College Affordability Specialist
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Carina Cruz has been engaged in youth-centered work since before middle school. Whether it was tutoring kindergarten students in reading when she was in fifth grade or volunteering at the Pediatric Partial Hospital Program at Bradley Hospital when she was in college, Carina has always had a passion for advocating for young voices. After graduating from Brown University in 2017, Carina joined the High School Team at Breakthrough New York, a 10-year community-based program that supports low-income, high-achieving students to and through college. (She is also a proud alumna of the Breakthrough New York program.) Beginning in 2017, Carina has mentored, advised and supported high school students through their sophomore to senior years and helped guide them through every step of the college application process. Carina trained at Columbia University's College Counseling Program, Goddard Riverside’s Beyond Basics Counselor Series, and many other professional development programs. She uses her expertise to help make college more accessible and affordable for her students. Carina knows every student’s story is different and understands the vital importance of personalized mentoring and support. Further, she believes higher education should be not only accessible but affordable. Carina is happy to bring her passion, energy, and training to the Omega team to help ensure every student gets the support they need on their college journey.