By: Amy Foster, Guest Writer | Photo By: Scott M. Roberts
TRiO Student Support Services will be accepting membership applications for the 2012-2013 school year beginning the last two weeks of the summer term until the end of the break, said TRiO Office Manager Willie Smoker.
The members-only program offers free tutoring, study space and achievement coaching for eligible students, said Smoker. Applications to join TRiO are located in the portables next door to the TaxHelp facilities. The offices are off Basehart near the west end of Main campus in room BT4A.
“A student will have more than half of what they need if they come to the office to apply,” said Smoker.
Information regarding requirements for entry into the TRiO program can be found at the TRiO office. Requirements include U.S. citizenship or residency, and a diploma or GED, said Smoker.
TRiO is a federally funded program designed to help students obtain degrees and possibly transfer to a four-year institution, said Smoker. Students who may be experiencing financial troubles with college expenses might find help through TRiO.
“The purpose is to get students into and through college,” said Smoker.
Information about TRiO has been through word of mouth. Smoker said he would use the word “family” to describe the staff and 170 students admitted into the program last term.
“TRiO bends over backwards to help students meet their requirements,” said Rob Carriaga, TRiO achievement coach.
Student clients have access to six computers as well as more individual attention inside TRiO offices.
“I’m using the computer here to apply for the Dental Assistant program that CNM offers,” said Alex Caze, a current member of the TRiO program.
Tutors working at TRiO have all been instructors at CNM and are able to tutor in subjects ranging from Math 930 to upper-level Physics.
Hope Leyva, a student using the office, said she finds the TRiO tutors helpful.
“Isaiah Gallegos actually sits with you and shows you how to do your homework. You get overwhelmed. Here they can help you, where at the SRC you can get help with one problem,” said Leyva.
Because of TRiO, Leyva said she was able to become president of the student organization, TRiO Achievement Group. TAG, an association created by the students, recently finished working on a Roadrunner food drive, said Leyva, who has been in TRiO for three years.
Thirty-five members of the student group worked with other Albuquerque organizations to package food on June 8 and separated 2,000 pounds of rice to help the local community, she said.
TRiO is not an abbreviation, said Smoker. The title represents the three divisions: the Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound and the Student Support Services branch of TRiO that helps CNM students today. These programs are designed to help students from ages 12 to 25, said Smoker.
The first of the programs began in 1965, according to the TRiO handbook. At one time, multibillionaire and CEO of Harpo Productions, Oprah Winfrey, was a member of TRiO’s Upward Bound branch.
“What CNM provides to the program shows that we’re well-respected,” said Smoker.
Smoker said the TRiO office is in the brainstorming stage of a 10-year anniversary celebration in support of the cooperation and appreciation between CNM and TRiO.
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