Before Manuel started high school, college wasn’t often discussed. But his mother pushed him to do well in school, and Manuel wanted to succeed. Manuel began this push early in high school, when he joined a college transition program to get ready for college. Then, during freshman year, Manuel’s mother died. He decided to take school much more seriously and work even harder. He also faced another challenge – how to pay for college, with his mother gone. Manuel met his uAspire Advisor during junior year, and she helped Manuel find resources for college – from financial support to going through the application process. Manuel also received caring advice from his Advisor who helped him realize that if he really wanted something and worked hard enough, that things would fall into place. Manuel graduated from high school and is now studying at UMass Boston.