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Discovering a Path to College Through an Important Mentor

Westside High School senior Carlos Soriano could never have dreamed of a future that included college. As a child in El Salvador, he struggled to learn in an overcrowded school, where he was shuffled in and out of classrooms not large enough for all students. Learning would last half a day, and he would ride a makeshift bus home. Today, the soft-spoken senior has a deep appreciation for the opportunity he has in HISD. He boasts a 4.56 GPA, ranks 29 out of 621 students, and is in the top 5% of his class. It’s a remarkable accomplishment when you discover he’s juggling the additional responsibility of caring for his 3-year-old brother after school so his mother can work. Soriano credits his college success adviser, Joy Maguire, for pushing him even further. She mentored him through essay and application deadlines for engineering programs at UT, A&M, UH, University of Colorado, and Virginia Tech. Now, in his final year of school after coming to the U.S. at 9, Soriano can imagine the possibilities of a college education.