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TRIO Helps Sauk Students Find Success

Sterling native and Newman Central Catholic High School graduate, Lupita Serrano, came to Sauk with the goal of discovering her calling. She wanted a career in healthcare but wanted to help people “behind the scenes” in some capacity.

Wanting to avoid student debt, Lupita needed an affordable way to discover her path before going to a university, and Sauk seemed like a great place to start.

Through her courses, pharmacy volunteer work, and job shadowing at KSB hospital, Lupita concluded that a career in pharmacology was the right path. Lupita also concluded that her participation in the SVCC TRIO program was making this dream possible.

When a fellow Sauk student-athlete told Lupita to get involved in TRIO, she applied to be in the program and started taking advantage of the many opportunities TRIO offers. She started volunteering for events like the YWCA Peace Chain and the Sterling Fiesta Days celebration…meeting new people and becoming more outgoing and confident.

“Before joining TRIO, I was pretty quiet, now I’m not afraid to talk to anyone, and I’ve made some incredible friends,” shared Lupita.

Lupita appreciates the personalized attention she receives from her TRIO advisor. When she began to struggle with a Math course, it was Lupita’s advisor who pushed her to seek help from a tutor. “I never would have gotten a tutor if I wasn’t in TRIO, and I probably would have failed the class.”

With a goal to transfer to the University of Chicago-Rockford College of Pharmacy and become a Doctor of Pharmacy, Lupita believes she can achieve her goals, thanks in many ways to her involvement in Sauk’s TRIO.

“Whether it's giving me support when I hit a bump in the road, or opening up incredible opportunities, TRIO has been there. TRIO basically changed my life. I knew I wanted to study pharmacy, and with TRIO's help, I was able to attend a summer pharmacy institute. Now, I'm certain that pharmacy is what I want to do with the rest of my life.”