What is College Bound AZ about?

“To work here, you have to be passionate about kids and their education”. Liz Paulus, Executive Director
College Bound AZ’s goal is to see education equity for all students. Each year a typical high school will graduate 600 students. Programs and staff to transition students to college are estimated to accommodate approximately 120 students per school. There is a potential gap of services for 450-500 students, depending on the school. Yet education is the single greatest factor that can unlock the gifts and talents embedded in our youth. College Bound AZ is taking on the challenge.

Meet Our Staff

Elizabeth Paulus, Co-founder and Executive Director
I know that education is transformative, and our program serves as a bridge to a better future through higher education. I feel a deep connection with every student I come in contact with because each represents our past, present and future. Every generation seeks the same thing – opportunity. I have seen what the lack of college guidance has done to the most well-intentioned student. Opportunity is lost. First Generation students and all those underrepresented in college require our utmost support for equal access to opportunity and success.

Gerald Paulus, Co-founder and Director of Development
I see the goal of College Bound AZ as to create the expectation within each of our youth that they deserve to go to college and that with hard work they will be successful. At College Bound AZ, we give our youth two gifts without them even knowing it—the gifts are confidence and discipline. With confidence and discipline each of them will succeed.
Mike Ciccarelli, Education Coordinator
Throughout life I have had wonderful mentors come into my life. As a student and mentor from Reaching Higher, I was taught “The power of Hope. The skills to Cope.” This helped me understand as a student that I’m a miracle and instill ethics that every young person should have. Education is as much a textbook as Church is a building. So as I tried my best to be successful in college/university, the task seemed impossible. I noticed that it takes a village to raise a child and we are all neighbors helping neighbors. The uniqueness of mentorship program for College Bound is it helps guide students down the path of opportunity. They can ask what mistakes we made and learn from them. It really comes down to love and respect, two traits that mentoring foster and facilitate. I joined College Bound because I don’t want our future having to take the path I did, we’ve evolved as a society and it’s about time we’ve evolved our children’s success rate.