We are excited to welcome Marcos Santiago as CollegeSpring’s Vice President of Development and Communications. We sat down with Marcos to learn about his background, why he is excited about CollegeSpring, and what advice he would give to current undergraduates. You can read Marcos’s bio here.
How has your background prepared you for this role?
I’ve had the opportunity to work with great organizations in the private and non-profit sectors focused on identifying exceptional talent, building great teams, improving academic outcomes for all students, and empowering young people to realize their full potential. I have also been fortunate to work with leaders who have modeled setting extremely high standards for themselves and their teams. I have tried to adopt this style of leadership and believe my new role at CollegeSpring can be boiled down to building genuine and lasting relationships with the full range of stakeholders who invest in the success of the young people we serve.
What are you most looking forward to about working at CollegeSpring?
Everyone I have met so far at CollegeSpring – from the staff, to a few board members and funders, to consultants – have all been so committed and excited to grow this organization’s impact with the students we serve. Given that I am a first generation college graduate, I feel compelled to work with others who are passionate about ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to attend college if they choose. I believe higher education is the great equalizer and that the full CollegeSpring community is helping students achieve that goal.
Do you have a favorite college memory or most important college lesson learned you can share with our mentors and students?
This is a good question. My most important takeaway from college was to stick with it, no matter what challenges you face. After growing up in a small town in Arizona, moving across the country to attend Brown University was a quite a culture shock. I didn’t have a family support system there, I didn’t know anyone, and classes were definitely more difficult than high school…but you adjust and grow and make a great group of friends that become your support system. Get involved, put yourself out there, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You’ll find that many, many people are invested in your success.
What do you like to do when you are not at work?
I love to travel and have been fortunate to immerse myself in the cultures of over 30 countries on 5 continents. Among my favorites are Japan, Tanzania, and Spain. I scuba dive, so anywhere with warm ocean water and coral reef is ideal. I also like to run in Golden Gate Park and am learning to snowboard.