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UCCS program now in Pueblo helps first-generation and military youth get to college

PUEBLO, Colo.,(KRDO) -- A University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) pre-collegiate program will now have an office in Pueblo making it easier for students to get help right away.

Previously, students in the program would have to travel to Colorado Springs to attend events but now students in Pueblo can focus on school and not have to worry about missing workshops.

It's a new program aimed at making life for first-generation college students and military youth better.

For students like David Montoya, a first-generation student at UCCS, programs like these are life-changing.

"None of my family has even attempted college, so this is a really big deal for me and I couldn't be more excited to be the first," said Montoya.

Inspired after visiting the university and staying a week in the dorms thanks to the UCCS pre-collegiate program, the Pueblo native chose to attend the university.

"Without the help of other pre-collegiate programs I wouldn't even know how to apply to college, this one here at UCCS taught me how to get stuff done and us having a mock schedule for that week really put into perspective what it takes," said Montoya.

The program now looks to help other students like Montoya in Pueblo, without the stress of looking for a ride to attend workshops and events.

Director of the UCCS pre-collegiate program, Dr. Lisa Fetman believes this program is necessary.

"We are serving pueblo students here at UCCS in the Colorado Springs program so we are looking to make it a little more localized, my goal is to actually create partnerships and work with the community," said Fetman.

They look to partner with the Migrant Education Program to serve migrant youth.

Monica Gaspar, a coordinator with the Migrant Education Program says they serve nearly 30 students in Pueblo through this program which is why a pre-collegiate program is important for them.

"I have these connections to the families, on-the-ground connections with my role I can do home visits, so I can help them learn about what it is. I was happy to see they are doing an outreach in Pueblo because that is a need for families," said Gaspar.

Recruiting for first-generation, low-income, and military-connected 7th and 9th graders in Colorado Springs and Pueblo is happening now, the deadline is November 30th. You can apply here!

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Jasmine Arenas

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