September 21, 2023

Coastal Bend College

The latest official news from CBC!

Ernesto DeLuna named 2013 TRiO Achiever of the Year


Pictured above are, from left to right, Derek Adkins, Upward Bound Advisor; Belinda Muñoz, Educational Talent Search Counselor; Kraig Curry, Upward Bound G.O.S.T. Project Director; Ernesto DeLuna, TRiO Achiever of the Year; Lupe Ganceres, Educational Talent Search Project Director; and, Renee Brown, Educational Talent Search Counselor.

Each year in celebration of National TRiO Day, Coastal Bend College selects one outstanding individual to receive the honor of being the TRiO Achiever of the Year. This honor is given to former TRiO students who’ve successfully completed college and gone on to become productive members of society.

This year’s TRiO Achiever of the Year is Ernesto DeLuna, a former Upward Bound student at CBC from 1975-1977. Currently, DeLuna works as the Community Liasion Coordinator for the Mathis Independent School District. His career involves working with at-risk youth, and making sure that parents understand and follow the state laws related to their child’s public education.  DeLuna graduated from Bee County College with honors, and went on to obtain his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree from Walden University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. This May, DeLuna will be receiving his Master’s degree from Walden. DeLuna is a Beeville resident, and has been happily married to his Upward Bound sweetheart for the past 34 years. Together they have 4 children and 9 grandchildren. CBC is proud to have DeLuna as an alumnus, and thanks him for his service to the community.

TRiO students are also recognized for their outstanding leadership, success, and participation in their respective programs.

The 2013 TRiO Achievers are:

· Upward Bound Achievers

o Isiah Longoria, a sophomore at Odem High School

o Ciara Lillie, a junior at George West High School

o Noe Lopez, a sophomore at Sinton High School

o Mayra Garcia, a sophomore at Odem High School

o Clarissa Reyna, a senior at Skidmore-Tynan High School

o Jared Landreth, a junior at A.C. Jones High School

· TriO Talent Search Beeville Achievers

o Jose (Joe) Ramirez, a sophomore at A.C. Jones High School

o Kathline Martnez, a senior at Mathis High School      

o Holly Thomas, a senior at Skidmore Tynan High School

o Luis Riojas, a senior at Three Rivers High School

· TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) Achievers

o Celeste Trejo is a 2009 CBC graduate who went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M Corpus Christi in 2011. Currently Trejo works as a 5th and 6th grade math teacher at R.A. Hall in Beeville, Texas.

o Rebecca Padilla is a 2009 CBC graduate who went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Texas Lutheran University in 2012. Padilla is the Site Coordinator for the Ace 21st Century Grant at Mathis ISD.

TRiO Day is a nationwide annual celebration that recognizes the value of the federally funded TRiO Programs and the successes of their students.  The TRiO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to help low-income families, and/or potential first generation college students 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. 

Through TRiO, our nation is committed to providing educational opportunities for all Americans regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, age or disability. Over 2,800 TRiO Programs currently serve 789,676 Americans.  Thirty-five percent of TRiO students identify as White, 35% are African-American, 19% are Hispanic, 4% are Native American, 4% are Asian and 4% are listed as “Other,” including multiracial students. Furthermore, more than 7,000 students with disabilities and approximately 6,000 U.S. Veterans are currently enrolled in the TRiO Programs. 

TRiO Programs have been in existence at Coastal Bend College since the mid 70’s. The three programs housed at Coastal Bend College are: two Educational Talent Search Programs; two Upward Bound Programs; and a Student Support Services Program.   

The Educational Talent Search Program, with an annual award of $306,752, serves 671 students in grades ninth through twelve. Participating schools include Beeville, George West, Karnes City, Kenedy, Mathis, Odem, Pettus, Refugio, Runge, Skidmore, Taft and Three Rivers. In addition to counseling, participants receive information about college admissions requirements, scholarships and various student financial aid programs. This early intervention program helps students to better understand their educational opportunities and options.  There are over 310,000 participants enrolled in 461 Educational Talent Search TRiO Programs.

Coastal Bend College hosts two TRiO Upward Bound programs.  Upward Bound, with an annual award of $382,500, helps 85 high school students in grades nine through twelve to prepare for higher education. Participating schools include Beeville, Mathis, Pettus, and Skidmore.  Upward Bound G.O.S.T., with an annual award of $250,000, serves 50 students in grades nine through twelve. Participating schools include George West, Odem, Sinton and Taft.  Participants in of both Upward Bound programs receive instruction and tutoring in composition and literature, mathematics, and science.  In addition, Upward Bound students participate in a 6-week summer residential educational experience on the Coastal Bend College campus.  Currently, 826 Upward Bound programs are in operation throughout the United States. 

Student Support Services receives an annual award of $281,511.00.  The program provides services to 215 students at Coastal Bend College.  Students are encouraged and assisted with staying in college and eventually earn their baccalaureate degree.  Participants receive tutoring, counseling, assistance with financial aid, and transferring to an institution of Higher Education in a warm environmental setting.  Students are now being served at over 1,028 colleges and universities nationwide.  


· An estimated two million TRiO students have graduated from college nationwide.

· TRiO Student Support Services participants have a 22% greater chance of entering their third year of college than similar students without the benefit of TRiO.

· Students who receive a full range of TRiO services (counseling, special courses, and tutoring) are twice as likely to be retained and continue their post-secondary education.

· Upward Bound students are four times more likely to graduate from college than those students who do not participate in this program.

Coastal Bend College TRiO staff personnel include Pete Trevino, Dean of Student Services; Jeri Morton, Student Support Services (SSS) Project Director; Kayla Devora-Jones, SSS Counselor; Sylvia Lopez, SSS Secretary; Cheryl Baird, Upward Bound Project Director; Derek Adkins, Upward Bound Academic Advisor; Janice Fernandez, Upward Bound Secretary; Kraig Curry, Upward Bound G.O.S.T  Project Director; Dina Villegas, Upward Bound G.O.S.T Secretary; Lupe Ganceres, Educational Talent Search (ETS) Project Director; Renee Brown, ETS Counselor; Belinda Muñoz,  ETS Counselor; and Mary Alice Rivera, ETS Tutor Coordinator/Secretary.

For more information on the TRiO Programs, call:

Educational Talent Search Program CBC:                        (361) 354-2706

Upward Bound Program CBC:                                            (361) 354-2715

Upward Bound G.O.S.T Program CBC:                             (361) 354-2746

Student Support Services CBC:                                           (361) 354-2718