February EOC Participant of the Month

The Educational Opportunity Center Participant of the Month is Hailey Fry. Hailey is a senior at Cheyenne Central High school. She plans on attending the University of Wyoming this fall. She will be majoring in Business and minoring in Political Science. She will be putting herself through college and one main goal she has is to be the first in her family to go and graduate from college. She is involved in multiple activities around Cheyenne and in school while maintaining a high GPA. She is very determined and has made sure to get out and involved in multiple aspects of society. Recently she has worked as a page for the 64th Wyoming Legislature. By going to the University of Wyoming she wants to stay in this great state and help improve it. She knows that most young adults between the ages of 18-25 leave Wyoming. To her, this is a problem and she has plans to change this and to involve youth in politics and government. A big future goal of hers is to become a House of Representatives Legislator. By doing this she knows that her voice and opinion can make a difference for the better. One day with the help of her college education she will be a legislator and improve the lives of the 584,153 citizens of Wyoming. I see incredible things in Hailey’s future!

Prep for Policy

Prep 4 Policy! Watch the latest tutorial “How to get to know your legislators” from Ally Garcia, on getting to know your representatives. #prep4policy

EOC January Participant of the Month

The January Participant of the Month is Daniel Morrell of Cheyenne.  He has been working with EOC to get enrolled in college classes and is a real go-getter.  Daniel has been working full time since he was 15 and has completed his GED at the age of 16 to start college and prepare for a career earlier.  At 17, Daniel is taking college classes, working full time and helping his parents around the house.  He has risen to every challenge in front of him and has complete support from his family.  Daniel is planning on a completing his Associates degree at LCCC.

December Student of the Month

The Student of the Month for December is Samantha Roedel.  While she isn’t the typical model for success, she has withstood some insurmountable obstacles this semester and has come out better for it.

Samantha came to me on a referral from Adult Basic Education in Powell.  She should have been a junior in high school, but decided to take her HiSet rather than start over at a new high school after being moved to this area.  She passed her HiSet and placement testing, and she was ready to begin the process of applying for college.  She originally lived in Montana, but her mom was diagnosed with a terminal illness and moved to hospice.  At 17, so she moved in with her Dad and step-mom, never really knowing them in the past.   Having a learning disability her whole life, she wants to become a special education teacher to help students who struggle as she has.

When she met with me, she filled out the FAFSA and the Northwest College admissions application.  I also encouraged her to apply for scholarships and Student Support Services. She did connect with Student Support Services, and we have been working collaboratively to help her.  Sam and I talked about Hathaway, but later SSS discovered that she wouldn’t qualify for Hathaway because she would have been a senior this year and wouldn’t have access to that money until next year when her “class” would graduate.

Her situation changed drastically over the summer.  She met with me in the Fall because she needed to make a payment for her schooling, so I helped her fill out papers for student loans.  At that time, I learned that her mom had passed away.  She had also moved in to the dorms because her dad kicked her out of their house, stopped returning her calls and cut her off completely.  A little later in the semester, she was awarded the Point Architects scholarship which is a local scholarship arranged through Educational Opportunity Center in Powell.  She had the deepest gratitude.  As she went through the semester, she suffered with grief and anxiety.  After she moved out, her dad ended up going to the hospital, almost dying.  No one would give her any information on how he was doing, so she struggled to focus on school work.  Her grades were suffering, so she cut her course load in half.  While she only passed one class the Fall semester, she has shown incredible tenacity.  She kept trying until the very last day of the semester.  Up until a day before break, she didn’t know where she would go or who she would stay with over the Holidays.  Any one of the stresses of homelessness, the loss of her mother, her father’s illness and her learning disability would have been enough to quit school, but she continued to persevere even through the darkest of times.  She is an inspiration as someone who knows what she wants out of life and keeps working towards it regardless of heartbreaking circumstances.

Congratulations William Nolan!

The Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math Science programs through the University of Wyoming would like to congratulate our Laramie County Upward Bound Math Science student William Nolan on his signing with the University of Wyoming Track and Field team on November 9, 2016.

Will is currently a senior at South High School in Cheyenne.  Throughout his time at South, Will has excelled both academically and through his extracurricular activities.

Starting in the Fall, Will will be a sprinter and jumper for the University of Wyoming and majoring in computer engineering.

Will is an outstanding young man and we wish him well in his future endeavors.  Go Pokes!

The picture featured is of Will Nolan with his Upward Bound Coordinator Brandi Roesener after his signing. Photo courtesy of Christopher Edwards, South High School student

 

Westminster’s Debbie Samaniego Named College’s First-Ever Marshall Scholar – Westminster College News

Westminster’s Debbie Samaniego Named College’s First-Ever Marshall Scholar – Westminster College News

Dec. 5, 2016 Honors Program student to pursue prestigious graduate study in the United Kingdom SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster senior Debbie Samaniego has received the 2017 Marshall Scholarship to pursue graduate study in the United Kingdom. This marks the first time a Westminster student has been selected for this prestigious award.

COE Update

The following is an update from COE:

Government Relations Update
 
Only 7 WEEKS remain until Congress returns to Washington, DC to determine whether TRIO will receive a $60 Million increase. As legislators continue to meet with constituents in anticipation of the November 8th general elections it is critical that the entire community take this opportunity to reach out to Members of Congress at home.  Not sure how to get started? Check out the resources below!
 
Here is a sample letter you can use to invite your Member of Congress to visit your local program. (Also a contact list of congressional schedulers is available here.)
 
Also, here is a list of what should be included in a successful congressional visit—from beginning to end. (It even includes tips for follow-up!)
 
To help you even more, we’ve included a sample outline of a program for a campus visit!
 
Not able to organize a visit? Here is a list of many other ways to advocate for TRIO over the course of the next several weeks—including student letters, attending townhall meetings, etc.
 
If you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Kimberly Jones (kimberly.jones@coenet.us) or Selene Ceja (selene.ceja@coenet.us) by e-mail or phone (202.347.7430).

October EOC Student of the Month

The October Participant of the Month is Donald Whitmore. Donald was a new participant in 2016 and was referred by a fellow Casper Re-entry resident. He came to the EOC office and asked for assistance applying to Casper College. As I began my usual conversation about FAFSA, Compass testing, transcripts, and applying to school, he held his hand up and said “Whoa! You’re speaking a foreign language to me. I got my GED in Boot-camp – I don’t know all these things you’re speaking about!”
I realized at that moment that I was treating Mr. Whitmore like a number, not a person. Between FAFSA workshops, scholarship appointments, Financial Aid presentations, and numerous student appointments, I was in “go” mode trying to get through the busy EOC season. I set my office phone to voicemail, shrunk the screens on my computer, and shut my office door so that I could concentrate on what was important – the client. Something I had momentarily lost sight of.
Mr. Whitmore explained that he had been incarcerated for 3 years and was released in January 2016. He did not want to return to the life he had previously been living, and was interested in the Automotive Technician program at Casper College. He had concerns about paying for school, at which point I explained the Pell grant, FAFSA, and scholarships – in layman terms, understandable to people that do not work in the education world. We worked on his FAFSA and applied to CC. I explained that we would need to order his transcripts and locate his shot record for proof of MMR shots. We then talked about the Compass test and I gave him the link for practice test and a waiver for the $10.00 test. He was thankful for the waiver as he was looking for a job and did not have the money to spend on a test. This appointment lasted one hour and 15 minutes, not much longer than a typical appointment, but he had my focused attention the minute he held up his hand to slow me down.
Fast forward 7 months: I had a FAFSA & scholarship appointment with Donald on October 3, 2016. We renewed his FAFSA for the 2017/2018 school year and applied for scholarships through the CC Scholarship  portal. He currently has a 4.0 GPA and loves being a student. He would like to graduate with his Associate’s in Auto Tech and go on to get an additional degree in business. He hopes to run his own automotive shop someday. In the past seven months he has become a successful college student, got a full-time job, got married, and became a dad to a baby girl, Natalya Rose. He brought his wife, Juanita, to his appointment today – she wants to get her GED and asked if she could “join” EOC. I gladly handed her an application and asked her what programs she was interested in…without rushing her. Both Juanita & Donald said that they want Natalya to grow up with college educated parents.

Kimberly Kost from student to mentor

Kimberly Kost joined Student Support Services (SSS) TRIO at MSUB as the new Academic Coordinator last February. As a prior TRIO participant, she has come back to the program which at one point helped her to pursue her educational dreams. Now, with more experience and a great educational background, she helps students as a mentor, as a tutor, and as a coach. In the past, Kim has worked with students of diverse backgrounds in different capacities. Being a low-income and first-generation undergraduate student, she has the experience and ability of recognizing life’s obstacles that non-traditional students have to overcome in order to graduate.
Her story is full of unique events. During high school, she was the only income in her household, but she still graduated with honors. In her senior year, she got pregnant and moved out from her mom’s house. Right after graduation, she got married and a had a baby. Today, she has overcome the odds; she is happily married and has a wonderful teenager at home. She has also managed to complete different degrees.
Kim obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, an Associate of Arts in Secondary education and an Associate’s degree in Psychology. She is pursuing her master’s in Mathematics and Psychology. Kim is without a doubt a “junkie learner”, as she described herself, and would love to pass on her love for learning to our students. During the interview, Kim said “I want to push students to be more effective… help them learn how to overcome obstacles that they face as non-traditional students.”
Other personal characteristics of this wonderful professional involve her warm and welcoming personality. Always with a smile on her face, she is ready to help students with financial literacy questions, career path, and so forth.
As we say in TRIO, once that you get involved with our programs, your heart belongs to TRIO.