“I have a plan…ACE gave me confidence and direction. My friends who didn’t participate in ACE are still unsure of what comes next for them. I encourage sophomores to join the program, because it prepares you for college and it gives you independence.”
Heather Stifanos is a senior at Trevor Browne High School, attends Glendale Community College and is a participant in the PetSmart internship program, which provides ACE students an entry level job, a college scholarship from the company upon high school graduation, and the opportunity to become a store manager upon graduation from college.
Heather’s father, an immigrant from Ethiopia, instilled in her a strong work ethic which has come to the forefront in her employment at PetSmart. Within four months of joining the company, the store manager had noticed Heather’s strong organizational and people skills; it was a natural choice to appoint her to train the store’s new employees!
Heather, who will be attending Arizona State University in the fall, will be majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Business. Her goal is to work for PetSmart in their marketing department.
Heather’s parents divorced when she was nine, and even though they have been supportive of her education she was worried that finances were going to be an issue once it was time for her to attend college; but when she attended an ACE seminar in her sophomore year she knew that there was a solution to her dilemma. “As I watched the ACE Power Point presentation and listened to other students talk about their experiences in the ACE Program, I got really excited and couldn’t wait to join!”
“I think that college-level classes should be part of the high school student experience. I found these classes not only fun but useful, especially the College Study course that I took. It’s already helped me so much.” Heather adds that the Career and Personal Development classes helped her with the resume and interview process to obtain employment at PetSmart. “These classes have taught time management, organizational skills–stuff that we all need to learn as students in higher education!”