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New Mexico State University (NMSU) proposed an Upward Bound Program (UB) to serve Alamogordo High School which is located in an area that ranks among the poorest in the United States in average per capita income, with 20.2% of the total population living below their poverty line. In the target area, 84.5% of persons over 25 years of age have a high school diploma or an equivalent. For those economically disadvantaged students who do graduate, only 50.7% continue their education by entering post-secondary institutions.

Alamogordo High School (AHS) is located in Alamogordo, New Mexico (Population 30,753) and serves the rural surrounding communities of Otero County. Alamogordo, a city in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahuan Desert, is bordered on the east by the Sacramento Mountains and to the west by White Sands National Monument. Alamogordo, also the home of Holloman Air Force Base is located within Otero County (Population 64,363) in southern New Mexico. The county adjoins the Texas Border to the south and encompasses a total area of 6,613 square miles. The county’s economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, service-related industries, and state and federal agencies.

According to the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), the Alamogordo Public Schools (APS) is the fourteenth largest school district in New Mexico. In Alamogordo and Otero County, the need to provide the educational services offered by Upward Bound is critical to enhancing the futures of the youth in the target school area.


The program’s primary objectives are to:

  • Improve participant Academic Performance – (Grade Point Average and Standardized Test)
  • Improve participant Secondary School Retention and Graduation
  • Increase participant Postsecondary Enrollment
  • Increase participant Postsecondary Completion

TRIO Upward Bound Alamogordo

Toni Dixon Program Director (575) 646-7794
Veronica Jackson Student Program Coordinator (575) 646-1856
Patricia Vega Administrative Assistant (575) 646-1856

TRIO Upward Bound AHS Advocates

Dr. Christina Calentine Principal (575) 812-6502
Christina Estrada–11th grade Counselor (575) 812-6563
Brandy Qualls–10th grade Counselor (575) 812-6531
Katie Hayman–9th grade Counselor (575) 812-6542

The New Mexico State University TRIO Upward Bound Program is 100% funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Education under the Higher Education Act of 1965.