Trinidad State News

At Trinidad State's Valley Campus, a scholarship makes a big difference

Valley Campus / November 6, 2014

“Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t be here,” says Bobbi Maul. The 34-year-old mother of two is a first semester nursing student at Trinidad State’s Valley Campus.

By anyone’s standards, her life is difficult. Her husband is currently disabled. After two back surgeries he isn’t allowed to lift more than five pounds. He manages to take care of their two children, ages two and six, while his wife is in class. “And we just lost our insurance,” said Maul. “We’re just in a little rut right there.”

Maul is one of more than 40 Valley Campus students currently receiving scholarship assistance from the Trinidad State Educational Foundation. “Last year we awarded over $200,000 in scholarships,” said Foundation Executive Director Toni DeAngelis. At a luncheon on Wednesday in Alamosa, she recognized the students for their accomplishments and thanked the donors for their generous support. The donors then had a chance to visit with students and hear their stories. “This year we’re on track to award over $250,000 in scholarships. So we continue to see our scholarship base grow thanks to continuing support from the community and donors who invest in our students.”

Maul already has a two-year college degree, but had always dreamed of the health field. “I want to be a nurse and I want to be able to provide for my family.” Despite her situation at home, she declares, “I need to go for it, right now.” Maul is a recipient of the Miller River Valley Ranch Scholarship. It’s worth $1,850 this school year and for Maul it’s the difference between staying in school and dropping out. “There are going to be some days you just want to give up, but you just keep at it.”

Jesse DeHerrera says the $1,000 Kaiser Permanente/SLV Health Foundation Scholarship he received has been a big help. DeHerrera chose the nursing program at Trinidad State based on its stellar reputation and high graduate success rates. At 39, he entered the nursing program after burning out on a retail sales career. “I had a health crisis that kind of opened my eyes to the health field,” said DeHerrera. Despite occasional 12-hour sessions in class, “I feel this is going to give me a sense of worth at the end of the day.” He also works three days a week at a local restaurant to help pay the bills.

Current Student Government Association President Jason Delman is working on a degree in psychology. Delman recently had some serious health issues and now cannot work. Now 44 years old, he came back to college after a bad experience as a teenager at another school. “Unfortunately I went to a school that didn’t have the support Trinidad State has,” said Delman. “It was kind of like ‘Here you go. Figure it out.’” He found Trinidad State to offer exceptional support. “People walked me through the process and helped me. It was nice, it was like family. There were people in every area to help you. From the administration to the advisors, they’re willing to take time and sit with you and explain things. The instructors are excellent. And during my health issues I’ve had to miss some classes and they’ve been very supportive in keeping me on track and giving me missed assignments. So his $500 scholarship from Masonic Lodge #44 came at the perfect time.

“We’re always very appreciative to all the individuals, organizations, and service groups who contribute to the scholarship program,” said DeAngelis. “Scholarships are an integral part of what the Foundation provides in its mission to support Trinidad State. It’s great to be able to help our students.”