TRIO Achievers

2016 Utah ASPIRE TRIO Achievers

nathan begayeNATHAN BEGAYE was an Upward Bound student from 2006-2009 graduating from San Juan High School.  He earned his Associates of Science degree from College of Eastern Utah in 2010 and graduated from the University of Utah in 2015 with a degree in Health promotion and Education. His educational accomplishments include: Native American Research Internship (NARI) with the Department of Pediatric, School of Medicine (8/2014 – 7/2015) at the University of Utah as an undergraduate research Assistant focused on Identifying novel dietary compounds of blueberries that decrease the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients; and Health Promotion & Education Practicum at Rose Park Elementary (10/2014-5/2015).  As a health educator his practicum was set up to develop, implement, and evaluate a tailored health education program for a target population. The target population the practicum team selected was 20 at risk youth ranging from third through sixth grade students. The health issue isolated from the student group was mental and emotional health specifically self-esteem and aggressive behavior. The practicum team developed a six-week program that was implemented over a three-month period. He was associated with ETA PHI Epsilon and is involved with the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native American in Science.

Nathan has always aspired to complete his educational pursuits and participated in many clubs and activities at the University of Utah. He has managed his time to complete his studies while serving others. Nathan is an extra ordinary individual who has set precedence in the Native American community at the University of Utah and in our community in Blanding. He goes the extra mile to help his community and teaches by example; he is well versed in the Navajo language and culture. He is proud of his heritage and takes the opportunity to teach others, respectively and kindly.  Nathan served as an Upward Bound summer counselor, he tutored and mentored many students and proved to be dependable and trustworthy. He has shown his ability of a natural leader; genuineness, warmth, compassion, and integrity especially to younger Upward Bound students.  Nathan stands as an excellent mentor and role model for the future students of the TRIO program

diana lopezDIANA LOPEZ was an Upward Bound Student in the Weber State University program.  Born in Michoacán, Mexico, Diana and her family crossed the border into the United States for the first time when she was four years old. She and her family made the dangerous crossing several times between then and her sixth grade year when she was awarded legal documentation. For the next six years, Diana pushed herself to fulfill the dream of having an American education and becoming an American citizen. She graduated high school and obtaining her citizenship in the same year. Diana made a strong connection to her education through participation in Upward Bound.  As she says, “It was Upward Bound who didn’t let me get away with the excuses; it was Upward Bound that didn’t let me manipulate them.” School was not always easy: cultural differences, language barriers, and family conflicts made attendance and achievement difficult. Due to money issues, she ended up dropping out of college to ‘get her life together’.  That was when she realized the value and importance of education. Diana returned to Weber State University and finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2011. She has since completed an MBA from University of Phoenix in 2015 and is the only one in her family to have any post-secondary or graduate degree. Coming from a small town in Mexico, Diana has surpassed even her own expectations.  Diana began her Criminal Justice career as a Youth Counselor for Waterfall Canyon Academy. At the same time she gave back to the Upward Bound program by being a Residential Night Counselor. Diana began working as a State Juvenile Probation Officer. She became a translator and liaison between the probation program and the Hispanic community in Ogden linking families to services, assisting them in overcoming obstacles, and developing recommendations for judge’s orders.  She became a member of the Disproportionate Minority Task Force and built community partnerships between the police force, the court system and those partnering organizations. Now she organizes the Northern Utah Gang Conferences, Prevention Education conferences, Make a Difference Day, and the National Night Out Against Crime event. With all her efforts, Diana never forgets the program that gave her her start—Upward Bound. She returns as a guest speaker and works to create connections between the Police Department and Upward Bound by developing physically involved activities for our at-risk youth such as Challenge Courses, Rock Climbing, and Wibit courses. She is also a community member of the Upward Bound Board.  Diana is a positive role model in her community, a successful Upward Bound graduate, and an asset to the TRIO community. liz prettymanLIZ BENNETT PRETTYMAN is currently working as the lead academic advisor at Utah State University Eastern in Price. Liz began her time with the TRIO programs as a low-income, first-generation student while attending CEU in Price. She was a very dedicated student and participant in the SSS program. In the process of working with her SSS Advisor Tracie Noyes, she expressed an interest in Academic Advising. After graduating from CEU in 2004 she moved on to receive her Bachelors’ Degree at Utah Valley University in 2008 with a degree in Behavioral Sciences with a Psychology emphasis. She is finishing her Master of Science degree in Academic Advising from Kansas State University and plans to graduate this May.  Once the SSS office had an opening for an Academic Advisor She applied for the position and was offered the job.  She has been here on campus ever since. Student Support Services had been thriving at the College of Eastern Utah for some time, but the SSS program was not awarded for 2010-2015 cycle.  At the time they lost Student Support Services Liz was working in the SSS program as an academic advisor. She was so valuable to the program and the school that even though her job disappeared, the administration knew they couldn’t lose her and she began working in general advising.  Liz is been a valuable asset in helping to train the new SSS advisors. She is eager to collaborate and has such a love for students and is determined to help them succeed. She is a true TRIO success story because she continually gives back, pays it forward and shows passion for student success.

2014 Utah ASPIRE TRIO Achievers

Johna Kay AndreasonJohna Kay Andreason My name is Johna Kay Andreason. I am thirty years old. Also, I am a divorced, single-mother with three bright and beautiful little girls. They are, by far, my greatest joy. We live in Kanarraville, Utah. I became divorced when I was twenty-five and was left to be the head of household for our little family. After much struggle and searching in my life, I enrolled full-time at Southern Utah University at the age of twenty-eight.  Being a first generation, non-traditional, single-mother student has its challenges, but I know I am setting an example for my daughters. I know we will have a brighter future, and this path is leading me to an indescribable, passionate place within myself that I didn’t even know existed.  When I was informed about Student Support Services, it was nothing short of the miracle. Upon my enrollment, my father had been diagnosed with cancer and underwent major surgery. My mother was diagnosed with cancer the next year and had a double mastectomy among other health problems. This left my family support system unable to help me financially. I have also found it difficult to find steady employment that fits into our busy schedules and still allows time to be a mother. Student Support Services not only made it financially possible for me to have enough fuel money to make it to my classes and get through times of financial hardship, but they provided the foundation in Mathematics that I would need to go forward and gain confidence in my education. I plan on getting a degree in Engineering with a minor in English. My cumulative GPA is 3.90, and my name has been included on the Dean’s List. I receive invitations to honor societies but lack the availability to accept because of responsibilities at home. Student Support Services helps me live my dream, and makes it possible to keep living it. Alexandra Engel Alexandra Engel Alex joined our program as a high school sophomore. Her parents were divorced and both were living in St. George, so she went from mom’s house to dad’s house frequently. She had a 3.0513 GPA when she was admitted to Upward Bound and had a career goal of interior design.  Alex graduated high school in December 2013 with a 3.406 GPA. During her 3 years in Upward Bound, not only did her GPA increase, but she took hard classes: AP Literature, MATH 1010, Chemistry, FIN 1750 (Personal Finance), POLS 1100, CIS 1200, PSYCH 1010, LIB 1010. She found out her mother was moving to SLC for career advancement before the end of the semester, so she graduated early and applied to the University of Utah. She moved with her mother to SLC in December and was accepted to the University of UT.  She is currently attending the University of Utah (Spring semester) and is working towards a Degree In Communications.  “Upward Bound has drastically changed my life in a positive way,” said Alex.  “It has given me hope for college and has raised my standards for my education.” Micah Toaheedli Daniels Micah Toaheedli Daniels Micah joined Talent Search in 2010 at the age of 13.  She has been very active in her participation in Educational Talent Search. She has been on college field trips and actively works with her advisor to make sure she is ready to attend college and succeed.  Micah was born in Wyoming and moved to Utah when she was in the second grade.  She attended elementary school at Montezuma Creek Elementary and in the beginning, struggled to fit in with the other students.  She felt isolated, considering she was from the Arapaho tribe in a predominately Navajo school.  But soon her upbeat personality and friendly demeanor won over many friends.  She now attends San Juan High School and is a shining example to other students.  She is a true leader and a perfect example of what hard work and persistence can accomplish.  She also started a club that helps other struggling Native American students academically so they can succeed in school and life.  She loves Math and Science and was chosen to attend the (MS)2 program in Andover.  While at this program she was chosen to be the cultural sharing leader for all Native American tribes. Most importantly is Micah’s ability to spread cheer and happiness wherever she goes.  She is constantly smiling and laughing and only talks positively about others.  She will go far in life with her caring attitude and her incredible work ethic. Micah will be attending Dartmouth this fall with her older sister Melanie (another fellow ETS student), whom is also attending Dartmouth.