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Student Highlight

Shannon Peterson

Major: Mechanical Engineering   

Success Story:

I joined UNM’s Student Support Services-TRIO (SSS) program during my freshman year and was supported by the staff throughout the year. In my sophomore year, SSS hired me as a Tutor/Mentor to help other incoming SSS students in mathematics, English, chemistry and physics. In my role as Tutor/Mentor, I worked with other Tutor/Mentors and we grew together as a great team to help SSS students. Working at SSS meant a lot to me because it is like my UNM family. Since my hometown is back in Denver, SSS served as a base for me. As I moved along in my engineering courses, the work became more demanding and I had to make the decision to leave the Tutor/Mentor position. I didn’t totally leave SSS. I definitely dropped into the SSS office when I needed support and direction on my financial aid. I also dropped in the to visit and stay connected with the friends I made. I have since graduated from UNM and I landed my dream job at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado! I will be working in manufacturing for satellites, solar arrays, etc. and anything that pretty much goes into space.

Gabriel Chacon

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Success Story:

I joined SSS after participating in the College Assistance Migrant Program. SSS is an amazing program available to students that should be utilized by those who qualify for it. For me the greatest benefit was having the advisors available for students. Even when they were busy they always took time to discuss any issues we were dealing with. Often, the SSS advisors had more insight into topics that other programmatic advisors did not have. They truly cared for all of us and wanted to see us succeed. The social/family atmosphere really made SSS a sanctuary in what can sometimes be a stressful college environment. I made many lifelong friends at SSS and will always be thankful for having the opportunity to participate in this program. SSS is the reason I was able to complete my degree and go on to become a Nondestructive Testing Engineer at Los Alamos National Labs.  

The biggest impact SSS had on me was that I learned to never give up.

Words of advice to incoming students:

"Take advantage of everything the program has to offer."