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Upward Bound Esther Estrada

Upward Bound alumni advocate for TRIO programs

Upward Bound (UB) alumni Esther Estrada and Karla Villanueva recently attended the Council for Opportunity in Education Conference hosted by the Washington State TRIO Association. Both students were selected to advocate for TRIO programs on behalf of Washington State. The students connected with state legislators about initiatives that directly affect TRIO programs and shared how YVC’s TRIO Student Support Services program influenced their lives.

“TRIO, and the YVC UB program in particular, have had an immense impact on my life,” stated Villanueva. “Throughout high school, UB provided me key academic and socio-emotional support, financial and material resources, and a strong, caring community. Without UB’s endless hours of support throughout the college and scholarship application process, I would not have applied to Stanford University, nor would I have been a prime candidate for the university.”

Speaking at the conference was gratifying for Villanueva, as she was able to speak to the immense impact of TRIO programs across the state, especially during the pandemic when that support has been crucial for
first-generation and low-income students.