SRA Alum on Staff: Salote Tenisi

SRA is celebrating our SRA Alums who are now on staff! 

Hear from SRA Alum and College and Career Advisor Salote Tenisi. Salote Tenisi is a Students Rising Above Alum from the Class of 2011. Before joining the SRA team, Salote served as the Student Success Coordinator at Mills College where they worked with first-generation college students and helped plan programs such as the Summer Academic Workshop. In 2015, Salote graduated from Colgate University with a B.A. in Asian Studies and African-American Studies.

Read the full story below:



How did you start working for SRA?

I had started a new job close to my advisor Lisa, so we decided to catch up after I was done with my day. As we talked, she told me about how SRA was hiring for advisors and how that already aligned with my work experience. However, since I had just started my previous job, I told her that I’d be interested in the future but that the timing wasn’t right for me at that moment. Sometime later, Lisa reached out to me again and now I work for SRA!


What was your experience before this role?

Prior to working at SRA, I worked in different institutions of higher education as a coordinator where I planned programming primarily for first-generation students. I also helped them navigate their schools and find resources on campus. My previous experience working in higher education helps me as an advisor with SRA.


How did college shape your career journey?

In college, I felt lost and struggled quite a bit as a first-generation student. It took me time to find systems of support and have a sense of belonging. After graduating, I gravitated towards wanting to support other students like myself and find success within their own college journeys.


What is your current role? 

I currently work full-time with SRA as a College & Career Advisor with the EdTech Team. I currently advise 7 Rising Stars who just finished their first year of college! I also advise SOAR scholars where I host monthly hangouts on a specific college success/professional development topic with 42 scholars. I also support students on the SRA Hub as well.


How has been starting to work in a completely virtual environment – do you have any advice for others?

A piece of advice that I have for others working virtually is to create a separation of space between your work and personal life if possible. At the beginning of working virtually, I did not have a desk and I was working on my bed. After work, I’d have a hard time relaxing and falling asleep on my bed because I still felt like I was in my work mode. Once I moved into an apartment of my own and got a desk, I was able to start work mode by sitting at my desk and clock out by leaving it. Now I have physical separation from working and not working.


What’s something you’re looking forward to this year with SRA?

I’m looking forward to the launch of our UC Riverside SOAR program!