is such a small school that they cannot offer the opportunity for students to choose what classes they want to take when they’re in high school so in order to meet the state standards and the college standards in regard to required science classes, those classes are on a 4 year rotation plan. One year they have earth science for 9th and 10th grade and the next year it is biology.

School Themes at the Star Party

Each school campus has a theme for the Star Party, and was assigned one room at West Campus to set up all their students’ projects. Everyone at the Star Party could explore the different rooms, enjoying the projects and learning about the various subjects. Midvale Campus theme was the galaxy. They had projects about black holes, explanations of the Big Bang Theory, and much more. It was about things that could happen in the big picture in comparison with the Solar System. One student brought a PS4 game that has a simulations of the Mars Rover and kids had the opportunity to see what it would be like to drive on Mars. Broadway Campus theme was technology and research throughout the years for Space Exploration. A maze in the room took guests past all the different projects the students had made. They started with the older civilizations such as the Mayans, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans explaining how they studied the skies, how they implemented different things and what they knew about the equinoxes. Then they moved on to the Middle Ages where students presented, from the points of view of scientists of that era, theories about how the universe was created and how the universe looked.  From there, the next station was early exploration from the 1920s to the 1970s, and the race for lunar exploration, the Moon landing, and satellites sent into space. Next was current technology like the Mars Rover and Voyagers, and how they are taking pictures in space and sending them back to earth. Last was future technology, coming up with ideas of what future space technology may look like by comparing Star Wars and Star Trek. West Campus theme was the solar system. The students created paper-mâché replicas of the planets. Science projects of the planets were displayed on poster boards and they also had a star projection light display. East Campus theme was the exploration of space. Many students replicated experiments that had led to the exploration of space, and on the physics behind the technology that allows people to do space-related research. Some of the students were in the room demonstrating their experiments, many of which were hands-on. For example, they had a box with sand and they would simulate what the landing of a meteorite looks like.  They would drop a rock inside the box and you could see the marks it would leave behind. This explains how scientists can tell how large meteorites were that landed on Earth, by looking at patterns of their landings. The older students were working on demonstrating how sound waves can be used to move certain items.

Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA)

Every year at the Star Party, TIA invites the local Amateur Astronomy Association to come with  their very expensive high powered telescopes which they set up for the kids to view stars, different constellations and planets. The Star Party is held on an evening of the new moon because the sky is darker and everyone has a better chance of seeing things more clearly in space. Unfortunately this year the weather was extremely cloudy and the TAAA canceled since there was no point in bringing out their equipment if nothing could be seen with it. But all was not lost.

Close Up View of U of A With a Telescope

TIA did have access to one telescope which they decided to point at the University of Arizona campus. This turned out to be a good teaching moment for the younger students to understand how a telescope really works as the U of A is something they are familiar with. They know it’s there, far off in the distance. With the telescope pointed at it, they could see the U and A, they could see the light stands pointing at the stadium. Being able to see the U of A was very real and they went away with a better understanding of how a telescope works as a very powerful magnifier.

Enroll Today at TIA!

star partystar partystar party

TIA Grad Cristian Navaro Talks About Owning A Business

Cristian Navaro went to TIA for 4 years of high school, graduating in 2017. He is currently attending Pima Community College and will transfer to the U of A for a business degree.  He talks about owning a business now, thanks to TIA and YEA. Cristian says, “I’ve been into business ever since I was young. The thought of owning a business and being my own boss seems to be for me.” Dr. Jennifer Hererra remembers when Cristian came to TIA in 9th grade.  She says he’s always been a student that stood out because of his intense interest in owning a business. He always went after the unique contribution that he could make through a business.

Project Kickz

Cristian says, “I wanted to get into business now so that I can make a little extra money to help out with college, food and gas and stuff like that. The business I started is called Project Kickz, which is a sneaker shop that buys, sells and trades shoes and also customizes and restores shoes. I have here a pair of soccer cleats I restored. The benefit of restoring shoes is because they are special editions like a Jordan 3 which came out in 2017 and won’t be re-released again until maybe 2020. They are collectors items and more valuable to restore. So if it’s a shoe that someone wears a lot, they bring it to me and I can make it look like it’s new again. I can tape up parts of the shoes to protect the black suede part of the shoe while I use acetone to clean and stripe the paint on the other parts and then repaint it. Some shoes, like the Yeezy by Kanye West made by Adidas, only have so many pairs that are made. I was lucky enough to get a pair but I re-sold them for $1500! The Business Program at TIA is actually how I got my idea for Project Kickz.” Dr. Hererra remembers when Cristian began his business Project Kickz. He found out there was a Young Entrepreneur’s Academy offered by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and it was there that he wrote a business plan. That’s when his business really took off.

TIA High School Business Class & YEA

Cristian says he was when he was in the TIA Business class during his junior year in high school, and came up with his idea for the project that became his business. In his senior year of high school (2017), he heard about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) offered by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Tucson, Arizona. There they really taught him how to run a business and the steps he needed to accomplish the goal of owning his own business. He had to create a full business plan, so he has a really thick binder with all the details of that plan. Another thing Cristian learned in YEA was to always be respectful of who you’re dealing with, even if the other person gets mad at you or even throws punches at you, to stay respectful because maybe you can help one another later on.

What is a Sneakerhead?

Cristian feels he can tell a lot about a person just by looking at their shoes; each person’s choice of shoes gives them their own personality. People love to express themselves through their shoes. That’s what Sneakerheads mostly do. Sneakerheads are people that love to collect shoes and everything about shoes. They are people who will go wait in line for a new shoe to drop or people that buy multiple pairs of shoes so that they wear one and stock one. To stock one means you would store a pair away to keep it in perfect condition. When Cristian customizes a shoe for someone, he is letting them express who they are and giving them a uniqueness because that’s really them. People will say, “Oh that’s a dope shoe! Where did you get that?” and they say, “Project Kickz!”

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

TIA Grad Cristian Navaro Talks About Owning A Business