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Oregon Welcomes Two New Program Coordinators

Welcome Salvador and Melody to the Oregon team! Salvador Garcia Lopez is joining our high school team and will be supporting AmeriCorps members who are working directly with high school students while Melody Aron will be joining our college team and supporting AmeriCorps members who are working directly with students in college.

Meet Salvador

Why College Possible, and why now?
College Possible has been a part of my life for the past nine years in many different forms. I was in the first College Possible Portland cohort that started back in 2013 and was a student in the program until I graduated from Western Oregon University in 2020. Upon graduating from college, I wanted to live on the East Coast but still be a part of College Possible. This led me to become a high school coach at College Possible Philadelphia where I could give back to an organization that gave me so much throughout my educational journey. After doing a second year of service with AmeriCorps at another organization, I decided that I wanted to move back to the West Coast and join College Possible Oregon to support the community that raised me.

What are you most excited to accomplish in your new role?
Talking about the FAFSA! I want to prepare my high school senior coaches to be confident when educating their students about the FAFSA. Talking about financial aid is sometimes the biggest obstacle at the start of the school year since it has a lot of terminologies that can get confusing at times.

What are you looking forward to adding to the Oregon team, and what are you looking forward to learning?
I am looking forward to putting on my College Possible student hat and College Possible coach hat as I embark on this new position as a high school program coordinator. I believe that as someone who has both been presented with college access and success material as a student and then again as a coach, I am able to take a step back and see through a different lens what works best or what could be improved, that benefits both the students and the coaches. I look forward to learning more about my role and how I can best support the students, coaches, and schools that I will be working with.

What’s the biggest issue you see facing students today and do you have any solutions to them?
The lack of college awareness and college readiness due to many students being virtual for the past two years. I believe that now more than ever, College Possible can work with high school juniors and seniors on their ACT test prep and college application journey.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I enjoy being outside and exploring the beauty of Oregon (rain or shine), catching up with friends over food or coffee, going to concerts, and training for local 10Ks and half-marathons.

The thing people are most surprised to learn about me is…?
When I was in eighth grade, I went on a religious pilgrimage with my church group in Mexico where I walked 150 miles from Álvaro Obregón, Michoacán to Gustavo A. Madero, Mexico City in nine days.

Meet Melody

Why College Possible, and why now?
I believe my role as a college program coordinator will give me the opportunity to make a direct and tangible impact on a community in need. I previously worked as a resource specialist in collaboration with the Nevada state justice system as well as school districts within Clark County to help under-resourced students and families in need gain access to free resources. College Possible‘s mission and vision strongly correlate with my ideals and that of my previous role, which I found quite rewarding. I have always found great value in a work path of service and when the opportunity presented itself, I knew College Possible was the catalyst I was looking for to get back involved with service-based work.

What are you most excited to accomplish in your new role?
I am most looking forward to reaching a sense of normalcy here so I can feel better equipped to serve the community of students within my reach, as well as having the opportunity to inspire coaches to build meaningful relationships while doing the same myself.

What are you looking forward to adding to the Oregon team, and what are you looking forward to learning?
I’m hoping my professional and personal life experiences can add more dimension to the general perspective and approach of day-to-day operations, and I’m looking forward to gaining the same sense of inimitable exposure from the Oregon team in return.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I prefer to spend time in nature with my Dalmatian Penny as well as with my friends and family, the people I admire most.

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