Alumni Spotlight

Angie Isaza-Loiaza ’06

Angie Isaza-Loaiza grew up in an East Boston immigrant community, speaking Spanish as her first language. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. from Columbia to pursue educational opportunities for their children. Angie’s family all worked in hospitality at the Boston Harbor Hotel: her father as a dishwasher, her mother in room service, and her older brother as a server.

In fifth grade, Angie’s Boston public school teacher recognized her academic potential and nominated her for The Steppingstone Academy. Angie’s parents were thrilled with the idea and figured out how to help their daughter apply.

Over the course of two years, Angie worked with her Steppingstone advisor to find her best-fit school. Excited about Boston Latin School (BLS) for her education, Angie continued to work with Steppingstone to prepare academically for the entrance exam and socially and emotionally for the transition. Angie reflects, “I wouldn’t have passed the ISEE without Steppingstone, and I was only successful at BLS because of SMASH [Saturday Mentoring and Study Hall].”

At BLS, Angie continued to benefit from the support of Steppingstone. “Steppingstone took me on all of my college tours,” she recalls. “My parents didn’t know anything about college so this wouldn’t have been an option for me.”

Angie also secured a paid internship as a Steppingstone TA, gaining “meaningful work experience during my summer, while actually getting paid.”

Thanks to Angie’s hard work and the support of Steppingstone, she earned acceptance to Bucknell University and became the first member of her family to graduate college in 2016. “Without Steppingstone, I probably wouldn’t have even pictured myself at a school like Bucknell.”

Angie with fellow BYP members at Steppingstone’s 2019 Annual Meeting

After working at Bank of America as a Client Sales & Service Officer, Angie began pursuing her law degree at Northeastern University School of Law.

“I never felt alone throughout my educational career,” Angie reflects. “Both directly and indirectly, whenever I needed help, I knew I could ask Steppingstone to be there as a form of guidance for me.”

And, as Angie notes, Steppingstone support doesn’t end with graduation. In addition to the lifelong connections she’s made within Steppingstone’s Alumni network, Angie also served as a member of Steppingstone’s Board of Young Professionals (BYP). “The BYP has empowered me to give back to Steppingstone, so that the Scholars who need this program continue to have access to all the resources I had when I was a Scholar.”