Allison Jordan

Alumnus of Educational Talent Search at the University of New Hampshire

2006 - Throughout my childhood, my parents always emphasized the importance of education and I always expected that I would go on to college. However, because neither of my parents had gone to a four year college after high school, Educational Talent Search was a critical resource for me. Curriculum, testing, college visits, admissions applications, and financial aid paperwork are overwhelming to a family who is encountering these things for the first time. Furthermore, the fees associated with all of these things were prohibitive, and without ETS’s help, I would not have been able to manage.

Early on, my ETS counselor helped me choose the right classes, assisted me in preparing for the SATs, helped me research potential colleges, assisted with my applications and financial aid paperwork, and even negotiated with some schools after I received financial aid awards.

As a result of my involvement with ETS, I went on to attend the University of New Hampshire. Even throughout my time at UNH, college remained an economic struggle for me. ETS continued to advocate for me and helped me stay in college. I also spent several summers working with the Upward Bound program, where I had the life-changing opportunity to work with groups of high school students who dedicated their summers to building upon their academic skills and working towards their goal of higher education.

After graduating from UNH in 2001 magna cum laude with a B.A. in social work, I worked as a child protective services worker before going on to law school. I graduated from Cornell Law School in May 2005 and now have the pleasure of working my dream job as a public defender for the Legal Aid Society in New York City.

The service that ETS provides is critical. Despite my lifelong ambition to attend college, my academic success, and support from my parents, I would not have been able to navigate the path to higher education without the assistance that ETS provided. I truly believe that my success and that of my siblings is directly attributable to the involvement with Educational Talent Search. For that, I will always be a fierce supporter of TRIO programs.