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Alma Barrios fosters youth to attend college

December 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
This week's Cool Kid uses her brains to encourage other students to aim high and conquer their educational aspirations.

Alma Barrios mentors high school students in their classroom and helps them prepare for the next step: college!

"It's one of the best feelings ever," said Alma. "It's really cool seeing that I helped someone, but I just feel like I'm sure they feel great. I'm more thinking about what they must feel."

Alma is a peer leader with the College Summit organization. The national non-profit program works with low-income high schools encouraging students to consider attending college. Many of these young people come from families where they'd be the first in their family to go to college. For first generation college students, the process can be intimidating. Alma helps them take that major step in life.

"A lot of people that didn't want to apply to college, they did! It just makes me happy because they just opened doors and they realized that," said Alma.

While she works with a variety of students, Alma has a unique ability to help them all.

College Summit coordinator Jennifer Carey says Alma has a keen ability to understand and support others with compassion and sensitivity.

"Alma has a tremendous amount of empathy and I think that's why she relates so well to everybody," Carey said.

Alma sees her personal college plans as another reason to lend a helping hand.

"What's the point of me being where I want to be, if I leave everyone else down?" Alma said. "I feel that will be like being a selfish person and I'm not like that."

Alma Barrios has a bright future in front of her and she is making sure that others achieve just as bright a future for themselves.


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