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ALUMNI

A way for past ACE Scholarship recipients to get more and give back.

Vision: The accomplishments of our alumni prove that educational choice can change the trajectory of lives.

Mission: To cultivate and connect ACE Alumni to each other, the ACE Network, and to further the school choice movement.

Once you become an ACE Scholar, you’re part of an extended family you will have forever.A family tied together through their stories of perseverance, hard work and a strong belief in the importance of education. Led by the ACE Alumni Board, our ACE Scholarships Alumni Program provides our former ACE Scholars with opportunities to network, serve, celebrate, and share their stories in support of our current scholars and the thousands of children still waiting for scholarships. It all stems from our core belief that our alumni are the next generation of philanthropists – giving back to their communities through time, talent and treasure, and serving as living proof that the impact of a quality education is visible in our communities long after students leave the classroom.

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National Board Meeting
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Professional Development: Financial Literacy
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Colorado Night Out Halloween Edition
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National Board Meeting
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04 Oct
October 4, 2022    
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The National Board Meeting is only intended for National Board members. We will meet via zoom and the link will be sent out to you [...]
08 Oct
October 8, 2022    
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Stay tuned! More information to come. 
28 Oct
October 28, 2022    
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
"Riverdale Road is known as the most haunted road in Colorado.   Venture through all-new, uncharted territory at the Haunted Field of Screams – weave [...]
01 Nov
November 1, 2022    
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The National Board Meeting is only intended for National Board members. We will meet via zoom and the link will be sent out to you [...]
Events on October 4, 2022
04 Oct
Events on October 8, 2022
Events on October 28, 2022
Events on November 1, 2022
01 Nov

ACE Alumni Staff

Cat Hendrix-National Alumni Affairs Director

Cat Hendrix-National Alumni Affairs Director

Cat has worked with students, schools, and their families her entire career, spending the last seven years in the school choice arena. Cat attended Colorado Christian University and is an alumnus of the leadership program of the Rockies. A Colorado native, she enjoys spending her free time traveling and going to concerts. Also, whenever you attend one of our events, Cat is your girl for all food suggestions, as she is a self-proclaimed food enthusiast.

Erin Gabriel-National Programs Communication Director

Erin Gabriel-National Programs Communication Director

Erin has her bachelor’s in Interpersonal and Intercultural Communications from the University of Kansas. She also studied Literature, Art, and Writing at the British Institute and received her teaching certifications from the International TEFL Academy and the University of Colorado. She has worked as a journalist, teacher, coach, and communications coordinator/social media manager. Erin is passionate about inspiring students/alumni to pursue intellectual and personal excellence by guiding students/alumni to understand the world around them and their talents in order to become fulfilled individuals and compassionate citizens.

Tyejeree McManus-Louisiana Alumni Director

Tyejeree McManus-Louisiana Alumni Director

Tyejeree received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Family & Consumer Science with a concentration in Child Development from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has worked with Upward Bound Trio Program as a Counselor and Mentor for high school students that would be first-generation college students. Her background is in social work, where she has been a counselor and mental health therapist for over ten years. She enjoys working with families to help create a better outcome in life and set new goals that are attainable and sustained. She believes in meeting people where they are and working with them to make progress and value their lives.

In her free time, she finds decorating and painting things refreshing and therapeutic. She enjoys spending time with her family and creating new memories. She loves to dance, and her two daughters do as well. She continuously serves in her community and church to build the Kingdom of God.

Jenee Pulliam-Texas Alumni Director

Jenee Pulliam-Texas Alumni Director

Jenee has her bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Houston. She is passionate about advocating for and supporting children and families as they navigate the numerous avenues and obstacles while obtaining a quality education. She has three children, two grandchildren, and three giant dogs. Jenee and her husband live in Nassau Bay, Texas.

Mira Ortiz-Martinez- Colorado Alumni Engagement Liaison

Mira Ortiz-Martinez- Colorado Alumni Engagement Liaison

Mira is an ACE Alumni from the class of 2010! She has stayed involved with ACE as a volunteer and is now a part of the alumni team. She says she decided to join ACE because she is proof of what ACE stands for and believes in giving back to other students and families like herself. Mira received her bachelor’s degree in Human Development & Family Studies and a minor in Psychology from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.

National Board Members

Sayuri Toribio- Colorado

Sayuri Toribio- Colorado

LinkedIn

My name is Sayuri Toribio. I am a student at Regis University majoring in Business Administration and minoring in French. I attended Kent Denver School and had an ACE scholarship for four years. Ever since I was younger, I started volunteering with my local school and other nonprofits in the Denver Metropolitan area, where I grew a passion for helping others and being a part of a community.

Now I intern with City Councilwoman Jamie Torres, where I learn about my District and learn to give back to my community. ACE has helped me gain the best education from Kent Dever and has allowed me to grow as a leader and be where I am today. ACE has pushed our whole family to strive to achieve great things through education and to share that knowledge with others.

Nathan Garcia- Colorado

Nathan Garcia- Colorado

My name is Nate Garcia, and I’m honored to share my personal story over the past eight years. As a recipient of the ACE Scholarship, I have received the tremendous gift of quality education and much more. From the many teachers, mentors, and friends I’ve made over the past several years to the wisdom, perseverance, and character I’ve developed, the ACE Scholarships have given me the ability to pursue my dreams and build a life that might not otherwise have been possible.

I’m still amazed that ACE came into my life at just the right time when I needed to find a way out and a better path. I struggled in middle school and continued to drown after starting junior high. Feeling lost and out of place amidst the chaos of public school, life at home was also uncertain after my father left us when I was only ten years old. In addition to the emotional trauma this caused, there was the added pressure and anxiety my mother faced as a single parent left to raise my sister and me.
However, amid all this hardship, my mother discovered ACE Scholarships. With the support of ACE, I left the public school system and attended Faith Christian Academy, where my life would begin to change. I was in an ideal academic setting, but I was now among teachers and students who shared my faith. I was finally on a new path and in a safe place where I could concentrate on my grades, build positive friendships and regain my confidence. Because of the ACE Scholarship, I was able to graduate from Faith Christian Academy and the University of Colorado and now hold a degree in political science. My education also opened the door to an incredible internship with Colorado Representative Edie Hooton, where I gained career-relevant experience and firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to hold public office. Excited about my future in the political realm and proud of all that I have achieved, I can’t help but be grateful to those who support ACE.

Yarian Garcia Vela- Texas

Yarian Garcia Vela- Texas

My name is Yarian Garcia Vela, and I was born on the 30th of October, 2002, in Tamaulipas, Mexico. I lived in Mexico until I was eleven and moved to the United States in 2014. I graduated from St. Pius X High School in 2021, currently attend Houston Baptist University, will continue with my studies at the University of Houston, and hope to graduate in 2025.

ACE means the world to me because its mission is for children and education. There are an enormous amount of kids who are not comfortable in their environment and school. Most of them don’t have the choice or freedom of receiving a better education due to their zip code. ACE saves the future of families in ten states and counting. ACE gives hope to families like mine for a better future. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity given to me. They gave me the freedom to choose my high school, which was the environment I needed to continue to achieve my goals. The school provided all the attention I needed to grow, not only as a student but as a person. I am an ACE alumnus, and I am excited to continue helping others get to where I am and further as ACE helped me. School choice is important and can lead families to achieve their dreams.

Jimmy Pham- Texas

Jimmy Pham- Texas

My name is Jimmy Pham, and I am a Saint Louis University Alum, class of 2018. I was an ACE Scholarship recipient, class of 2014, from Arrupe Jesuit High school. I graduated from Saint Louis University with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical engineering.

I spent some time with Liberty Oilfield Services in West Texas and Boeing in Oklahoma City in the first four years of my career. I am currently a project engineer/project manager for Leidos Corporation as an FAA contractor.

ACE Scholarship allowed me to pursue an education in the school environment that best fits me. ACE allowed me to focus on my goals and aspirations. Every kid deserves an opportunity similar to what I experienced. As the former ACE Alumni Board President of Colorado, I want to be a part of ACE to keep the connection and network of ACE Alumni alive. I believe the Alumni group is essential to the organization as they are the experience and results of the ACE Scholarship foundation.

Erion Davison- Louisiana

Erion Davison- Louisiana

Erion P. Davison was born November 7, 2000, in New Orleans, Louisiana to Angela Bird. She has three siblings: Erica, Earea, and Erek. At the age of 14, Erion accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior during the summer of her 7th-grade year school year.

Erion is a Junior at Southern University majoring in Mass Communication with a focus on Public Relations. Once she graduates she aspires to become a PR specialist. She has a passion for helping people. No matter who you are or what you need her to do, she will get the job done.

Erion also became the author of 3 published books in her teenage years. Her first book is entitled, Keep Running: How To Endure When Life Looks Impossible. Her second book, Bold & Beautiful: 6 Things Every Female Should Know. Her third book, The Missing Pieces no “God no you”! She inspires and empowers women of all ages. God has given her the courage to share her story throughout these books. She believes that sharing her story could help those that may simply be tired of running in life. Author Erion P. Davison provides a great plan of how anyone (young or old) could overcome any challenge when life attempts to get the best of you.

Sydney Jones- Louisiana

Sydney Jones- Louisiana

My name is Sydney Jones, and I was born in raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Being from such a diverse and cultural city, I am someone who loves to have fun and meet new people from all walks of life.

In May of 2022, I graduated from Cabrini High school Magna Cum Laude, a member of the National and Art Honor Society with a 3.9 GPA. Currently, I am attending Louisiana State University, majoring in Business-Human Resource Management. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I plan on attending Law school, with a dream of being a corporate lawyer.

ACE has blessed me with the opportunity to attend the high school of my choice. Since I was in the 7th grade, it was my dream to be able to attend Cabrini High School, even though it was very expensive. ACE blessed me with the opportunity to be able to not only graduate from my dream school but to also graduate with honors. With the help of ACE, I am now able to attend college and pursue my dream career. ACE has taught me the importance of giving back to the community, which I plan to reciprocate for the rest of my life. ACE has inspired me to eventually start a scholarship of my own at my former high school.

State Council Members

Dau Doldol- Colorado

Dau Doldol- Colorado

LinkedIn

My name is Dau Doldol. I am a former refugee who overcame all the odds with the help of my family, friends, and organizations like the International Rescue Committee and ACE Scholarships.

I just graduated with my master’s degree in International Education and Human Development and currently work as a consultant analyst doing work to further development in rural and urban communities across America. ACE Scholarships was the stepping stone for me and my family to be able to finish our education and to have the opportunity to pursue higher education. I am grateful for ACE scholarships and will always be a part of the community.

Afriye Phillips- Colorado

Afriye Phillips- Colorado

LinkedIn

My name is Afriye Phillips, and I am a former ACE Scholar who graduated from Oral Roberts university. I have partnered with ACE over the past couple of years to help reach more kids with our mission at Hoops Academy of “education beyond the court.” Hoops Academy is my own coaching business. I love what I do and have loved connecting with ACE over these past few years.

Without ACE Scholarships, I would not be where I am today. Thank you so much ACE Scholarships, for all that you do!

Carla Villegas- Colorado

Carla Villegas- Colorado

After doing elementary at a public school and feeling frustrated at the pace due to the large class sizes, my parents decided to try private schooling. I enrolled in Presentation of Our Lady in 6th grade and never looked back. The attention allowed me to learn at a faster pace which made me excited to learn once more. At Bishop Machebeuf High School, I developed skills that helped me be college ready.

With the help of ACE, I became a student with great study habits that helped me thrive in higher education. I have completed my Bachelor’s in Biology and Public Health, and I have decided to apply to school once more to pursue my Doctorate in Dental Surgery.

Robert Sneed- Louisiana

Robert Sneed- Louisiana

My name is Robert Sneed; I grew up in a small town south of Alexandria, LA. I am a man of God that’s highly motivated to do the right thing in life. I always wanted and dreamed of being in the military, which was no surprise to my family because my father is a Marine.

While attending public school, I always managed to get passed on to the next grade level, although I wasn’t growing as an individual. I was constantly getting in trouble while attending public school. During my sophomore year of high school, I was awarded an ACE scholarship to attend an academic award-winning private high school.

ACE was a massive step in the right direction for me. Once I started attending private high school, I could finally separate from negativity and focus on my school work and sports. I went on to graduate high school with 45 college credits. Since graduating high school in 2017, I managed to graduate from college with two bachelor’s degrees, and I also followed my dream by joining the military. Thank you, ACE Scholarships for being a huge stepping stone in my life.

Jorge Jaquez- Colorado

Jorge Jaquez- Colorado

LinkedIn

My name is Jorge, and I received an ACE scholarship from sixth grade through twelfth grade. My parents found St. Rose of Lima after I completed fifth grade at my public school. It was the complete package: quality of education, individual attention, location, and alignment with my family’s values. I went on to Arrupe Jesuit high school, a unique school with a corporate work-study program that allowed me to gain the insight and skills that put me a step ahead of my peers. I went on to the Colorado School of Mines and obtained a degree in Petroleum Engineering.

I’m currently a hydraulic fracturing engineer at Liberty Energy, a Denver company that is leading the way in finding innovative ideas to refine the hydraulic fracturing process and in turn, makes energy more accessible to the world.

ACE helped pave the way for me to get to where I am today, as it made the schools I attended accessible to me and allowed me to put my unique abilities to use in a way that challenged me and kept me pushing for more. Now my three younger brothers are following in my footsteps with help from ACE, and I couldn’t be prouder of the driven young men they have had the freedom to become, just like I had.

ACE Partners

In honor of Thanksgiving weekend, Sayuri, National ACE Alumni board member, tells us about the most impactful act of generosity she has received. Her mom always putting her first.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving Yarian, member of the National Alumni board, is sharing what she is grateful for and what act of generosity has made a difference in her life.
Happy Thanksgiving ACE Alumni! We are so grateful for you. 

Jimmy, the President of our National Alumni board shares what he is thankful for this year.
Thank you Nynakat, Erion, Milan, and Carlos for sharing your stories in support of our current scholars and the thousands of children still waiting for scholarships. 

We know you all are the next generation of philanthropists who will give back to your community through your time, talent, and treasure and we are so proud of you for your continued accomplishments and your passion for education.
Milan, Erion, and Nynakat had the opportunity to travel this weekend to California to attend and speak at ACE's Annual Vision Summit. 

It is great to see our Alumni from all over the country come together!
We are excited to announce a new community partnership for our Colorado Alumni!

Hide In Plain Sight is a non-profit organization in Colorado that understands the adversity and financial struggle many students face as they try to attend college or vocational school. 

They understand how expensive school can be. For example, today’s Pell Grant covers only 37% of costs for community colleges and 19% for four-year institutions. 18% of community college students and 14% of four-year college students have faced homelessness, and 40% of students attending Denver colleges are food insecure.

Hide In Plain Sight wants to serve as a resource for students pursuing higher education or vocational school by providing scholarships to reduce the financial barriers to attending. These scholarships help cover the cost of tuition and basic needs such as food, housing, transportation, and technology.

We know that financial circumstances can be beyond your control and that education is key to future success. ACE and Hide In Plain Sight want to support you in being self-sufficient and confident individuals with a bright future ahead of you. 

If you are interested in applying for the scholarship, you must: 
-Complete an application and in-person interview
&
-If you receive the scholarship, you are encouraged to participate in career-related activities and maintain academic success

Please DM us if you are interested in applying.
Let's go ice skating! Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 6:00pm join us at Discovery Green Park 1500 McKinney , Houston, TX 77002.

The evening will begin at Discovery Green's outdoor ice rink.  You will meet up with Jenee ACE Texas Alumni Director  by 6:00 pm near the skate rental area.  You will ice skate for a session (60 minutes) and then have dinner at Pappasito's Cantina (1600 Lamar St, Houston, TX 77010). Skating, dinner, and fun surprises are all gifts from your friends at ACE Scholarships. 

Please RSVP to Jenee (281.451.7269 or jpulliam@acescholarships.org) by December 2. 

Can't wait to see you there!
Caylia attended Academy of Our Lady in Louisiana where she was a member of the Honors Society. 

She is now attending Southeastern Louisiana University to study sports medicine to become an athletic trainer.
ACE College Info Night
Monday, December 5, 2022
6:00 PM MST
This is a virtual event!
Get the video chat link after you RSVP yes.

Hosted by ACE Scholarships Alumni
Message from the Host
Hello ACE Families: 

Please join us Monday, December 5th @ 6:00 PM MST for our first College Info Night. 

During this session, you will hear from several different colleges, that have partnered with ACE to provide our student's special college scholarship opportunities. 

This session is open to all ACE High School Students and their families and is a virtual session via ZOOM: https://bit.ly/3twE3gl

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our National Alumni Affairs Director Cat Hendrix @ chendrix@acescholarships.org.
We are happy to announce that ACE Alumni has added a new Community Partner, First Command. 

First Command will work specifically with our military Alumni and their families to coach those who serve in their pursuit of financial security. 
Coaches shape positive financial behaviors through face-to-face coaching and time-tested principles/client-first philosophy. 

Whether you are working on your savings goals, investing, or contemplating insurance, First Command is happy to help our ACE Alumni. 

We are thankful for the resources First Command provides to ACE Alumni serving their country. Please DM us to connect with a coach through First Command.
We are excited to celebrate First Generation College students in partnership with CareerSpring.  Because of that, we would like to share some stories of first-generation students who have been in your shoes and would like to offer their stories and advice. 

Tony decided to go to college because he knew a degree would help him in the future and because his parents have sacrificed a lot for him, and he thinks they deserve to see him graduate from college. 

As a first-generation student, Tony feels a lot of pressure to be an example for his younger siblings. 

His advice is to take the time to figure out your strengths, what interests you, and your passions. If you don't find what you are learning about interesting you are more likely to fail and not enjoy your future career. Also, meet with your advisor to set a schedule that works best for you. Tony lives an hour away from his university and also works a full-time job and working with his counselor to build a schedule has helped make it much more manageable.
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