Lurie College is excited to welcome its newest staff member in the Student Success Center, Maricela Alvarez, to join our community beginning in the Fall 2020 semester!
My name is Maricela Alvarez and I have been blessed with the opportunity to support the Lurie College of Education in my role as an Academic Advisor. Four
years after my birth in Michoacán, México, my parents migrated to the East Side of Salinas, CA where I was raised. In East Salinas, I met families who shared immigrant stories like my own; I experienced families’ resilience, perseverance, and a deep desire to honor their parents’ sacrifices to attain a better life. Seeing how my parents worked in the fields from sunrise to sunset and dedicated their efforts to ensure my siblings and I prioritized our education, ignited my passion for serving students and families.
With the support, guidance, and motivation of my parents, siblings, teachers, and counselors, I attended Santa Clara University (SCU). While in college, I participated in a service-learning project paired with the National Hispanic University (NHU). After graduating from SCU, I became an Academic Advisor for the Upward Bound Program and subsequently supported first-year college students through NHU’s First Year Experience Program as the Retention Specialist. My work at NHU allowed me to identify with students and continue to support and motivate them as first-generation students from low-income communities wanting to pursue their college aspirations. During this time, I obtained a Master’s degree in Higher Education from Walden University.
After NHU closed its doors, I joined Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, a charter college preparatory high school where I collaborated with teachers, administrators, community members, and parents to develop a parent program that engages and empowers parents in the educational journeys of their children. Having the opportunity to work with students and families is not simply a job – it is a calling and a responsibility. I am excited to begin this journey and to learn from all of you as we join forces to support our SJSU students and celebrate their success.