HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State graduate Morelia Tinajero has been named the 2017-2018 Student Support Services (SSS) Student of the Year.
Last Friday night, she also became the first person in her family to graduate from college. Tinajero, 21, has five siblings, ranging from 20 years old to an infant.
“I’m honored to be named the SSS Student of the Year. It truly was breathtaking when I found out. When I first came to Wallace State, I was anti-social and didn’t know my way around. I was encouraged to sign up for the SSS program, and it’s helped me more than I could ask for. I would have been lost at Wallace State without them. I encourage any student to check out all that SSS has to offer,” Tinajero said.
While at Wallace State, Tinajero was consistently named to the President’s and Dean’s Lists and served as strong advocate for the TRIO/Student Support Services program. Tinajero, a 2015 graduate of Susan Moore, graduated with degrees in paralegal and business administration.
Tinajero plans to continue her education at Athens State and ultimately hopes to enroll in law school, specializing in immigration law.
“That’s important to me because my father came to the United States illegally, and one of his main goals was to get his children into college. He’s seen the fruits of that. He’s made so many sacrifices for our family and earned his citizenship around five years ago. He’s always given me the tools to pursue my dreams,” Tinajero said. “One of his goals was to become a math teacher, and I have the dream of helping him earn a college education.”
Because Morelia is the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college, she knows it will be an everlasting memory.
“It’s a big deal for our family. It’s another breathtaking moment. I get emotional thinking about the sacrifices my dad and mom have made for us. I want to be a role model for my siblings and other students who have similar stories. I want to help them the best way I can,” Tinajero said.
Tinajero urges all Wallace State students to inquire about joining TRIO/SSS, a federally-funded program that provides opportunities for academic development and assists with students with basic college requirements and serves to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education.
“The program has helped me lay out my future and that’s where I’ve received some of the best advice both personally and professionally. If you would have told me when I began at Wallace State in 2015, that I would be sitting here, I’m not sure I would have believed it. This graduation is a big step for me and my family,” Tinajero said. “It’s another leap for my future and something I can pass on to others.”
For more information about Wallace State’s TRIO/Student Support Services program, contact 256.352.8073.
For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu.
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