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SSS Previous Students of the Month

Month: August & September 2014

picture of Asma Aba August and September 2014 student of the month

My name is Asma Aba. I came to the United States from Somalia in 1997 and I have been living here ever since. I am a first generation college student at Portland State University. Before the start of my freshman year I was in the TRiO – Student Support Services Summer Bridge Program. Through that program I gained some insight about TRiO – Student Support Services and the services it provides. For my first year at PSU I was accepted into the Access program which is a remarkable scholarship program. However, this program supports students financially and academically for their first year only. My sophomore year I faced a few challenges with registering for classes and became confused about what to major in. Then my friends encouraged me to apply to the TRiO - Student Support Services program after informing me of how much it helped them. Contemplating over the benefits of the program and with the challenges from the previous year, I was determined to be a TRiO – Student Support Services student. Through TRiO-Student Support Services there are so many opportunities to get involved and build a stronger community. Some experiences I enjoyed were leading workshops, attending events, among other opportunities. I have made many friends through the TRiO - Student Support Services community and I obtained even more benefits from the TRiO - Student Support Services services than I initially was seeking out. Whenever I would feel stuck regarding academics, my TRiO - Student Support Services advisor always directs me to the best options for dealing with my situations. Also, my advisor always amazes me with options available to me that I would have otherwise not known were possible. Thanks to my TRiO-Student Support Services advisor for asking me about my decisions, now I feel more confident about pursuing my BA in Psychology with a minor in Arabic. In addition to the immense academic support from my advisor, the other TRiO – Student Support Services staff assisted me in receiving financial support. One of the financial opportunities I acquired and find pleasure in is working at the front desk. I am grateful for all of the staff members and students of TRiO – Student Support Services. They are very friendly. I enjoy their company and I feel honored to be a part of the TRiO – Student Support Services community.

 Month: October 2014

picture of Yvette Perez Chavez October 2014 student of the monthMy name is Yvette Perez-Chavez and I am a senior majoring in sociology at Portland State. When I began my first semester at PSU, everything was new. I was a transfer student from California and had never lived in a big city. It was a complete culture shock. Although I was in a new environment, there was one thing I was very familiar with, and that was the TRiO-Student Support Services program. I had been in TRIO-Student Support Services my last two years at Modesto Junior College before transferring, and it was the guidance and support I received from my counselors there that led me to PSU. The first thing I did upon registering for classes was apply to the TRiO program. Fortunately I was accepted early on in the semester because I had no idea how to manage student loans, little knowledge of PSU’s graduation requirements, and needed advice regarding my choice in major and future career options. With the help from my amazing advisor Andrea, I was able to set up a financial aid package that worked with my budget, I changed my major confident in the decision I made, and set up an educational plan that ensured I would graduate on the timeline I was following. Not only has TRIO-Student Support Services provided me with the support and resources I needed to navigate two different college systems successfully, but it has introduced me with opportunities to further my knowledge in my fields of interest, and has connected me with resources to help me pay for me education. With help from Rosalyn, our Coordinator of Instruction, I was able to win two scholarship opportunities at PSU. This year I will be working as a Peer Mentor for the University Studies program, and will be conducting my own research project as a TRiO - McNair Scholar. Being a first-generation college student, I never imagined these opportunities for myself. Both of my parents are immigrants from Mexico, and neither one of them went past elementary school. Out of five siblings, I am the youngest and first to be on track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. I consider myself extremely lucky to have stumbled upon the TRiO-Student Support Services program early on in my college career and I am grateful to have received the encouragement and support from previous and current TRiO staff members that has led me this far. 


Month: November & December 2014

picture of Khoi Tran November and December 2014 student of the month

Hello, my name is Khoi Tran and I am a senior. I was born in the country side of Vietnam. To help with my education, my parents had to sacrifice a lot. My mother took my sister and me to the city when I turned second grade. My father could only visit us once in a while due to his work at the farm. In 2008, I had my changing point when I put the first step into the United States of America. That was when I realized the meaning of freedom, opportunity, and community. Living in diversity society and being an immigrant, I want to go to a school where I have familiar environment. Portland State University is where I decide to stop by for my educational goal. I have been a student at PSU for more than 4 years. I am finishing my second major in Business – Supply and Logistics Management after my first major in Chemistry. I have been having great experience with classes and professors. I cannot hide my excitement for my future classes and graduation. Along that road to success, Student Support Services (Student Support Services) have been by my side and keep me stay on that road. Student Support Services provided me opportunity to participate in Summer Bridge Program, where I learned almost everything about PSU. In addition, my academic advisor always checks on my progress in school and helps me planning to achieve my goals. At Student Support Services, I can always find my opportunities, a friendly community and become a success student.

 Month: January & February 2015

picture of Antonia Rangel January and February 2015 student of the monthMy name is Antonia, I was born and raised in Portland Oregon. I am one of the first in my family to graduate High School and head to College. My mom was a single teen parent who spent most of her time working to provide for my brothers and me. I went to De La Salle North Catholic which gave me amazing support and help when it came to figuring out my future goals. I am now a senior at Portland State University getting my BA in Health Studies. I joined Student Support Services, the end of my sophomore year when my friend suggested it to me. Student Support Services has helped me with scholarships essays other programs. TRIO has helped me apply to jobs and prepare for interviews. My goal for after college is getting into the Peace Corp. Later in life, I hope to get my Masters in Public Administration or Public Health.



March 2015

picture of Bilal Sayyid March 2015 student of the monthI was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1992. I moved to the United States when I was 8 years old with my family. We moved in hopes of higher education, lifestyle, and to live free. In Afghanistan my family and I lived happy with our family and friends near. When the Taliban took over the country the citizens rights, freedom, and all the peace was also taken away from everyone. So my parents decided to move, to give my 3 younger siblings and me a better education, lifestyle, and the freedom to choose who, and what we wanted to become. I consider myself very privileged to live in the United States today. I can still recall my first sight of this beautiful country, and that sight was the Statue of Liberty in New York. When our airplane landed we had a 16-hour delay to Seattle, so my father and I left the airport to get pizza for dinner. We took a cab to the heart of New York and got pizza from some pizza shop. I remember that when we left the pizza store I saw a man coughing and cold in the side of the street. At that moment I wanted to be and become someone that would help people. When we got to Seattle I started to learn more English my reading and writing improved in school, and I progressed in my education. Throughout my educational progress I started to look into the medical profession and I was hooked on pharmacy. I was a junior in high school when I decided to pursue classes that would lead me towards my goal of becoming a pharmacist. Today I am a senior graduating spring of 2015 from Portland State University. I can proudly say that thus far I have achieved and been successful in the hard work towards my dream of becoming a pharmacist and helping people stay healthy. I had a lot of support, and help in working towards my dreams. My family is one of the biggest supports behind my success. They were the ones that kept me strong in difficult times. My friends are another line of support, because they have always encouraged and helped me. I would really like to thank TRiO Student Support Services because I have received a lot of help, support, and guidance from the counselors. I would personally like to thank, Andrea Griggs, my counselor. Andrea has supported me beyond words, she has always checked up on how I am doing in classes, and given me advice about classes. I would also like to thank Linda Liu, and Charissa for always keeping me updated about events, deadlines, and opportunities. Rosalyn who has been an amazing guide when I met with her to go over my personal statement for pharmacy school. The meaning of special is actually found in such individuals, which are thoughtful and do everything to help from the bottom of their hearts. Lastly I would like to say that I made it, and I will not stop my eagerness, or strive towards fulfilling my dreams.