Three high school students impressed upon members of the Socorro Consolidated School Board how vital the Upward Bound program is to the local district.

Alejandro Portillo explained to the board during its meeting last week, there are many opportunities for students to succeed if they take advantage of programs offered.

“This is a good program for students coming from lower income families,” Portillo said. “It gives you a push into a higher learning environment. It kept me motivated through high school.”

While taking advantage of tutoring and summer programs conducted at New Mexico Tech, Portillo noted it was an incredible experience.

Ary Jaquez said she had difficulty in chemistry. The program at Tech helped her get acclimated on what college life would be like. Her plans are to pursue a career in the medical field and the summer program was instrumental in helping her achieve her goals.

Caylan Huber said the help from Tech students has been immeasurable for her. “My overall experiences have been great. I would have never been able to go on the trips without the programs. Upward Bound makes you more confident academically.”

Kelly Metcalfe, who serves as the Upward Bound teacher at Socorro High School, says 60 students are involved in the program. Upward Bound counts among its desired outcomes the development of self-awareness, self-confidence, leadership skills, environmental and social responsibility.

“We approach each student on a one-on-one,” she said. “We offer academic support, after school tutoring and summer school as well as cultural trips.

Two students accepted for unique medical program.

Two Socorro High School students are among 28 students who have been accepted into a unique program at the University of New Mexico.

Darrian Greenwood and Alejandro Portillo will pursue an educational path that will lead to a doctor of medicine (MD) degree from the UNM School of Medicine.

The degree is designed to help address the state’s physician shortage by assembling a class of diverse students who are committed to serving New Mexico communities. This partnership program between the UNM College of Arts & Sciences and the UNM School of Medicine is open to New Mexico high school seniors planning to begin college in the fall semester after their high school graduation.

This program is eligible to high school students graduating from a New Mexico high school as well as members of an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo located wholly or partially in New Mexico and graduating from a local school.

Students will first earn a baccalaureate degree through the College of Arts & Sciences in a challenging four-year curriculum specifically designed to prepare them for medical school and ultimately, to practice medicine in New Mexico.

Upon successfully completing the undergraduate academic and eligibility requirements of the program, students will then transition to the School of Medicine to complete their doctor of medicine degree.

In other business, the board:

• Announced Eighth Grade Exit ceremonies will be at 6:30 p.m., May 22, at Sarracino Middle School.

• Learned the Facilities and Maintenance Department submitted its paperwork for final approval from NMDOT to being Socorro High School driveway improvements.

• Learned the Facilities and Maintenance Department have been busy working on and improving the district’s grounds.

• Received an update from the Transportation Department that it was busy with athletic trips for spring sports as well as scheduling Summer Science and Upward Bound trips for this summer.

• Learned of the resignation of High School Science teacher Nancy Engler

• Became aware of the problem of turnover in the school district’s kitchen. Looking for individuals with good work ethics and work habits have been the kitchen’s biggest problem.

• Was informed that 51 students/parents were summoned to Truancy Court on March 27. Twenty-five individuals actually were in attendance. Currently 24 cases have been referred to Juvenile Probation this year.

• Learned of several important forthcoming dates on the Socorro High School calendar: May 5, Senior Mass; May 9, Senior Scholarship awards ceremony at 6 p.m., in Warrior gymnasium; May 13, Senior Field Trip; May 15, Senior robing ceremony 7 p.m. at the Macey Center; May 17, Senior graduation ceremony, 7 p.m. at Warrior Stadium.

• Heard an update on Cottonwood Valley Charter School’s budget for 2019-2020.