New London, CT – Higher Edge, Inc. is pleased to announce the hiring of Theresa Armendarez as its next executive director. Originally from Arizona, Ms. Armendarez earned a B.A. in Communication from Arizona State University, a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law and, a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. Her legal and nonprofit careers reflect a long-standing dedication to supporting the education and success of students and to helping others – with years of experience supporting civics education as a volunteer and, most recently serving as executive director of Beach Food Pantry, Inc. in Kitty Hawk, NC.
Higher Edge guides low-income and first-generation students through enrollment, retention, and graduation from college by providing the support and resources needed for success. “New London and Willimantic are a long way from the desert city where my dream to become the first person in my family to graduate college began,” says Ms. Armendarez. “I understand, firsthand, the importance of having guidance, support and resources to get to and through college and am thrilled to have been selected to help lead Higher Edge’s commitment to seeing our community’s students succeed.”
An extensive executive search was conducted to replace Higher Edge’s Founding Director Chris Soto who is leaving the organization to focus on his legislative role as State Representative. “There has been nothing more rewarding in my life than serving the families and students in Higher Edge as they follow their college dreams. The organization has had some tremendous accomplishments in seven years but now Higher Edge is poised for its next era of growth. Theresa’s valuable perspective and experience will undoubtedly enhance the work that Higher Edge does.”
“We are grateful to Chris for his vision, leadership and lasting contributions to Higher Edge. We also value his continuing commitment to supporting our efforts in guiding students to achieve their goals of higher education,” says Gladys Rivera-Griffin, Board President. “We are also grateful to have found Theresa, whose experience and commitment to student success will provide a seamless transition in leadership and will help advance Higher Edge’s mission.”