TRiO Upward Bound inducts 35 new members

TRiO Upward Bound inducts 35 new members

MOSES LAKE — Thirty-five high school students from Grant and Adams counties were formally welcomed into Big Bend Community College’s TRiO Upward Bound Program Tuesday night.

The program aims to get more high school students into college, and by joining Upward Bound, students are pledging their commitment to pursuing a college education. That commitment is a big deal, and deserves to be recognized, said Big Bend TRiO Upward Bound Director Anita De Leon.

“TRiO students are four times more likely to earn a college degree than similar students who don’t participate,” she told students. “After 25 years working with this program, I have the confidence to say that TRiO really does work. You can do this. You can go to college and you won’t be alone.”

This year’s inductees come from Moses Lake, Warden, Royal City and Othello high schools. Students were individually celebrated before coming together to take their official Upward Bound oath, which was delivered by Big Bend Dean of Student Services Andre Guzman.

Students also heard from former TRiO Upward Bound graduate Christina Murillo, who spoke about her experiences with the program and the impact it had on her academic and personal journey.

Murillo graduated from Othello High School in 2015 and went on to attend Eastern Washington University. She currently works in Seattle as a mental health therapist for adolescents.

Murillo shared how TRiO helped prepare her for college and for life away from home. Often students will get too homesick and decide college life isn’t for them and return home, she said. But being in TRiO’s summer academy helped her get used to living away from home and living with a roommate.

“It was a new experience, and adventure for me,” said Murillo. “But I got an idea of what it would be like in college.”

She told the group of new inductees that whatever their goals were, TRiO staff would help them get there.

“What really helped me was asking questions. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask a lot of questions, so you always know the next steps,” said Murillo. “You will accomplish your goals.”

The Upward Bound program at Big Bend has been on campus since 1967 and is one of the oldest Upward Bound programs in the nation. TRiO advisors help students who are from low-income backgrounds and who are often first-generation college students, with anything and everything college related- including tutoring, assistance with college and financial aid applications and SAT/ACT preparation.

In addition, students participate in a variety of cultural and social events while in the program. They also participate in the TRiO Upward Bound Summer Academy, which is held each year on the Big Bend campus.

The program is currently serving 119 students this academic year.

Full list of inductees, by school:

Moses Lake High School

Miriam Baeza, Lindsay Campos, Edna Castro, Maddox Mayo-Gutierrez, Angel Montalvo Zarate, Jorge Nichols, Ephraim Panlaqui, Cambria Rhodes, Aubree Sandoval

Warden High School

Jesus Arias Contreras, Henesi Castro-Dominguez, Sandra Dominguez, Wendy Guarneros Antillo, Raylen Heredia, JD Hernandez, Azucena Penafiel-Diaz

Othello High School

George Arevalo, Juan Cruz-Cantu, Erick Figueroa-Silva, Bryan Garcia Velazquez, Michelle Herrera-Agustin, Marvin Huesca-Andrade, Tiffany Lima-Ramirez, Kenya Luna-Garcia, Jorge Ocampo-Gil, Giselle Vazquez-Maldonado

Royal High School

David Baeza-Barrita, Moises Castro Tellez, Alondra Farias-Garcia, Alex Guillermo, Salvador Ibarra, Brian Martinez-Anguiano, Jacqueline Ortega Ramirez, Darany Pineda Escalera, Eliezer Vivar Tapia

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