TRiO Upward Bound inducts 36 new members
MOSES LAKE — Thirty-six 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 24 years working with this program, I have the confidence to say that TRiO really does work. We are going to constantly give you support and motivate you to keep going and achieve your dreams.”
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 president Dr. Sara Thompson Tweedy.
Students also heard from former TRiO Upward Bound graduate and current TRiO academic advisor Erika Armengol, who spoke about her experiences with the program and the impact it had on her academic and personal journey.
Armengol shared how her parents had encouraged her to pursue a college education. She had a dream of becoming a nurse, and really leaned on TRiO staff as she prepared and eventually applied for college.
While TRiO advisors helped a lot on the academic side, Armengol said it was the personal support and guidance she received that made the biggest impact.
“I became a totally different person through TRiO. I developed into someone that was self-confident and believed in my abilities,” she said. “When I first started, I was so shy and didn’t believe in myself. I don’t know where I would have been without their guidance.”
Armengol finished high school and went on to attend the University of Washington. While she initially pursued a career in nursing, she started to realize just how much she wanted help other students in their college journey.
“I knew that TRiO helped me achieve my dream of going to college and I wanted to do the same for other students,” she said. “I’m blessed to work here and do what they did for me, for all of you.”
She told the group of new inductees that whatever their goals were, TRiO staff would help them get there.
“Always believe in yourself and your abilities,” said Armengol.
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 115 students this academic year.
Full list of inductees, by school:
Moses Lake High School
Manuel Britt Rivera, Berlynn Capetillo, Brihanna Cisneros Reyes, Evan Duong, Juanpablo Godinez, Daniel Guerrero, Cesar Portillo, Bryan Sario
Warden High School
Amaia Borrego, Clarissa Campos, Jared Contreras Murillo, Ashley Cruz-Contreras, Santiago Herrera Bautista, Gabriela Herrera Bautista, Jailyn Jara, Ryan Madrigales, Briannalee Martinez Martinez, Jose A. Perez, Gabriel Serna
Othello High School
Rigoberto Araiza Fernandez, Abdiel Corona Peralta, Ernesto Duran, America Gonzalez, Yahaira Huerta
Royal High School
Ileana Apolonio, Analy Castillo, Shakira Cortez, Jeonatan Dircio, Marisol Delfina Gonzalez, Destiny Guerrero, Fabian Meza, Jesus Morales, Leo Padilla Santillan, Sofia Rojas, Jesus San German-Cerritos, Ismael Sosa