Paving the Path to Success Through Jobs for Arizona's Graduates

October 17, 2023

Monica Telles, a dedicated board member for Jobs for Arizona's Graduates (JAG), has left an indelible mark in the realm of career development and youth empowerment. Her journey from high school aspirations to leadership in the energy industry is a testament to the transformative power of mentorship and the pursuit of dreams. 

Monica Telles' Journey to Success 

Monica's story begins in high school, where her fascination with computers ignited an unwavering passion for technology. She marveled at the inner workings of computers, the intricate assembly of components, and the incredible capabilities of those tiny chips. Yet, she faced the conundrum of translating this passion into a tangible career. 

Upon graduating from high school, Monica found herself at South Mountain Community College, where she initially embarked on a path that seemed fitting - computer A+ certification courses and various programming languages. However, it didn't take long for her to realize that computer programming wasn't her true calling. 

A pivotal moment came in a college algebra class when an instructor asked about her career aspirations. Monica's response was simple but profound: "I'm not sure, but something with technology." It was this conversation that marked the beginning of her transformative journey. 

Monica decided to explore engineering, a career path that was an uncharted territory for her. She enrolled in entry-level engineering courses at South Mountain Community College, setting her course for a brighter future. To broaden her horizons and connect with industry professionals and fellow students, she joined the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, a student-led organization. 

Several years of dedication and hard work later, Monica emerged from Arizona State University (ASU) with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. It was during her academic journey that an internship at APS, an energy company, became a defining moment. This internship paved the way for a full-time position as a Substation Engineer upon graduation, setting the stage for her remarkable 17-year tenure with APS. 

While her initial aspirations centered on engineering, Monica's career ultimately evolved into a leadership role. Throughout her journey, one thing remained consistent: her unwavering commitment to ensuring APS delivers clean, reliable, and affordable energy to its customers. 

Monica Telles' Passion for Service 

What brings Monica the greatest satisfaction in her current role is the service her team provides to the community. "Energy is a commodity that provides not only comfort but is a source of life for many. Many times we just flip the switch and expect the lights to turn on and our a/c’s to be running, but behind the scenes it takes a lot of technical talent and collaboration to make it all happen. I love being a part of that team that makes it happen,” she said.  

Supporting JAG: A Personal Mission 

Monica's unwavering support for JAG is deeply rooted in her belief in its mission. She intimately understands the challenges young students face as they strive to uncover their full potential and explore the multitude of career opportunities available to them. 

Her connection to this mission goes beyond understanding. Her personal journey was marked by a significant personal challenge—she became a teenage mom during high school. With the unwavering support of her family and teachers, Monica managed to graduate a year early, but the path to higher education was far from easy. 

Throughout her academic journey, college instructors became her guiding stars. Their support, encouragement, and guidance kept her on the path to success. She was also fortunate to be part of a student organization that exposed her to the myriad possibilities ahead, directing her towards resources and maintaining her motivation. 

Monica's path to a fulfilling career was long and filled with obstacles, but she eventually arrived. It's essential to her that organizations like JAG receive support in their mission to reach as many students as possible. By doing so, they can ensure that each student can fulfill their dreams, just as Monica did. 

Make a Difference

Monica Telles, with her remarkable journey from high school curiosity to an influential leadership role in the energy industry, stands as a shining example of the impact of mentorship, determination, and the unwavering support of organizations like JAG. It highlights the limitless potential within every student and emphasizes the significance of supporting the next generation in their quest for success. 

You too can make a difference in the lives of our students, consider supporting Jobs for Arizona's Graduates. Your involvement can provide the vital JAG programming our students need to navigate their unique paths to success.  

Together, we can empower our youth, just as Monica's journey has empowered her, and make a lasting impact on the leaders of tomorrow. Donate today! 

Nicole Porter
Director of Marketing & Communications
AZ Tax Credit Funds
(602) 216-9503 I
3320 W. Cheryl Dr., Suite B220 Phoenix, AZ 85051
Copyright 2020 -  Jobs for Arizona Graduates
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