ASU Prep adviser makes a difference in and out of the classroom

Andrea Glenn, an adviser at the South Phoenix PCA High School, helps students pursue their dreams in higher education

Andrea Glenn's official responsibility at ASU Prep South Phoenix PCA High School is to serve as an adviser. But to her kids, she's more than just someone who prepares them for the SAT — she's helped them through personal loss, guided them to six-figure scholarships and gone above and beyond to enable their success, according to colleagues and students.

She helped the high school's first graduating class become 99% first-generation college bound, according to the ASU Preparatory Academy's Facebook. Out of those students, 100% committed to post-secondary education and 84% were accepted into a four-year university with earned merit-based scholarships.  

"It was a great experience to see this dream of what we envisioned PCA to be actually become reality, and seeing these kids embark on their first college journey — for all except for one — it was the first time for their family members too, to see them go off to college," she said.

Glenn said she meets students for coffee, helps them get to the SAT and ACT and holds mandatory registration for those tests. She also meets with students' parents so she can guide them through the next steps and answer any questions about the college application process.

Adam Jackson, a sophomore majoring in English and theater at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, said he admires Glenn because of all the hard work she puts in for her students.

"She helped me in the death of my father and my grandfather when I was in high school," he said. "During Father's Day, she helped my family and I go through that process, whether it was bringing food, or finding counsel or asking about work I was missing in school, and she helped me stay on track." 

Jackson said despite the stress and responsibilities of Glenn's job, she always puts extra effort into her students, adding that, "she is an amazing person and a great help in the college application process, asking about classes and all of that."

Glenn, an ASU alumna and first-generation student, said being the first person in her family to attend college has given her a perspective that helps her in the work she does today.

“I think the biggest factor is just the idea of being a first-generation student, having to navigate college, literally on your own for the first time and doing it from scratch is what really helped me know the intricacies and the ins and outs of what it takes to get through college and get to college,” she said. 

From guiding students through the challenges of getting into college and continuing to be a resource to them even after they graduate, the job can be draining at times, Glenn said, adding "... it can be taxing, but it’s always rewarding at the end of the day.”

One of Glenn’s students was granted over $150,000 worth of scholarships, and she said seeing that happen for her student was extremely fulfilling. 

“I remember jumping in the hallway, screaming and calling our founder at the time and just being so ecstatic and just happy for him," she said. "... (and saying), ‘You're going to not only to go to college, but you're not going to have to worry about any of the financial burden that comes with it. You're going to graduate debt free with an engineering major and do some amazing things.’”

Lina Munoz, director of secondary learning at ASU Prep South Phoenix PCA High School, said Glenn is a tremendous asset to the school. 

“She has such a kind heart and really believes in all of our students,” Munoz said. "She’s committed to them, helping them achieve at their highest level, regardless of their socioeconomic status, regardless of whatever challenges they might be facing. She’s always striving to support them, to find resources for them (and) to help them graduate our high school so they can be our future leaders.” 

An ASU spokesperson said via email that the University chartered ASU Prep to support K-12 education and prepare the next generation of learners for college.

"Ultimately, ASU's goal is to prepare as many students as possible to succeed and this is a key University effort to increase college-going rates," the spokesperson said. 

Munoz said she has been very impressed by Glenn and all of the high school's staff, and, "one thing that has impressed me about her and just the entire school in general is she is constantly helping support our students to achieve high school graduation and their university degree."

Munoz said Glenn is someone who truly believes in the students and helps them thrive. 

“She is a tremendous asset,” she said. “She really does believe in our students and our community, along with the entire staff. Our goal is to prepare our students for success at the University and beyond, and she’s an integral part of that.” 


Reach the reporter at bstoshne@asu.edu and follow @itsbrennaaaa on Twitter. 

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