Cassandra Rapp

Cassandra “Cassi” Rapp

Otero Junior College

TRIO Student Support Services

Cassandra “Cassi” is a woman of courage and strength. She moved to La Junta when she suddenly found herself as a single mom of three young children.  She moved in with her aunt and uncle who encouraged her to get her GED.  Cassi was afraid to because math had always been difficult for her. She passed the GED, and then her aunt told her it was time to be on her own.  Not having any idea what to do, she entered the CNA program so she could have a future for her family. After she earned straight A’s, she wanted to pursue more school. It was then that she met the first TRIO Director at Otero Junior College who encouraged her to work towards the nursing program. Eventually, Cassi wants to earn a Master’s degree.  Cassi set her goals and will graduate this spring with an A.A. and entering the nursing program this fall. She has a 3.63 GPA. Cassi was 1 of 63 students from across the state that was chosen for the CREATE Health Scholars program. She is a student ambassador, member of NTSO and tutors biology and just about any other subject that a student needs help with


Miguel Hernandez

Miguel Hernandez, Alumni

Metropolitan State University of Denver

TRIO Student Support Services

As a non-traditional student, Miguel Hernandez graduated this past December with his B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology and a 3.16 GPA. Miguel has overcome significant obstacles to get to where he is today, including moving to the U.S. at age eight and being the first person in his family to earn a college degree. While at MSU Denver, Miguel achieved great things. After participating in TRIO SSS for one year, he became a Peer Mentor/Tutor in the TRIO office and inspired other participants with his success story and positive attitude. For the past three summers, Miguel took part in the prestigious Student Career Experience as a Civil Engineering Intern for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana. He was recently nominated as Intern of the Year for this program. In April of 2013, he won the Outstanding Senior Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Before he even graduated, he accepted a job with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Loveland, CO, where he now works in the Infrastructure and Engineering Services Division as a Civil Engineer. He is currently earning his MS in Civil Engineering online through the South Dakota School of Mines.