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New Mexico State University (NMSU) proposed an Upward Bound Program to serve five target high schools (Gadsden, Santa Teresa, Las Cruces, Mayfield, and Organ Mountain High Schools) in the Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS) and Gadsden Independent School District (GISD) which are located in an area that ranks among the poorest in the United States (US) in average per capita income, with 27.9% of the total population living below the poverty line and 39.4% of this figure being comprised of children. In the target area 78% of persons over 25 years of age have a high school diploma or an equivalent.  For those economically disadvantaged students who do graduate, only 40.7% continue their education by entering post-secondary institutions.

Doña Ana County (Population 214,295), where the school districts are located, is at the southernmost part of the state of New Mexico. The county adjoins the Mexican and Texas borders to the south and encompasses a total area of 3,807 square miles.  The target area’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 Las Cruces Public School District is the largest school district in Doña Ana County and the second-largest within New Mexico.  The district serves students living in Las Cruces (Population 101,643) the state’s second-largest city and the county seat.  The Gadsden Independent School District is the fourth largest school district in New Mexico serving the rural and sparsely populated communities of the county. In Doña Ana County, the need to provide the educational services offered by Upward Bound is critical to enhancing the futures of the youth in the target area.

2021-2022 Academic Calendars


  • Increase Participant Academic Performance–Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Increase Participant Academic Performance on Standardized Test
  • Increase Participant Secondary School Retention and Graduation 
  • Increase Participant Secondary School Graduation 
  • Increase Participant Post-Secondary Enrollment 
  • Increase Participant Post-Secondary Completion


Rosa De La Torre-Burmeister Program Director (575) 646-4255
Eilleen Wyatt Student Program Coordinator (575) 646-2334
Vince Engling Student Program Coordinator (575) 646-7208
Lucy Gurrola Administrative Assistant (575) 646-5732

UB Advocates at Target High Schools

(575) 882-6300
Hector Giron, Principal, 

Luz Mireya Ulibarri, Counselor, 

Isela Martinez, Counseling Secretary

Maria Grubaugh, Registrar, 

Santa Teresa

(575) 589-5300

(575) 305-4343

Gema Salcedo Suggs, Principal,

Melissa Cobos, Counselor,

Michael Garcia, Counselor,

Gloria Garibay-Flores, Counselor,

Lucia Guardado, Registrar,

Las Cruces

(575) 527-9400

Michelle Ronga, Principal,

Joe Teran, STEM Academy Counselor,

Paulina Burciaga, Registrar,

Margaret Chip, Assistant Registrar,


(575) 527-9415

Eric Fraass, Principal,

Denisse Parisi, Counselor,

Sandra Sanchez, Assistant Registrar,

Fatima Ruiz, Registrar,

Organ Mountain

(575) 527-9430

James Schapekahm, Principal,

Lisa McVann, Counselor,

Dineke Tarin, Counselor,

Lesley Ortiz, Registrar,

Erica Ybarra, Assistant Registrar,