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SSS Previous Students of the Month

Month: August & September 2014

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 – SSS Summer Bridge Program. Through that program I gained some insight about TRiO – SSS 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 - SSS 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 – SSS student. Through TRiO-SSS 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 - SSS community and I obtained even more benefits from the TRiO - SSS services than I initially was seeking out. Whenever I would feel stuck regarding academics, my TRiO - SSS 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-SSS 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 – SSS 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 – SSS.  They are very friendly. I enjoy their company and I feel honored to be a part of the TRiO – SSS community.

 Month: October 2014

My 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-SSS 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-SSS 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-SSS 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

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 (SSS) have been by my side and keep me stay on that road. SSS 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 SSS, I can always find my opportunities, a friendly community and become a success student. 

 Month: January & February 2015

My 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 SSS, the end of my sophomore year when my friend suggested it to me. SSS 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.