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Student Support Services: Family, Community, Home

Family. Community. Home.

These three words were repeated often inside the Hahn University Center Forums Tuesday night. These simple, but beautiful, words summed up best the feelings of University of San Diego students who’ve been recipients of the multiple and highly capable resources delivered through Student Support Services.

SSS Banquet 2017

Dubbed SSS and equipped with its own hashtag, #USDSSSNATION, the program is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the University of San Diego to serve eligible undergraduates at USD. The program provides opportunities for academic development, assists with college requirements, and serves to retain and motivate students towards the successful completion of their post-secondary education at USD.

To be eligible, a student must be one or more of the following: Low income, as determined by Federal Income Guidelines; a first-generation college student identified as an individual in which both parents, or whose only support parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree; a student with a documented disability and who is registered with USD's Disability Services; or comes from an underrepresented population as determined by USD.

On Tuesday night, 101 SSS students were feted as members of USD’s Class of 2017 at the Ninth Annual SSS Recognition Ceremony. The event was a first-class presentation from good food and host duties by USD student Dezell Lathon, to music provided by SSS graduating student Monserrat Lopez on guitar and vocals and the LT3 Dance Crew performing routines to hip-hop beats. USD President James T. Harris III, DEd, gave a keynote address. SSS Director Ryan Jumamil, Academic Coordinators Ophelia Augustine, Pilar Malim and Diana Velazquez, and USD Upward Bound Director Shelly Barajas-Leyva recognized students who’d amassed the most community service hours this year and celebrated tutors, some of whom were graduate students, who provided key assistance in multiple subjects to undergrads.

A few SSS Senior Awards were handed out: Tiarsha Betha and Reynaldo Hernandez Jr. each received the SSS Fearless Award; the TRiO Service Award went to Mary Ann Lee and Diana Ramirez Sanchez; the SSS Outstanding Senior Awards were presented to Jessica Noe and Melissa Padilla; and the SSS Legacy Award went to Chelsea McLin and Lupita Sanchez.

Additional special SSS recognition was bestowed to Alicia Reyes, Most Inspirational SSS Student; Sociology Assistant Professor Greg Prieto, PhD, Most Inspirational USD Professor; Elisenda Guerra-Delgado, Most Inspirational Summer Bridge Mentor; Jordan Golden, Most Inspirational Tutor; and Michelle Johnson, Outstanding Student Representative.

Following the awards presentations, all Class of 2017 SSS students received a complimentary SSS stole from Cynthia Villis, assistant provost for the Institute of College Initiatives/TRiO, and Vice President and Provost Andy Allen, that will be worn by students at the May 28 undergraduate ceremonies.

The finale was having all Class of 2017 students in attendance gather together on the UC Forum stage to pose for a group picture. It was a keepsake for everyone who found a family, found community and found a home on the USD campus through SSS.

— Ryan T. Blystone

Contact:

USD News Center
news@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4681