TRiO Upward Bound inducts 40 new members

TRiO Upward Bound inducted 40 high school students into its program during a special ceremony at Big Bend Community College’s Masto Conference Center Tuesday night.

MOSES LAKE — ­­Forty 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.

“You should be very proud, you were handpicked for this,” she told students. “I can’t wait to see you grow and develop into confident young adults.”

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 Superior Court Judge David Estudillo.

They also heard from BBCC President Dr. Terry Leas, and from former TRiO Upward Bound graduate and current Big Bend STEM Coordinator Veronica Guadarrama, who spoke about her experiences with the program.

De Leon said 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. The program helps students who are from low-income backgrounds and who are often first-generation college students, with anything and everything college related.

“Whether you need help picking out classes, or help with advising, both academic and personal, we’re here for you,” said De Leon. “We are truly a family here.”

The program also helps students by providing tutoring, assistance with college and financial aid applications and SAT/ACT preparation, among other services to students. In addition, students participate in the TRiO Upward Bound Summer Academy each year, which is held on the Big Bend campus.

The program is currently serving 119 students this academic year.

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TRiO Student Inductees:

Moses Lake High School

Ha Vi Duong, Tornado Godinez, Gabriella Martinez, Jessica Mendoza, Miguel Perez-Kumari, Alex Pruneda, Micaela Record, Carmelo Caleb Ruiz

Warden High School

Robert Campos, Emily Castillo, Valeria Castillo, Jesus Contreras, Zeferino Lino-Gomez, Edgar Ramirez

Royal City High School

Claetyn Conrad, Elizabeth Esparza, Melanie Garcia Gomez, Melissa Godinez-Sandoval, Ishmael Gonzalez-Gutierrez, Ismael Lagunes-Ponce, Alexandera Linn, Andrea Lopez-Becerra, Elizabeth Main, Ruby Mercado, Cynthia Nunez, Maribel Ortega-Ramirez, Marcy Paxtian-Ramirez, Francisca Santiago-Luis, Dante Sotelo Jr.

Othello High School

Rosalinda Aguirre, Yulisa Chavez, Luis Cruz, Anna Gonzalez, Leonides Gonzalez, Melisha Martinez, Fernando Peña, Arturo Solorio, Obryanna Valencia, Odyssey Valencia, Alejandro Vizcarra

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