Irma Venegas & Allison Ohle, SWAG: Students with a Goal

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices.

This episode features Irma Venegas, Director of KIPP Through College (KTC) and Allison Ohle, Executive Director of KIPP San Diego. Irma and Allison are focused on providing students at KIPP San Diego’s Adelante Preparatory Academy the guidance they need to persist through high school and onto college. That work focuses on building college-going mindsets and confidence in Adelante grads through college major and career interest discovery and the development of individualized education plans. At the same time, KIPP San Diego is working to empower parents in the college readiness journey through workshops and by simply treating parents as invaluable partners. Listen in as they also describe the SWAG program that provides soft skills development and mentorship opportunities to their KIPPsters.

About Irma Venegas

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Irma Venegas attended and graduated from the University of San Diego with her bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies and Spanish and master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership. As a Latina and first generation college graduate, born from immigrant parents, Irma knows first hand the challenges and barriers that some of our students face especially on their road to and through college. Her current work entails leading a team of passionate individuals focused on providing college access and retention opportunities to historically underserved students and their families.

Before coming to KIPP San Diego, she worked as a Community Educator at a non-profit organization called Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, where she facilitated college preparatory programming, life skills workshops and pregnancy prevention curricula at various schools and organizations. She is committed to creating a college-going culture that ensures students live self-sufficient choice filled lives.

About Allison Ohle

A passionate advocate for educational equity and a pragmatic leader, Allison is passionate about education not because she loves children, but because she loves justice. As it happens, she does love kids, and is humbled and thrilled to be leading this work to ensure that our democracy delivers on its promise for those that live in “America’s Finest City.” Allison learned a lot of valuable lessons as a first-gen college student at UCSC and while earning her MPP at the Harvard Kennedy School, but her greatest teachers have been her students in NYC and Oakland, CA as well as her husband and kids. When not at work, Allison loves to ride her bike, practice yoga and laugh with people she loves.

About KIPP San Diego

The vision of KIPP San Diego is to be a thriving region of stable schools filled with happy, successful young people on paths toward choice-filled, contented lives that positively impact our community. KIPP San Diego will be a leader in thinking about opportunity and access for youth in San Diego’s urban communities and a model for collaboration in order to dramatically change life outcomes.

KIPP San Diego is part of the national network of free, open-enrollment, college preparatory public charter schools dedicated to preparing all students for success in college and life. San Diego’s KIPPsters are hard-working, enthusiastic, resilient and focused; they are also mostly performing far below grade level when they arrive at our door. We are obsessed with the idea that KIPP San Diego will be a proof point for the idea that KIPPsters are innovative, creative, engaged, passionate and valuable contributors to our community.

KIPP San Diego schools keep promises to students and are building a better tomorrow through our Design Principles: Team and Family, Meaningful Work and Voice.

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