"I want to put a ding in the universe." - Steve Jobs
Dear AISS Supporter,
We are proud to announce our 3rd Annual AISS Bowl-A-Thon will be happening November 16th!
This is a great event for those looking for a fun way to get involved with AISS and our community. Save the date for bowling, opportunity drawings, and food at the Tustin Bowlmor. Stay tuned for details on bowling teams, sponsors, and ticket pricing. AISS will continue its tradition of splitting the proceeds with The Veteran's Legal Institute in honor of Veteran's Day week.
This month marks the start of AISS' Fall Session. After a short break, our classes resumed this past Saturday. Scholars caught up with our instructors and learned about the subjects they'd be studying this semester. Along with several study trips and special events, AISS will be focusing on writing skills and SAT prep for our Class of 2021.

AISS Class of 2019 alumna Isabelle Pham stopped by and surprised the class, sharing how AISS helped her connect with mentors who've supported her in her transition to UCI.

Isabelle Pham sharing her AISS experience

Edwards Lifesciences' VP of Clinical Affairs and AISS’ newest board member Efi Roe also spoke to the scholars. Efi shared his empowering story that spanned decades, professions, and countries. He shared how his 15+ years volunteering as a paramedic in Israel influenced his current career in clinical research. At the end of the presentation, Efi summarized:“Embrace changes. Be passionate about what you do. Keep learning. Experience life to the fullest. When things don't go well, don't lose hope."

Efi Roe with Class of 2021
After a short pizza and snack break, the scholars then grouped into their teams and met with mentors Jonathan Arellanes, Joshua Lopez, Jackie Rojas, and Jorge Acebo. They discussed what they hoped to achieve in the coming months of the program.

We are excited to share with you the accomplishments our scholars achieve this new season and school year!

Bridget Chay
Santa Ana High School

 I come from a family where no one has gone to college. My mother has taken job after job in order to provide the best she could for my sisters and me. She has always told us that she never wants us to take a job that we hate and encouraged us to work hard in school right now in order to have a better future. I am the eldest of three girls in my household. I have two younger sisters who have always looked up to me to determine what to do in school. My sisters and I have always been pushed to do the best we could in school and to go to college to achieve a better education. Having two younger sisters has naturally led me to do the best I could to get good grades, get into programs, and  do community service because they look up to me and because I want a good career in the future. 

 To me, the leadership role I hold as the oldest sibling has been a challenge, but I have always been proud to be set as an example to my sisters. My mother always did the best she could to help me succeed, but I feel like I had no one to look up to, like an older sibling or cousin that could help me on how to deal with things related to school. However this has taught me to be independent and deal with things on my own. 

Although I never had a peer to look up to in my family, I am proud that I get to help my younger sisters in their lives so they don ́t have to go through as many challenges as I did. All these challenges have been hard but taught me how to be independent and helped shaped me into the person I am today. My mother is also a great role model who has taught me that going to college is the best decision I could ever make. Many people go through different types of experiences and challenges that shape them into who they are, and part of mine is being a leader for my sisters.
Becky Arambulo
AISS Class of 2007
I was born and raised in Santa Ana to two hardworking parents that received a K-6th grade education, and never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe I was going to be a college graduate. While I was in High School, AISS saw the potential in me and gave me the tools and support that I needed to get to where I am today. Reflecting back on those years, I can say without a doubt that the most beneficial thing I learned from AISS was researching; researching what career I wanted, researching what I needed to study to get there, and researching where I needed to go to make it happen, and it helped me in a very unexpected way.

I graduated from UCSD with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering, and by the end of my college education, I realized I was not meant to be an engineer. I remember sitting in the commuter lounge at UCSD, trying to figure out how I was going to make a living with an engineering degree, knowing that I didn’t want to be an engineer, and out of nowhere thinking back to AISS when we were doing our career research. And just like that, I knew how to solve my problem. I loved using engineering software to create 3D models, I loved creating videos for classes, and I loved helping people figure out homework problems. Through a lot of research and visits to the career center, I ended up learning that there’s this world of E-Learning out there, and more importantly, there was an engineering niche that I would be perfect for. And just like that, I had my answer. I wanted to be an E-Learning specialist with an emphasis in engineering software.

Through a lot of hard work and resume tailoring, I started working at SolidProfessor in 2012. I started off as a 3D CAD/Multimedia Intern, then moved up to an Applications Engineer, followed by a Course Development Manager, and finally a Senior Content Manager for a few years before stepping down in March of 2018. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of having 2 children. Now, I take care of them full time during the day, and once my husband gets home from work, I work part-time, from home, as a Content Developer for SolidProfessor.


Mary Debar
Educator & AISS Volunteer

I met [Executive Director] Debbie Wells and [Founder] Paul Riordan through Kiwanis, and began hearing about AISS and its mission. My college education was in mathematics and computer science. After teaching for two years I worked in computer science for thirty plus years, so STEM education has always been important to me. As part of our Kiwanis Scholarship program with Santa Ana College, I met talented, hardworking students who had financial obstacles. I started to understand their aspirations and challenges. Another area of interest for me is the Kiwanis Student Leadership Program, where I work with teens to develop leadership skills. AISS aligns perfectly with all of these interests. AISS helps capable STEM students recognize their strengths, grow as leaders, and expand their dreams while providing practical guidance and assistance. I am proud to be counted as a supporter.
The mission of the Achievement Institute of Scientific Studies (AISS) is to guide high achieving, economically disadvantaged high school students interested in pursuing a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. We not only help students get accepted into college, but also with the years beyond - through graduation and establishing their careers.
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