From College Access to Career Exploration: Meet KIPP Forward Counselor Bryan Coreas

From College Access to Career Exploration: Meet KIPP Forward Counselor Bryan Coreas

KIPP Forward Counselor Bryan Coreas

Meet Bryan Coreas, our inspiring KIPP Forward Counselor whose primary mission is to provide caring support and guidance to KIPP SoCal alums as they navigate their chosen career paths.

In his role, Bryan supports alums at any point in their post-secondary journey with career-oriented services and resources such as mock interviews, coaching, training, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) program exploration. 

Bryan joined the KIPP Forward team with over a decade of experience, having worked for numerous college access programs and non-profits. 

Bryan believes his passion for promoting educational opportunities and preparing students for successful careers stems from his time at the Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS), a college access program for high school students that prepares them to enter highly selective colleges and universities.

Bryan joined the PAYS program as a high school student and attended Pomona College, where he worked as a PAYS teaching assistant, mentoring and tutoring a group of 45 high school students. 

When it came time to graduate with his math degree, Bryan felt pursuing a career teaching math might not allow him to tap into all his professional and personal goals. During this pivotal moment, Bryan realized that his non-academic work was what he valued most. 

Bryan Coreas (far left) at the Pomona College Academy for Youth Success

He wanted to inspire change so that students from his community could be proud of who they were, where they were from, and where they were going. Counseling allowed him to use all his skill sets—math, data, problem-solving, creative thinking, and innovation—to build community. So when Bryan saw the counseling position at KIPP SoCal, he knew he had to apply. 

Bryan joined the team with genuine passion and enthusiasm, especially since the role focused on career counseling services and was a change from his usual college-focused roles. Bryan saw his new role as an opportunity to show students that you don’t always have to know what you want to do right out of high school or college, and you don’t always have to get it right the first time. 

“There’s a lot of pressure on young people to get it right the first time. And that’s really not how we operate as a society, even in the workplace. In the real world, we give people multiple opportunities to learn, succeed, and grow,” said Bryan. 

He began by reaching out to KIPP SoCal alums who had graduated high school in 2020 or 2021 and had not been actively engaged with a KIPP Forward counselor since. When he connected with the students, he was able to learn more about where they were in their post-secondary journey, discover what their goals were, and expose them to opportunities beyond going to college. 

“My favorite part is being able to re-engage and shift perspectives. It is career counseling, but there is also social-emotional counseling,” said Bryan. “That’s something that we have to manage to motivate students towards clearer goals and completion.”

Bryan Coreas, during his time as a PAYS team member

In a short time, Bryan has forged genuine relationships with numerous alums to support their post-secondary journeys, including KIPP LA Prep alum Stive S., who was involved in the automotive technology program at Rio Hondo College at the time. 

“It’s good to have counselors like Bryan because it just made college easier because there are things he helped me with that I couldn’t go to anyone around me because they didn’t go to college,” said Stive. “He was the one I would go with when I had issues with certain things that I didn't understand from college.”  

Stive knew he could turn to Bryan because he was always “just a text away.” During one of their early conversations, Stive shared his interest in pursuing a trucking career to one day start a commercial truck-driving business with his father. 

Bryan encouraged him to apply for KIPP SoCal’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) Scholarship, which he received to help cover the cost of his month-long trucking school. This past spring, Stive proudly crossed a couple of goals off his list when he received his Commercial Truck Driver's License and AA degree from Rio Hondo College.

Stive S. at his Rio Hondo College graduation

Meaningful programs like KIPP Forward help us fulfill our mission of preparing students with the skills and confidence to follow any path they choose — from college, career, and beyond. 

As we continue to grow our focus on career pathways, we hope our KIPPsters see this as more than just a career counseling service — we hope they see it as a safe space that helps them learn more about themselves so they achieve the excellence they see for themselves.

Relationships between our KIPP Forward counselors and KIPPsters demonstrate KIPP SoCal’s commitment to ensuring our scholars reach and exceed their dreams.