Lydia Perez, Mesa Community College TRIO Student Support Services program director, received the Steve Holeman Award during the Western Association of Educational Opportunity Personnel’s (WESTOP) annual conference recently in Monterey, California.
Named for Steve Holeman, a former Upward Bound director at Occidental College in Los Angeles, the award acknowledges the accomplishments of directors of educational equity programs who have demonstrated continuing dedication to the cause of educational excellence and equity, who show concern for the development of their students’ potential and who demonstrate professionalism in the administration of their program.
“I am honored to receive this award and even more honored to be in a position to support ‘my’ students as they earn their post-secondary degrees or credentials,” said Perez.
TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) at MCC is a federally funded college persistence and retention program for first-generation, low-income college students and college students with disabilities. Participants receive tutoring, counseling and other support services.
Perez, a 20-year WESTOP member and previous board member, is a TRIO/Upward Bound alumna. She started her career helping underserved students as a student assistant for the Upward Bound program at Arizona State University, eventually serving as its director.