Patti Parra

“STEP made college a reality for my daughter. I always encouraged her to work hard in school, but past that I had no idea. Ashley became much more independent after the STEP workshops because she had all the information. They really really break it down. She was empowered to take the steps she needed to get in to college.”
— Patti Parra
STEP Parent
Daughter Ashley - STEP Class of 2015, Wellesley College Class of 2019

For both Patti and her daughter Ashley, the STEP alumni network has been hugely impactful. “Just seeing people who were in the same seat you are is a really powerful tool. Latinos are a very close community and we want to be close to our family. My daughter is in Boston and I’m in Tucson. That’s never happened in my family before. But STEP provides the support and motivation to make this possible.”

It all started with the STEP Alaska expedition. “Oh my goodness!” Patti remembers poignantly. “I had never been apart from Ashley before, besides a handful of sleepovers. It was very very difficult to let her go. But, I had to hold on to my own fear, because I recognize opportunities when I see them. I knew this was going to be the most wonderful opportunity for her. Tracy really explained everything, and I heard from former students and parents. So I wanted that for my daughter. The expedition was wonderful. I noticed even more independence in her after that. She was ready to hit the ground running and immediately started to write her college application essays when she returned. She was really pumped up to apply to college in another state. She came back knowing that if she could survive Alaska, she could survive in a college dorm away from home!”