Paying it Forward
Nativity Prep Academy graduate Tania Gallardo Avalos firmly believes in paying it forward. The resources and opportunities Nativity Prep provides have had a lasting impact on her. Now a confident, determined, and successful professional, Tania credits her success to Nativity’s supportive, welcoming, and tight-knit community.
Tania grew up in a single-parent household with two younger siblings. Her mother Paola cleaned houses and offices to keep the family afloat. From a young age, however, Tania could feel the stress her mom endured to support Tania and her siblings financially. Tania witnessed firsthand what it takes to persevere through adversity.
Tania’s mother first heard about Nativity Prep Academy through extended family and Our Lady of Angels Church, the parish she and her family regularly attended. Before enrolling, Tania took advantage of the student shadow day opportunity offered by Nativity to accepted students. Naturally, as Tania was entering this new chapter in her life, the nerves kicked in. But, with a number of her cousins already attending Nativity Prep Academy, Tania felt at ease and prepared to start this new academic journey.
As a middle school student, Tania was very active and involved in campus life. She has fond memories of the friendships she made with classmates and teachers, some of which she stays connected to. Her interest in photography began at Nativity Prep with one of our Art Partners, Outside the Lens, and flourished on the yearbook staff. She also fine-tuned her leadership skills in the seventh and eighth grades after being elected to be Vice President and President of the Associated Student Body, respectively. Tania recalls many memorable moments during her time at Nativity. Summer camps and the mentorship program were highlights for her. She credits her mentor, Kelly Bonde, with not only helping her with
school-related topics, like giving her study tips, but also with essential life skills she continues to use today. In addition to
the Mentor Program, Tania also saw the value in the Graduate Support Program. With what she has learned through this resource, Tania is now confident enough to share tips she learned on networking, resume building, and filling out applications with her friends and peers. “Now people will come up to me to ask for professional advice and help,” Tania shares. Knowing how much GSP changed her life, Tania sees the importance and value of this program and is now passing on this valuable resource to others.
Her mentor Kelly shares, “Tania has always had this wonderful ability to know herself and advocate for her needs, even if it isn’t the popular choice. From teaching her at NPA to watching her from afar in high school, she always knew what she wanted and kept her goals at the forefront, even if it required detours or changes from her original plan.”
After graduating from Nativity, she attended Cathedral Catholic High School for her freshman and sophomore years. At Cathedral, she was a member of both the tennis and field hockey teams. She later transferred to Grossmont High School where she graduated in 2017.
For college, Tania jumped around until she found where she was meant to be. When transferring, Tania looked to the GSP team for support. Xochitl Alvarez, Director of Graduate Support, provided guidance and resources for the transferring process. Tania originally started at the University of Arizona before transferring to San Diego Mesa College and concluding her college experience at San Diego State University.
At San Diego State, Tania was a member of the multicultural sorority Sigma Theta Psi where she held the positions of Director of Public Relations and Director of Social Activities. She also photographed and wrote stories for the Sports Section of SDSU’s newspaper, The Daily Aztec. Looking back at her time at San Diego State, she is appreciative of her involvement in extracurricular activities. She feels confident in the future of her career because of these leadership roles.
Now, Tania works at SealVax in Los Angeles. She is on SealVax’s social media team and hopes to enter the professional sports field soon. She has worked with the San Diego Loyals, San Diego’s professional soccer team, as well as the Padres as an ambassador and worked in event operations. Tania has always been interested in sports. When looking into what careers interested her, she wanted to be in action and not tied to a desk. Tania would see people working at various sporting events she would attend growing up and wanted to be in the action with them. With her journalism background and passion for sports, she is excited to move forward in her professional career and have the best of both worlds.