Pilots Alumni

"How has the Pilots program impacted your life and helped you achieve your goals?"

Isidro (Sid) Arguello, K-State Alum

"Pilots helped me to have confidence in myself; to strive for goals that scare me enough to make opportunities for myself. Pilots gave me the discipline I lacked to become an effective leader.

I am currently working for the House of Representatives along side Representative John Ewy & Jack Thimesch. Looking towards moving to New York this summer, I look forward to continuing my career in politics and entering a mentor program in order to prepare for a state office and eventually a federal office."



Lenndy Batista

Lenndy Batista, K-State Alum

"The Pilots program helped me establish an academic foundation with the skill set and professional mentality to best succeed during my undergraduate career at Kansas State University. Pilots served as an academic and personal support system for me as a first-generation college student throughout my four years at the college."







Connie BeckConnie Beck, Senior in Family Studies and Human Services & Spring 2014 Pilots Program Intern

"Coming into college, I never expected to do well. I figured I would barely pass my classes and never anticipated to find anything that I was passionate about because of the experiences that I had had in high school. However, over the course of my freshman year I started to notice that I was actually doing really well in school. I had A’s in all of my classes and even participated in class because I understood the material. For the first time, I was really enjoying school!

At the end of the year I left campus with a huge smile on my face. Not only did I walk away with the best grades I had ever received, but I walked away with the one thing that had changed my life forever: confidence and belief in myself. Ultimately, if it wasn’t for the Pilots Program’s structure, encouragement, and tremendous guidance, I honestly never would have gotten the chance to enjoy the experiences that I have had in college academically and holistically, nor would I have found my passion for helping students develop over time. Without a doubt, the Pilots Program inspired me to help others and taught me that underneath all insecure students, there is a confident student waiting to find out their true potential.

“Currently I am interning with the Pilots Program and will finish up my undergraduate degree in Family Studies and Human Services in May of this year. I am very interested in working with college students and am hoping to seek a career within Higher Education after College. All the more, I am excited to seek out what the real world has to provide and am anticipating what the future will hold!”




Nicole C

Nicole Casonhua, Sophomore in Theatre

"The Pilots Program was very beneficial for me during my freshman year here at Kansas State because it helped me to ease my way into the college atmosphere without feeling overwhelmed. I am an out-of-state student, and with the smaller classroom settings, I was able to meet friends quickly, some of which are still my best friends to this day, and receive more one on one attention. The Peer Assistants were also great and helped me to achieve my goal of high grades by helping me prepare for tests, understand content, and giving me good advice in order to write strong papers. Without the Pilots Program, I feel that jumping into college level classes would have been a lot harder to tackle and more stressful for me to endure. Also, I was able to receive a scholarship through the Pilots Program which was a great blessing financially." 

"I am now a Peer Mentor for the Pilots Program, and I love inspiring other students in achieving  their goals of being a successful college student, and helping them to enjoy their years at Kansas State University! Pilots helped me get on my feet and rolling towards my major and future career in Theatre with a minor in Public Relations!"




Marcus Dobson

Marcus Dobson, Senior in Business Finance

“The Pilots Program helped me tremendously on establishing healthy study habits to endure challenging academics and also suggested some positive habits to balance a college social life at the same time. Pilots however, did not hold my hand; the nature of the program is to guide you with available information to help you make your own choices towards your own college experience. As a result, my freshman year created for me a foundation from which I now work upon for the remaining years that I have left at Kansas State University.” 

“Now I am a Peer Assistant tutor at the Pilots Lab tutoring Sociology and contributing to students' foundation. I am a senior, majoring in business with an emphasis in Finance. My career goal after graduation is to become part of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City in the Financial Management Department. It will be a great way for me to start up my career after Kansas State University, as I will continue on towards graduate school for my Masters in Finance and Economics.




Cassie Kerr

Cassie Kerr, Junior in Mass Communications 

"Pilots helped me gain confidence in myself, as well as the abilities to believe in myself. I learned how to study, overcome test anxiety and use proper time management to be a full time successful student.”

“I am now a Peer Assistant for Pilots guiding students to reach their goals, just as I was taught. I have continuously followed my goals and dreams and am about one year from graduating with a Journalism degree in Public Relations.”





Michelle L

Michelle Langvardt, K-State Alum

“The Pilots Program helped teach me the tools and study skills I needed to be successful in College and in life.”

Michelle Langvardt, Graduated December 2005 with a BS in Business Administration; Currently employed by Kansas State University in the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President as an Administrative Assistant / Commencement Coordinator







Ingrid Perez

Ingrid Perez, Senior in Human Resource Management

“The Pilots program allowed me to focus on what was important during my first year of college. It gave me the tools to learn how to organize myself and study the way a college student should prepare for classes.”

“I am a senior in Human Resource Management and I will be interning with Cargill Inc. this summer and graduating in December 2014! I am heavily involved with my sorority Lambda Theta Nu Sorority Inc. - a Latina based sorority - that encompasses academic excellence.”






Madaí Rivera
Coordinator of Academic Services & Diversity, College of Human Ecology, Dean's Office
Admissions Coordinator for Hispanic Recruitment at Kansas State University

"Pilots provided me the guidance and academic support I needed as a first-generation college student. I've developed long-term friendships with former students and staff who have supported me as an undergraduate student, graduate student ad as a professional. I'm proud to be a Pilots alumna." 





Morgan Rose

Morgan Rose, K-State Alum

“Pilots taught me perseverance. Coming to college I did not believe school was a strength of mine. With help from the PAs (Peer Assistants), advisors and instructors, I learned differently. They taught me not to give up, ask for help when I needed it, and to believe in myself."

Morgan graduated from K-State in 2013 and now teaches second grade in the Blue Valley School District.







Madison Sha

Madison Sha, Junior in Early Childhood Education

“Throughout high school I was really unsure if I was fit for college. I had a really hard time with school and I had lots of help along the way. I danced my whole life and even though I knew there were other things I was passionate about, I decided that because of my struggles with academics I should just go to school to dance. I came to K-state with the intentions of only dancing. Throughout my first semester here my thoughts on this changed drastically. I found that I was able to accomplish so much more than I thought I was capable of. I started to actually believe in myself as a well-educated person. As a result this Program has shaped me into the student that I have become during my time in college. Due to the never ending support and motivation from the staff and peer assistance, I finished my freshmen year of college with the best grades I have ever earned. Being able to have mentors and peers along the way gave me a great feeling of community and confidence. This was especially comforting to have at such a large school like K-state.”

“Now, I am working as Pilots Peer Assistant and I absolutely love it. I am majoring in Early Childhood education with a focus on Early Autistic intervention. I am also majoring in dance as well. I am a part of the Greek community as well as an active leader in other organizations on campus. I can honestly say that without the great support that the Pilots Program had to offer me, I would never have come so far in achieving my dreams.”




Natalie SchaferNatalie Schafer, Senior in Public Relations

“The Pilots program helped to encourage me to adapt to my first semester at Kansas State University. The program helped to give me more self-confidence in my academic career, and also encouraged me to try new things and join new organizations. The program also helped to establish what type of student I am with identifying new study skills and ways to organize my school work.”

“I can't believe I am a senior in college now. I feel like just yesterday I was a student in the Pilots program. Currently, I am finishing my major in Public Relations with a minor in Leadership Studies. I will be graduating this next December 2014, and I already have a job offer. This past summer I was given an incredible opportunity to be an Executive Team Leader over Human Resource Management for the company Target. I completed the internship, and was given a job offer to be a Campus Liaison for K-State with the company acting as a recruiter to find the new interns and full-time positions. If someone would have asked me my freshman year in the program what I would be doing now, I would have never guessed I would be so successful in my job and academic career.”





Ryan V

Ryan Vonderhorst, K-State Alum & 3rd year med student

"I joined the Pilots program as a non-traditional student after serving in the Army. The program gave me great advice and helped guide me through courses and college decisions as I started to go back to school. The greatest benefit was having a unique study space and peer-tutors to help you with all the basic subjects. After my freshman year, I returned as a peer tutor for the program, helping to teach psychology and algebra. As a member of Pilots, I found it very rewarding to help guide new students into the world of college, and still stay in touch with students I met along the way. I look back at Pilots as, academically, the best thing that happened to me at K-State. Since graduating, I started medical school and am currently a 3rd year student working in Wichita, Kansas for the University of Kansas School of Medicine."