Team Member Spotlight: Sandra Ortigoza

We would not be able to fulfill our mission without our staff, a group of professionals who intentionally work across difference, are experts in their field, and care deeply about young people and their postsecondary journeys. 

Each month, we’ll highlight a member of our team by “passing the mic” to hear directly from them about their work and purpose. This month, we are highlighting our Director of Finance and Administration: Sandra Ortigoza. 


What do you do at the Network for College Success?

As the Director of Finance and Administration, I lead the long-term fiscal and organizational health of NCS in advancing its mission.

How do you help high school teams build on the work they’re doing and make improvements?

I help by ensuring our teams have the resources necessary (e.g. PD texts) to build on the work. 

What about the culture of NCS empowers you to show up the way you do?

Equity is the center of NCS and it has helped me think about my work in finance differently. I approach my work (e.g. budgeting, policies, and processes) with an equity lens. 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is that I’m encouraged and given the opportunity to be creative and try new ideas.
For example, in order to help leaders and teams prioritize their needs during the budgeting process, I improved our approach to enable teams to submit yearly budget proposals. I’m grateful for being able to collaborate with NCS staff to find new ways of working. 


Can you share a memorable moment or achievement during your time with NCS?

A memorable moment is during the time (roughly 10 years ago!) I supported the work with the ACM (Associated Colleges of the Midwest). We brought together over 200 high school students from our partner schools and college representatives from the ACM member colleges. We created the ACM Senior Exchange and the ACM Junior Exchange. Students gave each other feedback on their college essays and interviewed with the ACM college representatives. I worked directly with students and the college representatives which was very rewarding and memorable.      

Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies or interests that you enjoy pursuing?

I enjoy being crafty and creating different things, particularly making jewelry. I also enjoy spending time with family and exploring the country’s national parks.    
Want to meet other remarkable staff at NCS? Visit our staff directory page here.