Learning how to save was just the beginning for Analyssa Sanchez. “It has been an education in empathy and mentorship that I learned from the way my Earn to Learn success coach listened and supported me when I needed help.” Analyssa, now a junior studying Communications at Arizona State University, applies these learnings through her work at Arizona MENTOR and volunteering at ASU’s CALL Lab and continues to learn through her relationships with close college friends. “My friends know me really well and know when I’m needing extra help with getting things done for school. They give advice from their own experiences without any judgement and I do the same for those that I mentor.” Having people that take the time to listen and that can relate to your life experiences is what Analyssa believes is most important for students wanting to go to college and achieve big goals. Seeing this bigger picture puts everything, including her own savings goals, into perspective.
Analyssa made a decision early on to step up to the challenge of living independently. “In the past I depended on others to do everything for me. When I started at ASU I knew that everything depended on me and this was new. I didn’t have a plan B if I didn’t do it myself.” Analyssa calls this challenge “a blessing in disguise,” and at first she didn’t think that she would make it. “There were a lot of steps I needed to take to find and follow through with scholarships and grants. I was confused and overwhelmed, but my success coach followed up on all my questions.” After organizing her college funding, she began learning more about financial independence through Earn to Learn. “I never had anyone to talk to about how important saving is. Now I am knowledgeable about everything from a 401K to handling medical costs to creating a plan. I am more independent because I know how to create a plan and feel confident talking with others about decisions around finances.” Analyssa’s confidence in her knowledge and the public speaking skills she’s developed have inspired her to share more through mentorship. “I have learned to be empathetic to everyone’s situation. That’s where I start whether I’m working to support someone with disabilities or providing feedback to a student on their speech. When I start with the relationship aspect first, I can see the value in what I’m doing for both me and the person I’m working with – we both learn.”
It is this positive approach to seeing and being in the world that Analyssa now lives by and hopes to share with others. “I want to be an example for others and help them see that there are the support and resources out there that they need. I want to tell them that anything is possible.” She hopes to share this message with anyone, but especially those with a similar background. “Coming from a low-income, hispanic community as a first-generation college student I wasn’t prepared for life on my own. Things were very different on campus and I needed to step out of my comfort zone so that I could grow. But right now I’m on track to graduate and I did it all on my own.” Analyssa reminds us that everything begins with empathy and the relationships we build with others, and that ultimately helps us grow and achieve otherwise impossible goals.
Posted on: November 15, 2016