Voices of Success | City of Ideas
Over the course of the coming academic year, we will be sharing the insights of students and coaches from Success Boston, Boston’s citywide college completion initiative. Together, the Boston Foundation, the Boston Public Schools (BPS), the City of Boston, Boston Private Industry Council, and 37 area institutions of higher education led by UMass Boston and Bunker Hill Community College join with local nonprofit partners in an effort to double the number of BPS graduates completing college.
This week, we meet Oscar Torres, a student at UMass Boston and Juanita Tabb, a Success Counselor with Bottom Line.
Meet Success Boston student Oscar Torres: The Power of the Student-Coach Relationship
I am Oscar Torres. I am from the Brighton/Allston area I have been living here for the majority of my life, I graduated from the Mary Lyon Pilot High School in 2015, and I have Honduran background. I am in my 3rd year at UMass Boston and I am now majoring in communication.
So that I can use my skills to one day have my own foundation, that helps minorities get access to all the resources they have right in front of them, so that they have more opportunities and it opens more doors for them. I am excited to learn about how I can use my voice to influence change and to stand up for what I believe in using different platforms.
Tell us about your experience with Success Boston.
I am currently on the Success Boston Leadership Council, I am trying to learn more about the USG (Undergraduate Student Government) at UMass Boston because I plan to run for Vice President next semester.
I work with Portsha Franklin (also known as the Coach of the Year). Me and her are a team. We work on several things - if it's not her randomly checking in, it's me reaching out to her asking for help about school, work, or to find opportunities to grow, learn, or use my experience to show people an example of Success Boston coaching and the benefits of having a coach.
I am grateful for her, because I do not know what I would be doing if it wasn’t for her. I’d probably be eating a burger somewhere watching basketball.
Meet Success Boston Coach Juanita Tabb: Helping Students Find Their Passions
My name is Juanita Tabb. I am a native of Dayton, Ohio, and a first-generation college graduate. I attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York where I majored in English, and minored in both the Intergroup Relations and the Honors Forum Programs. During my undergraduate career, I was fortunate to be a part of the Opportunity Program at Skidmore, which supported my development and success through college. The support that I received as a student, motivated me to serve as a counselor for the Opportunity Program and eventually become a college counselor at Bottom Line. My passion to work in higher education derives from my experiences with college students where I had the opportunity to enhance students’ college experiences, and positively impact their trajectory and outcomes in life, like someone once did for me.
What do you as a part of Success Boston?
Currently, as a Success Counselor at Bottom Line, I support first-generation college students’ transition to and success through college by providing one-on-one academic, career, financial and life coaching. This year, I am entering into my second year at Bottom Line, and I am excited to support nearly 80 students at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Whether my students are new to college or on the peak of graduation, I am always eager to learn about their experiences and passions, and to help them on their journey to earning a college degree.
What does the fall have in store for you as a coach?
As students resume their studies this fall, I look forward to helping them reach their educational and professional goals by ensuring academic achievement and career-readiness. Specifically, I desire to connect students to both on-campus and community resources early in the semester so students can identify and receive the appropriate support when challenges arise. Moreover, I strive to engage students in activities that promote both self and career exploration to get them thinking about potential career paths, and what organizations they would like to work or intern with in the summer.
Look for more Voices of Success from within the Success Boston program throughout the year on TBF.org!