By Eric Fergason
In the breezeway of the Patricia A. Bartlett building, David Peak approaches, wearing his customary scarf and sunglasses. You’ll see him in the same spot on Friday mornings, greeting people before “Taste of SALT” presentations, during which David answers questions for prospective students and their families as an ambassador for the SALT Center. We met to reflect on his time at the University of Arizona and his experience with our program.
When asked what led him to choose the UA during his college search, David recalled several factors: size, support, and ‘The Feeling.’ Because he was raised in a small town, he was already accustomed to Tucson’s small community. He pondered attending another state university, but he believed that their academic support services wouldn’t quite meet his needs. Besides, his brother studied there, and David wanted a different experience: “I kind of wanted to go somewhere that would be my own college.”
Additionally, his mother, a special education aid, was familiar with the services available at the UA, including the SALT Center, and encouraged David to consider it. He was very impressed: “I did not envision that The SALT Center would have the facilities and setup that it has.”
One of the biggest factors that led David to choose the UA is what he describes as ‘The Feeling’ -‐ “It’s the feeling I get when I really want something.” After attending a “Taste of SALT” and the UA presentation in Old Main, David said ‘The Feeling’ struck him: “I looked out the window across the mall…[and the UA] just felt like [the right fit for] me.”
David is very pleased with his choice; he is studying Creative Writing, and has enjoyed his undergraduate career at the UA. He credits the support he has received at the SALT Center, particularly the tutoring services, with his current success: “I had a stereotypical [and limited] tutoring experience in High School; I didn’t expect so much peer tutoring in so many subjects.”
With his more demanding classes behind him, David decided to look for a job during his senior year in order to gain experience and a little extra cash: “I was looking into becoming one of the UA ambassadors who walk backwards.” His research for this position reminded him that the SALT Center employed ambassadors, as well. Upon further consideration, David decided to apply, and got the job.
As an ambassador, David engages with prospective students and families on a weekly basis. He is proud to share his SALT Center experience with future students, and also considers it a great networking opportunity: “I was the consumer, and now, in a way, I’m selling the product.”
With graduation fast approaching, we are glad to have David greeting families and sharing his experience at our “Taste of SALT” presentations for a few more months. We congratulate him on earning his degree, and we wish him success in all of his future endeavors.