This article was written by College Possible Washington VISTA, Sydney Hardy.
College Possible Washington gives a warm welcome to its summer transition coaches Maalini, Iman, Natalie and Mariela. Each coach served previously during the 2021–2022 academic year working with high school and college students.
This summer, these coaches will serve and provide support to our recent high school graduates who will begin college in the fall, as well as first-year college students who will begin their second year. Last month, we hosted College Fest where coaches introduced the concept of “summer melt” to our 12th grade students; a phenomenon where students’ motivation “melts” after high school graduation, sometimes resulting in them not enrolling in college. Our transition coaches will be working with students this summer to make sure they are set up for success financially, and help complete all requirements to begin classes in the fall.
Meet Maalini Suresh
Maalini graduated from Wayne State University in 2021 with a bachelor of science in psychology and a minor in biology. During the 2021–2022 school year, she has been serving students who are attending four-year institutions. Maalini loves to go hiking, watch reality TV and eat anything from Trader Joe’s.
“I am looking forward to supporting students during the summer to ensure that they stay on track to begin classes in the fall,” said Maalini.
Meet Iman Hassan
Iman graduated from the University of Washington – Tacoma in 2021 where she majored in English literature. During the 2021–2022 school year, Iman served as the senior coach for Lindbergh High School. She enjoys spending time with her family, scrapbooking, going to concerts with friends and traveling (when borders are open).
“As a Summer Transition Coach, I am looking forward to solving more problems for my students and making the transition to college as smooth as I can make it,” said Iman “I hope to make connections with students even if we have little time with each other. I am excited to meet them all and learn of the many ways I can be of assistance!”
Meet Natalie Popowics
After graduating from Duke University in the spring of 2020, Natalie moved across the country to the rainy city of Seattle. Here, she has found purpose in serving with College Possible as a junior coach at Garfield High School for the 2021–2022 academic year. This role attracted her as she has previously worked in several positions as a tutor and teaching assistant over the years, and she hopes to continue her work in education after attending the University of Washington for her Leadership in Higher Education master’s degree next fall.
“I am looking forward to supporting new and continuing college students through the summer transition months,” said Natalie. “I hope the experience I gain working with our students will aid me in a future university advising role where I can continue to help students on their college journeys!”
Mariela Cruz Aguilera
Mariela graduated from the University of California – Santa Barbara where she majored in sociology and minored in Spanish. During the 2021–2022 academic year, she served as the College Access Coach for Franklin High School in Seattle. Mariela will be attending UCLA in the fall of 2022 pursuing a Master of Education in Student Affairs. During her free time, she enjoys curating Spotify playlists.
“As a Summer Transition Coach, I am most looking forward to connecting students to on-campus resources and support services,” said Mariela.“My hope is that in addition to ensuring students are on the right track to attend school in the fall, we can begin to establish a sense of community at their campus.”