College & Career Readiness Program



The College & Career Readiness Program guides and informs youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, regardless of race or ethnicity, on how to start their path towards a college education by providing the necessary resources to achieve it. The Friendly House/TRiO Talent Search, often referred to as TRiO, is a college and career readiness program. TRiO identifies and assists individuals who have the potential to succeed in higher education.


The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling and encourages participants to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their post secondary education. TRiO exposes the availability of financial aid and assists participants with the post secondary application process.


Talent Search also encourages people who have not completed education programs at the high school or post secondary level to enter or re-enter and complete higher education.

Robert's Story

Inspired by his sister’s involvement in the Friendly House TRiO Program, Rodrigo 

decided to follow her footsteps during his sophomore year at Thunderbird High School. Everything from the after-school tutoring sessions at Central Park to FAFSA workshops, Rodrigo has gained both soft and hard skills which have contributed greatly to his overall personal growth.

Aside from college preparation, Rodrigo has also been honing his leadership skills. During his high school years at Thunderbird, he was actively involved in his alma mater’s marching band as well as training and mentoring amateur boxers on the sly. He believes that mentoring relationships are essential for fostering long-term success for young people. 


He recently got accepted into ASU starting Fall 2017. He will be living on the Tempe campus to gain the “full-fledged” college experience as well as bypass the long daily commute from Northern Phoenix (his hometown) to ASU. He intends to pursue a BS degree in business with a concentration in sports and media studies to prepare for a career in sports business, sports marketing, and mass communication. Upon graduation, he wants to open up his own training studio and train aspiring boxers.

On behalf TRiO Friendly House, we would like to congratulate Rodrigo on his recent accomplishments and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. 

Upcoming Events
12th Grade Workshops


*Summer Camps


*University Visits

UofA Field Trip/Tour-December

NAU Field Trip/Tours-November


* FAFSA/ FSA ID Applications



* FAFSA (Financial Aid)



All workshops will be held at Friendly House Office at 802 South First Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85003

Meet our Staff

Jose Vaquera 

Vice President of Family and Human Services

(602) 416-7208

Lilibeth Santiago

College & Career Readiness Supervisor 

(602) 416-7227

Elmer Villa

College & Career Readiness Advisor

(602) 416-7250

Brenda Ortiz 

College & Career Readiness Advisor

(602) 416-7215

Maribel Coronado 

Program Assistant 

(602) 416-7254

College Preparation Program

All services are completely free of charge. Services provided by the program may include: *Academic, financial, career, or personal counseling including advice on entry or re-entry to secondary or post secondary programs


  • Career exploration and aptitude assessment

  • Information on post-secondary education

  • Exposure to college campuses

  • Information on student financial assistance

  • Assistance in completing college admissions and financial aid applications

  • Assistance in preparing for college entrance exams

  • Special activities for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders

  • Workshops for the families of participants


To participate, simply download and complete the following forms and submit them to or fax at (602) 368-8149. If you have any questions, please call (602) 416-7254.

The Friendly House College & Career Readiness Program also counts with the financial support from Cox Charities, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, NCLR and the Salt River-Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.  


This funding allows for the Department to provide additional services to parents and students, in the form of workshops & trainings for parents and encourages more parental involvement in children’s education as well as college exposure activities.