Third Space Fellows Help USC College Advising Corps ACE-IT

Los Angeles – On January 24th, Third Space fellows Jaime Carias and Alison Horstmeyer spoke with the USC College Advising Corps for their professional development day, aimed to prepare them for their next job when they leave the Corps.

The College Advisor Corps program places new graduates in two-year, full-time College Advisor positions in high need high schools to assist underrepresented students. Jaime said working with the Corps was an honor, and he left inspired by the young professionals from all walks of life who remain committed in their shared mission to serve low-income students and help them reach their goals of becoming first-generation college students.

“It was great seeing how they could relate to the Third Space Thinking framework,” Jaime said. “But most importantly how the [ACE-IT framework] applies to their current work serving local high school youth and as they continue growing in their careers.”

ACE-IT stands for five essential soft skills (Adaptability, Cultural Competency, Empathy, Intellectual Curiosity and 360-Degree Thinking) that are needed for success in school and the workplace.

"Research shows that there is a talent gap when it comes to these [ACE-IT] skills," Alison explained. "If we can better prepare and equip young professionals with these skills, then they will be more likely to realize their potential and make meaningful contributions professionally as well as to their surrounding communities.”

Vanessa Rojas and Georgina Bernal, two Corps members who participated in the Third Space workshop, agreed Third Space’s message was applicable. Georgina said the content Jaime presented about the framework was “awesome”, noting it was very relatable to the work those in the Corps are doing. Vanessa also said she loved the ACE-IT methodology, mentioning that she was also a fan of work the Center does with youth in the summer program.

Both women graduated from the University of California, Berkeley as Latina first-generation students. For them, working with the Corps is personal, as they want to help and advocate for underrepresented students in low-income communities who may face academic doubts or educational gaps. Going forward into their next job, they want to continue working with students.

“I hope they can apply the ACE-IT framework as they navigate the career pipeline,” Jaime said.

“One participant in our workshop poignantly articulated, 'these skills could really differentiate me'," Alison added. "To which I respond, YES! Harnessing and developing these skills can help them confidently and adeptly navigate the complexities of the modern business and organizational environment.”