Where Are They Now? Meet 1979 Prairie Grad Dawn Becicka Souza

Name: Dawn (Becicka) Souza

What year did you graduate Prairie High School?
I graduated in 1979

What is your current position?
I am the Director of Student Life

Where is your place of employment?
Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado

What are your job responsibilities?
I work with all student organizations, clubs and athletics at three different campuses. I also work with Student Government and have traveled all over the country with them to different conferences. We also put on all events for college at all campuses.

Describe your career and educational path since graduating from Prairie High School.
I received my Bachelor of Arts at the University of Northern Iowa. From there, I moved to Colorado. I worked at different jobs and ended up in the Health Club business. One day I came to the college to talk to them about a job and my name was on the man’s desk. I figured it was a sign for me to work here. That was 24 years ago. After working here a few years, I moved into the Director position and pursued and received my Master’s at the University of Colorado.

What advice would you give to today’s high school graduates? 

I would tell high school graduates to know exactly what they want to do before spending the money on college. There is no real reason that a student has to go to college right after high school. There are so many fields that may only require a certificate or there may be a company that offers on the job training. Working at a college, I see students change their degree plan over and over which costs them so much money. My other piece of advice would be, look at the average amount of money that a particular job pays to see if it is worth the cost of paying back that student loan. Students take out loans and go into jobs that will never pay enough money to pay back their student loans.