Coastal Bend College TRiO Student Support Services named CBC graduate Guadalupe Encinia of Mathis, TRiO SSS Achiever. Encinia talked about his experiences with CBC students during a reception held to celebrate TRiO Day.
Encinia, who recently completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, told a group of CBC students that his involvement with TRiO opened doors for him.
“No one in my family went to any kind of college or training school,” he said. His three years in TRiO SSS while at CBC was a great help to his academic career.
“As a first generation college student,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do.” His involvement with TRiO SSS gave him information about financial aid, universities and admissions requirements. He completed his degree at CBC and transferred to TTU with the confidence that he was ready to tackle challenges.
He said his first year was tough – emotionally and financially. This was about the time that he lost his father, the late Guadalupe Encinia. His mantra during those times became Adelanta! A favorite Mexican-born professor told him to always go forward. So, he did.
He stuck out the difficult time and joined school organizations, including LULAC and the Hispanic Student Society, to meet new friends. Today, Encinia plans to become a college advisor or counselor. He will begin coursework for a master’s degree next year.
TRiO Student Support Services began at CBC in 1971. The first TRiO Director was Nick Cardenas. Subsequent TRiO SSS directors were Eddie Rojas, Edward Sanchez, Michelle Duran, and the current director, Jeri Morton.
TRiO Day is a nationwide annual celebration that recognizes the value of federally-funded TRiO Programs and the successes of their students. TRiO SSS are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to help students from low-income families where neither parent has graduated from college and/or first generation Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America’s economic and social life. The program also provides information on pre-college opportunities.
“It is students like Guadalupe Encina that make Trio SSS a success,” said Jeri Morton, project director. “We are proud of him and wish him success in his future endeavors.”
Coastal Bend College TRiO SSS staff includes: Morton, Kayla D. Jones, counselor and Sylvia Lopez, secretary. Student Support Services is 100 percent federally-funded Department of Education program with an annual award of $281,511.