The UNM Student Support Services (SSS) program was recently re-awarded funding in the amount of $1,277,520 for Sept. 1 of this year through Aug. 31, 2015.  The SSS is a U.S. Education Department TRiO program affiliate, TRiO having been created by Congress in 1965 to help Americans overcome barriers to higher education.

Student Program Specialist with SSS Dawn Blue Sky-Hill received the news of the grant via a phone call and letter from Senator Jeff Bingaman. UNM SSS was one of 11 programs in N.M. to receive this highly competitive federal grant.

"We are so excited to have received this grant which will help us continue to provide an array of educational support services for SSS undergraduate participants," said Blue Sky-Hill. UNM SSS provides resources to first-generation college students and moderate to low-income students that assist them as they work toward graduation. Services include academic guidance on major and career options, individualized tutoring and mentoring, scholarship opportunities, as well as financial aid guidance.

Third year UNM student and SSS participant Yuridia Leyva said the program made a profound difference in her college experience. Having participated in the Upward Bound-TRiO program in high school, she was familiar with the SSS program available to her in college. "The SSS program reminded me of Upward Bound," she said. "When I first got to UNM, I was pretty shy, and this program helped me get over some of that shyness and polish my people skills." 

Leyva was accepted to the SSS program as a freshman. In her second year she was hired by SSS as an educational mentor and tutor specializing in math and science. "Even when I wasn't working for the program this summer, I went by almost daily to say hi," said Leyva, who likens the program to her family.

The SSS program is located in Mesa Vista Hall in room 3042. For more information, visit:

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales, (505) 277-5920; e-mail: