PEF is excited to welcome Liza Rangel and Ahmad Williams to our college access team! Liza and Ahmad are spearheading the expansion of PEF’s College Access Program (CAP) into Frankford High School this 2022-23 school year. Ahmad and Liza are first generation college-goers that both had formative college access mentorship experiences as young students. This duo is eager to apply their personal experiences and professional expertise to supporting Philadelphia high school students.
Ahmad is an alumnus of Millersville University from Chester, PA. He has worked to minimize gaps in college admission and success through college access work in the Greater Philadelphia area. Liza, a New York University alumna who obtained her masters in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania, has both research and hands-on experience in college access. She has also taught English, Spanish, and Social Studies in Philadelphia middle schools.
In December 2021, PEF received a $5 million TRIO grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand CAP to Frankford High School. At Frankford, Liza and Ahmad will increase student completion of the college application process and see them through college matriculation. College-bound students are eligible for our Last Dollar Scholarship to cover the gap between cost of attendance and awarded aid.
Ahmad hopes to serve as the kind of mentor he had while growing up, one of whom told him, “It’s impossible to dream what you can’t see.” They plan to expose students to the possibility of college by building a college-going culture at Frankford. Liza also emphasized the importance of students seeing themselves represented in their teachers, mentors, and counselor. Speaking to her own Latina identity, Liza shared that, “being able to communicate with families in Spanish in previous work has made a big difference. I hope to be able to connect with students and families similarly at Frankford.”
In collaboration with school leadership, the work of the CAP coordinators has the capacity to support several hundred Frankford students in grades 9-12 through their college admissions process and beyond. We’re glad to have Liza and Ahmad on our team and cannot wait to see the terrific work they do at Frankford High School!