Molly Suarez ’11 is helping elementary school students aspire to a college education.
Suarez, an undergraduate psychology student, has always had an interest in working with children and serving the community.
That interest is partly why she decided to get involved with the UC Davis Student Alumni Association (SAA) — an undergraduate leadership, community service and student alumni relations organization — and run for a position on the board of directors. Suarez also volunteered to be the director of Aggie Classrooms, an SAA program that reaches out to low-income elementary school students and teaches them that college is possible. Aggie Classrooms is supported in part by private gifts from UC Davis alumni and friends.
“It took a lot for me to get to college and part of that was being told I could do it,” said Suarez, a Modesto, Calif. native who plans to be a pediatric nurse. “I’m the first one in my family to go to college and now I want to help kids in the same position to realize that they can dream too.”
Under Suarez’s leadership, Aggie Classrooms grew from three to 15 participating schools from across the country. In 2010, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education's Affiliated Student Advancement Programs recognized Aggie Classrooms as an Outstanding External Program — making it the first time SAA has been recognized at the national level.
“Knowing that I’m helping the next generation strive for something better is really rewarding,” said Suarez, who is currently SAA Vice President of Community Development. “It’s kind of an indescribable feeling.”