Class of 2008
For Vivian Paredes, a college education has unlocked the door to a career in one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. Paredes, a class of 2008 alumna of Ánimo Leadership Charter High School in Inglewood, CA, is the Lead Product Marketing Manager at AT&T, the largest telecommunications company in the world.
“I had no idea marketing even existed until I took my first marketing class in college,” admitted Paredes. Today she is shaping the consumer marketing strategy and cross-promotions for industry-leading products and brands.
College Just Ahead
“They had the college readiness classes, the college trips. I don't think I would have even visited or set foot on a college campus if it wasn't for Ánimo Leadership,” said Paredes. Growing up, Paredes was encouraged to go to college, but she recalls not knowing where the road to college began and where it ended. “I think the expectations from our parents and our community is just go to college, go to college, but no one really tells you how to get there and what it takes,” reflected Paredes. “College was just this huge dream, but I didn't even know that there were different types of colleges until I got to Ánimo Leadership.” In high school, educators and staff helped Paredes discover a clear path. The academic rigor, support and college exposure, fed Paredes’ vision for her future. This combination helped her confidently imagine her life at college and beyond. “Green Dot definitely set me up for success in the future and helped me navigate through college.”
A Path to a Fulfilling Career
After graduating from Ánimo Leadership in 2008, Paredes attended the University of California, San Diego. After taking her first marketing class, she knew she had found her calling. Paredes graduated from UC San Diego in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a minor in business and accounting. After graduating, Paredes took on the role of marketing representative for a dental supply company. She would later accept a marketing associate position at an accounting and business advisory firm.
As her career advanced, Paredes began pursuing opportunities to accelerate her professional growth. When she made the decision to attend the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, she reached out to her mentor and Ánimo Leadership political science teacher, Paul Morgana. “He also always kept in touch, made sure that I was doing okay in school, and was able to help me get a full scholarship for my MBA program,” said Paredes.
Dream Big and Work Hard
At AT&T, Paredes has achieved great success. Recently, her work on the Batman Experience, an immersive pop up experience, helped AT&T win a 2019 Clio Entertainment Award [https://clios.com/entertainment/winner/home-entertainment-experiential-events/at-t-and-dc/the-batman-experience-powered-by-at-t-77030]. No one is surprised by Paredes’ achievements and the success she has found since graduating high school. “Vivian would have done well with or without me, she not only had the motivation but she had the skills already embedded,” said Paul Morgana, political science teacher at Ánimo Leadership.
Reflecting on her journey, Paredes believes education changed her life. “Growing up, most of my peers, their parents, my family members, --they didn't have corporate jobs. And so it was really hard to picture what was out there and really understand what kind of career I could have,” said Paredes. Despite the challenges she encountered, Paredes never let fear or uncertainty prevent her from living passion.
Today, Paredes has a career that fulfills her in ways she never thought possible. “Success definitely looked different for me five years ago. Now success is just enjoying what I do while being around my family,” said Paredes. She has truly charted a path to success and has proven that through education, grit, and hardwork, our biggest dreams can be achieved.