ENMU lands large TRIO program grant

By Paula Cronic: PNT Staff Writer

Eastern New Mexico University will benefit from $1 million in federally funded grant money awarded to several post-secondary education institutions in the state which will be funded over a five-year period, a press release from Sen. Pete Domenici’s office said.

Domenici announced Wednesday the Department of Education (DoEd) awarded $381,014 to ENMU as well as other amounts to ENMU-Roswell and New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs for each schools’ TRIO Talent Search Program.

Talent Search is designed to provide academic, career and financial counseling to students in grades 6-12 who have a disadvantaged background but have potential to succeed in higher education, according to Trio Professional Dee Teal.

“We think (the grant) is awfully important because we deal with schools where one counselor is serving grades K-12,” Teal said. “This program is a good supplement to what a counselor would do but provides a little more detailed and one-on-one information to students to help get them ready and off to college.”

ENMU’s Talent Search Program services 1,200 students in Roosevelt, Quay, Curry and DeBaca counties. Two-thirds of those students must meet requirements set forth by the DoEd. The students must be first-generation, meaning neither parent has a four-year degree, and they must be low income.

The other one-third of their students do not have to meet those requirements but must have a need for the program’s services.
Teal said the grant will aid in transportation as well as the purchase of materials needed to run the program.

According to the press release, the TRIO program also encourages individuals who have quit school to re-enter and complete their education.

Also part of TRIO are mentor programs, workshops, career exploration and aptitude assessment and tutorial services.

“There are some students out there who have the mental capacity but need a little more help to reach their potential. I am optimistic that these programs for New Mexico institutions will give students from every background a fair shot and an education beyond a diploma,” Domenici said.

New Mexico State University, San Juan college and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque were also awarded grants.