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New Mexico State University (NMSU) was awarded a five-year grant (2022-27) to serve 90 first-generation and low-income high school students annually attending six target schools in the Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS) and Gadsden Independent School District (GISD)--Chaparral, Gadsden, Santa Teresa, Las Cruces, Mayfield, and Organ Mountain High Schools.  These schools are located in an area that ranks among the poorest in the United States (US) in average per capita income, with 20.5% of the total population living below the poverty line and 31.3% of this figure being comprised of children. In the target area 79.4% of persons over 25 years of age have a high school diploma or an equivalent. For those economically disadvantaged students who do graduate, only 52.6% continue their education by entering postsecondary institutions. 

According to the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), the LCPS District is the largest school district in Doña Ana County and the second largest in New Mexico. The district serves students living in Las Cruces (Population 111,538), the state’s second-largest city and 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 Dona 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.

The TRIO UB GISD/LCPS Program’s design implores evidence-based strategies to improve the secondary and post-secondary graduation rates of program participants through a variety of supplemental instruction and college-preparatory services. TRIO UB services include supplemental instruction (science, math, English, foreign language), mentoring, assistance with information on student financial aid, pre-advisement, and course selection at secondary/postsecondary levels, financial and economic education, and activities designed to acquaint students with career options, exposure to cultural events, assistance with securing housing for homeless and former foster care participants, leadership activities, and college admissions assistance. The TRIO Upward Bound Program provides these services through the academic, summer, and bridge components. As an externally funded educational opportunity, administered through the Student Success Center, the TRIO UB Programs have fostered student success and social mobility for thousands of southern New Mexico high school students who matriculate to and graduate from NMSU. 

2023-2024 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


Luz Gurrola Program Director (575) 646-4255

Eilleen Garcia Student Program Coordinator, Sr.  (575) 646-2334

Vince Engling Student Program Coordinator, Sr. (575) 646-7208

Vacant Administrative Assistant (575) 646-5732