Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Chacon

Name: Sarah Chacon

CAC Partner Program: UT Austin

Years Served with CAC: 2011-2013

Current Occupation: Teacher

Current Location: El Paso, Texas

Describe your current role.

I am currently a teacher at El Dorado High School in El Paso, Texas. I teach Government and Economics to seniors, and I teach an AVID II (Advancement Via Individual Determination) elective class to sophomores. As the sponsor for the AVID Leadership Committee, I help students with the college admissions process. I also serve as the Co-Coordinator for the AVID Program, where I help maintain the certification guidelines and help refine the school-based AVID system for future improvements.

How did your time with College Advising Corps help shape your career plans? What skills/knowledge did you acquire as an adviser that you draw upon you in your current role?

My time with College Advising Corps inspired me to pursue a career in education and has provided me with valuable insight into the field of education. As a college adviser, I regularly created and delivered presentations to high school students about the college process.  I gained confidence and experience by speaking to student groups of 30 to 3,000 and learned how to mentor students through the college admissions process. The knowledge I gained about the college admissions process continues to allow me to educate and empower students in my classroom who seek higher learning. In the near future, I will be pursuing a graduate degree in counseling. I look forward to drawing upon my experiences as an adviser and classroom teacher to inform my studies and practice as a counselor.

What is the single most important factor that has helped and continues to help you succeed as a classroom teacher?

The single most important factor is taking the time to get to know your students. It is important to remember not to “sweat the small stuff.” It is not unusual for a student to act up or become disruptive during a class lesson and most likely the reason behind this behavior is complicated. I empathize with my students who experience hardships at home and who have trouble focusing in school. Some work all night to help support their family or are the sole caretaker for an ill family member. When you get to know your students and their stories you understand how to teach and mentor them the best way possible.

What advice do you have for alumni who may be interested in pursuing a similar career path as you?

This is one of the best decisions I have ever made! The valuable experience and knowledge that I gained with College Advising Corps gave me a greater appreciation for higher learning and a passion to empower and educate others. The two-year term was the perfect foundation for building my career path in education.

If you have questions for Sarah or are interested in learning more about her career pathway, reach out to her at: sarahchacon9@gmail.com.