Alexis Rosales

“I want to leave college and not just be a better person, but show others that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
— STEP Student, South Mountain High School

While earning mostly As in her high school AP classes, Alexis also works 83 hours per week. She’s a full-time Shift Manager at McDonald’s and care-giver for her five younger siblings, including an infant. “What drives me is my own childhood experience. I just realized that I don’t want to be the same as everyone in my neighborhood. I want to make a change in myself and in my family. I want to be a role model for my siblings. Everything I do is for them.”

Alexis joined STEP because she was excited for a challenge. But she didn’t quite realize what she was getting herself into. “At first I expected it to be easier. I didn’t realize how much rigor there was. I never expected someone to tell me I should take the hardest courses I can. Honestly, it was just so hard.” In fact, during her junior year she considered quitting the program but she stuck it out and soon realized, “STEP is here providing me with ACT prep, and they are encouraging me to take the hardest classes. They wouldn’t have done that if they didn’t think I could handle it. Without STEP I probably would have lost my mind junior year and gotten all Cs or given up. But I wanted to make Tracy and STEP proud. It’s not just about my family anymore, but making a bigger impact and proving to STEP that they chose me for a reason.”

On top of that, Alexis was introduced to her dream school (Smith College) in the summer before her senior year, and became all the more resolved to work hard with STEP so she could get into Smith. “I don’t know what it is about Smith exactly,” says Alexis, “but I feel like it’s going to be the place where I can become more of myself and find a piece of myself that I didn’t even know existed. I want to leave college and not just be a better person, but show others that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. And I know Smith is the place for me to do that.”

Alexis has applied Early Decision and is waiting to hear back from Smith. She’s already thinking ahead to her future double major in English and Government, with a minor in Psychology. “Long-term, I’ve thought about doing a lot of things. I considered becoming a doctor or a lawyer. What I really want to do is help people. But I want to be in on the action. My dream is to join police enforcement and work my way up to SWAT. I want to learn the techniques to go into a building and save someone.”