TRIO SSS honors 58 graduates at Graduation Celebration

Members of the 2023 TRIO Student Support Services graduating class.

TRIO SSS honors 58 graduates at Graduation Celebration

MOSES LAKE — The Big Bend Community College TRIO Student Support Services program celebrated its group of 2023 graduates during a ceremony Tuesday night. Fifty-eight students were recognized during the event.

Students heard from BBCC president Dr. Sara Thompson Tweedy and TRIO staff before they were individually celebrated in front of their families. They also heard from TRIO SSS graduate Steven Otto, who spoke about his experience in the program and the impact it has had on his academic journey.

Otto, who returned to school at the age of 32, talked about his decision and how it was important for him to better his future for himself and his son.

“It took my son Ryder being born before I went back to get my GED … after his mother and I went our separate ways my life took a downward spiral so I moved back to Moses Lake to do some soul searching. I explored a few different options before deciding to come to Big Bend,” Otto shared.

“I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Going back to school at 32 was terrifying but fortunately I was able to find the (TRIO SSS) program and the advisor that helped me so much. I hope that anyone that is in my position understands that there are options and opportunities that can better your future for yourself and your children.”

Otto credits much of his success to TRIO SSS Academic Advisor Jasmine Evangelista-Martinez.

“I really want to thank Jasmine; I believe that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her. She has been so helpful throughout this whole process and really made my experience at Big Bend so much less stressful.”

Big Bend Community College President Dr. Sara Thompson-Tweedy heaped praise on the newest class of TRIO SSS graduates, recognizing that as first-generation college students, they each had some special circumstances to overcome.

“This class of TRIO graduates is 58 Vikings strong and everyone who works at the college is incredibly proud of you. In the time that you have been here, you have grown, not only in knowledge, but in confidence,” said President Tweedy. “But a TRIO graduate is special in other ways. You have reached this accomplishment having faced obstacles and barriers that could have prevented your success. As you faced those (obstacles and barriers) you came to understand that you did not have to do it alone. At your side were your peers who were sharing this experience with you, as well as, many trusted counselors and guides who knew how to add light to what may have seemed a dark, uncertain path. Now, here you are, poised to graduate.”

The TRIO SSS program at Big Bend has been on campus for more than 30 years. The goal of the program is to help motivate students to attain their educational goals, graduate and/or transfer to an institute of higher education.

TRIO advisors provide academic advising, transfer support and personal development for students who are from low-income backgrounds and who are often first-generation college students. The program also supports students with disabilities.

For more information, visit the TRIO SSS program webpage. Current students interested in applying to the program can use the TRIO SSS online application. Students will need to have their BBCC Student ID number to complete the application.



Aguilar, Katie

Angel, Natiel

Aquino, Leslie

Atancio, Ana

Avalos Carrillo, Diana

Ayala, Mireya

Boughter, Samantha

Buenrostro, Fernanda

Byington, Kendra

Campos Jr, Robert

Carrillo, Andrea

Cerna, Alejandra

Cruz, Jonathan

Cruz, Myah

Cruz, Jordan

Diaz, Luz*

Dominguez-Barrera, Martin

Dressler, Kari

Espino, Julio

Estrada-Leon, Gissele

Farias, Jose

Garcia, Fernando

Garcia Rangel, Luis

Gaxiola-Arroyo, Freddy

Haro-Hernandez, Andrea

Hernandez, Victoria

Hodges, Trisha*

Hupp, Sara

Jeffries, Kristal

Jimenez Zamora, Marianna

Macias, Sitlaly

Martinez, Kevin

Medina, Julia

Nash, Tawney

Oronia, Lisset

Oronia, Martin

Otto, Stevan

Pena, Yolanda

Ponce, Alma

Ramirez, Kim

Ramirez Duran, Sofia

Reynolds, Ethan

Rigby, Gracie

Rincon-Arroyo, Jasmine

Robles Aguilar, Juan

Rodriguez-Balbuena, Melanie

Salazar, Jamie

Sanchez, Brenda

Soriano Herrera, Griselda

Tellez, Daisy

Tucker, Brandon

Tumacmol, Jayward

Valerio, Mischelle

Villanueva, Paloma

Wakeford, Dillon

Wormuth, Joseph

Zabalza, Ivan

Zavala-Morales, Angie


Slideshow cover for TRIO SSS graduation celebration
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