Yalitza Cuello - Third Prize Winner

College Admissions Assistance, LLC (CAA) announced the five winners of its seventh annual scholarship contest in July. Yalitza Cuello of Altamonte Springs, Florida was named the $500 Third Prize Winner. She told CAA during a phone interview soon after the announcement that she plans to receive her associate degree at Seminole State College of Florida and then transfer to the University of Central Florida or Florida Atlantic University.   Seminole State has several campuses and Yalitza is hoping to take most of her classes at the Altamonte Springs campus because she will be commuting from home. She said she feels starting at a community college and transferring is the best path for her. “It is a less expensive option for my family and will help me to transition better from high school into college,” she explained. To help pay for her college expenses, Yalitza plans to work over the summer and was anticipating a job interview when CAA spoke with her.   Yalitza’s ultimate goal is to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. “Nursing looks really exciting,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in it and am very good in science. Most recently, I got an ‘A’ in Anatomy!”   When choosing her best fit career, Yalitza said CAA’s resources were a big help. “I was debating between teaching and nursing,” she explained. She told CAA that the career assessments including the personality type assessment helped her confirm that nursing was the right choice.   In high school Yalitza participated in Link Crew, which helps incoming underclassmen transition and in her spare time, she can be found reading, most recently enjoying the Divergent series. She said she is proud that she did not let any of her extracurricular activities overshadow her academic responsibilities and says her mother feels the same.   “I’m glad that I was able to stay on track because everything was coming at me at once,” she said. “My mother is proud that I graduated with such high grades. I really did better than what I was expecting of myself.”   Yalitza said she has found her mother’s perseverance inspiring and gives her mother credit for her own motivation. “My mom had me when she was only 17 but finished college and provided my brother and me with a good life. We are doing really well,” she explained.   A moment Yalitza can pride herself in is improving her ACT score by nine points! She credits the test prep available through CAA. “I used the test prep whenever I could!” she said. Yalitza would tell underclassmen to practice for the SAT and ACTs as much as possible but to try to stay calm and positive during the process.   CAA helped Yalitza to stay on track, improve her organization skills, and keep up with her academic responsibilities. With all of the assistance provided by CAA to get Yalitza where she is, she said she would recommend the program to anyone planning to make the transition from high school to college.   “CAA kept me on track with what I needed to get done,” she explained. “When I logged into my account, everything just connected and was in one place.”