Maura Bailey is the ASP College Advisor for Seagoville High School. A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Maura is a recent graduate from the University of Notre Dame, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. During her time at Notre Dame, Maura studied voting behavior and civic engagement, studied abroad in London where she interned for the House of Commons, and sang with the Notre Dame Folk Choir. The daughter of an AP Government teacher, Maura has grown up with a passion for education and is excited to join ASP in their mission of growing the college-growing culture in Dallas. She looks forward to spending her time in Dragonland!
Stephanie Chung serves as the ASP College Advisor for WT White High School. Stephanie has always had a passion for working with K-12 and college students, and is honored to have the opportunity this year to help the students of WT White achieve their goals of going to college. With both her breadth and depth of experience in higher education, leadership development, student mentoring, SAT prep, application review, and student affairs, Stephanie hopes to make a lasting influence on the students of Dallas ISD. Stephanie holds a Master of Arts degree in Education and Human Development with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Financial Economics and Music Performance from Southern Methodist University.
Nicole Daniels is the ASP College Advisor for Trinidad Garza Early College High School and the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Nicole attended Duke University in Durham, North Carolina where she studied Cultural Anthropology and Education. As a college student, Nicole tutored in the Durham Public Schools, studied abroad in India and China, and cheered on the Duke basketball team. She is thrilled to join ASP to promote a college-going culture in Dallas and help high school students find their best fit colleges.
Demetrius Fields is the College Advisor for South Oak Cliff High School. He is a "Dallasite" to the core. He played little league sports in South Dallas, attended schools in the Oak Cliff neighborhood throughout grade school, and spent time everywhere in between. He was fortunate to gain a scholarship to continue his education at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where he majored in Sociology and minored in African-American Studies. While in college, Demetrius participated in Varsity football as well as Athletes in Action Christian Ministry. He was able to play professionally in the NFL during the 2013 season, staying short stints in Chicago (Bears) and St. Louis (Rams). Throughout life, Demetrius has seen a multitude of people with immense potential fall to a number of environmental circumstances. This experience cultivated his desire to help youth in similar positions to better themselves. He is excited to have a wonderful opportunity to do just that as a college advisor to his alma mater, the home of the mighty Golden Bears – South Oak Cliff.
Chanesia Johnson is a native of Dallas, Texas. She graduated from Carter High School (and is an ASP alumna!), went to Dartmouth College for two years, and earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Southern Methodist University. Chanesia was an Americorps member during the summer of 2014 working through CitySquare for a summer camp within a refugee community. She continued her service as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) helping to create and implement a program named ServiceWorks to impact underserved youth. She has a passion for giving back as a result of the resources that she received while growing up in Oak Cliff. She is currently a Master’s candidate at George Washington University’s Milken School of Public Health.
Khanh Nguyen is the ASP College Advisor at Bryan Adams High School. She graduated with honors from the University of North Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in history. Khanh is not a native Texan. She was a refugee from Vietnam, escaping Communists and pirates and landing in Irving, TX in the early eighties. Her passion for social justice was fueled from watching CNN with her father every day after school. After college, Khanh moved to New Orleans to pursue her dreams of being the next Christiane Amanpour. She was a writer and field producer for a local morning news show. On that journey, she realized post-Katrina New Orleans needed more teachers. So she switched gears. Khanh earned her teaching credentials through an alternative certification initiative, teachNOLA. She is certified to teach high school English, social studies, and journalism in the state of Louisiana. Her former students include engineers, educators, a chef, a photographer, recording artists, law school students, a journalist, military personnel, and education activists. She was awarded Teacher of the Year at Warren Easton High School in 2012. In 2013, Khanh moved to Washington, D.C. where she was an operations manager at the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank. During this time, she longed to be back home in Texas working in education. So she packed up her fiancé, her furniture and their two dogs and headed to Oak Cliff, fifteen miles from where her American dream began. She aspires to help Dallas high school students reach their American dream.
Marquessa Gray is the college advisor at Wilmer-Hutchins High School. She is originally from Philadelphia, PA but has moved all over the country for school and most recently to work with ASP. Marquessa completed her undergraduate degree at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in Public Policy and Psychology. She completed her master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The Ohio State University. Marquessa's passion for college access was ignited by her high school college counselor who worked diligently to get her to UNC and her public policy coursework which highlighted the inconsistencies in educational opportunities for different populations of students. Outside of work, Marquessa enjoys spending time with family, binge watching anime, rock climbing, and exploring her new home of Dallas.
Marissa Castillo is the ASP College Advisor for Thomas Jefferson High School. Born and raised in Indio, California, Marissa attended the University of California, Merced, where she received a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Throughout her undergraduate career, she was involved in Hermanas Unidas, studied abroad in Spain and became a student coordinator for the Success Mentor Program. After graduating from UC Merced, she spent a year working for AmeriCorps VISTA and gave back to the community that had helped her growing up. Marissa learned early on her passion for helping people achieve a higher education. She hopes to help Thomas Jefferson High School students achieve their dreams of higher education.
Jose Valerio is the College Advisor for the School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center. Mr. Valerio was born and raised in Texas. After attending college at Princeton University, he moved back to the Dallas area to help students through the college application process. He has worked with students in DISD for almost 6 years. Mr. Valerio has helped students receive incredible offers from Stanford, Columbia, Dartmouth, Emory, Carnegie Mellon, Babson, Santa Clara, Whittier, Bryant, Texas A&M, and many more universities. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge with students and staff at SEM.
Nataly Mojica is serving as the college advisor for Hillcrest High School. She was born and raised in Dallas, TX and is a graduate of W. T. White High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Business, Economics, and Spanish from Salem College in North Carolina. As a first generation student, Nataly has first-hand experience with how important it is to help students with the college application process. She lived in the communities where college is not a part of the culture, and is ready to help continue introducing the pro-college mindset. She loves ALL things college. In college, Nataly completed independent economics research in Nicaragua, played DIII soccer, served as a resident assistant, completed internships with SMU and the City of Winston-Salem, and traveled to Costa Rica, Spain, and the Dominican Republic. She has a passion for education as the investments in human capital facilitate growth and development for an individual, and ultimately their community. Nataly is honored to have the opportunity to make her home of Dallas a better place. Ms. Mojica wakes up everyday with pride because she is a part of something bigger than she would have ever dreamed of.
Sara (Miller) Urquidez
Sara Urquidez has been working alongside ASP since 2009, first assisting by helping edit essays, and taking on a more active role with students developing community service projects in 2011. Since 2012, Sara’s students have earned admission to Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, University of Chicago, Duke, Columbia, Rice, Stanford, and many others. She took over the role of Chief Operating Officer in late 2011 and serves as the primary ACS consultant and Lead College Advisor for the Academic Success Program and has assisted in planning the logistics for the Symposium for Multicultural Recruitment for the past 3 years. Sara also took over as the sole College Advisor at Hillcrest High School in late 2012, and her successes within six months include earning over $6 million dollars in scholarships including a prestigious Gates Millennium Scholar, along with acceptances to Boston College, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, UC-Berkeley, and more. Sara earned her certificate in College Counseling through UCLA with highest distinction, and completed coursework through New York University in Philanthropy and Fundraising. She is an active member of the Junior League of Dallas and serves on the Dallas Summer Musicals Associate Producers Board of Directors. She served on the SPE Dallas Board of Directors for many years and is a member of the SPE Dallas Scholarship Committee, which has awarded over $275,000 in scholarships over the past three years.