Danni FernandezMarch 27, 2024March 27, 2024hillaryobrien
Photo of Idaho State University SSS graduate Danni Fernandez

Idaho State University | Student Support Services

My journey in education began with the invaluable gift of a love for learning, instilled by my parents, who immigrated from Mexico to the United States with a dream to provide their children the opportunities they never had. Growing up, I observed my parents’ struggles and sacrifices, inspiring me to cherish education as a means of empowerment. My journey with TRIO began with my husband, Aaron. Aaron had been a part of TRIO Upward Bound since his freshman year of high school. He loved the program so much that he quickly dragged me to the TRIO office to join Student Support Services (SSS).

As a first-generation student in a new environment, I didn’t need much support during high school, but my first few semesters in college were challenging. I struggled to pass classes and was missing important skills. TRIO SSS was the one to bridge those gaps for me. They helped me fill out the FAFSA, provided tutors, and provided a safe place to study. As a freshman, TRIO taught me how to study and advocate for myself, but the most essential thing TRIO has done for me was they were my support system. I spent so much time in that office discussing my hopes and dreams and how to reach them, but the support didn’t end. Four years after I graduated, when I felt stuck in my job and needed to figure out what to do next, the first person I went to was my TRIO advisor, who again took the time to meet and talk it out. With the support and knowledge from TRIO, I just received my Master’s in Education in December 2023. I will also be continuing my education journey at the University of Georgia, where I will be studying Learning Design and Technology as a fully funded Ph.D. student. I honestly believe I wouldn’t have made it this far without the support of TRIO.