TRIO Student Support Services peer mentor receives national award

As a four-year TRIO Student Support Services peer mentor at NMSU, Alicia Romero has changed the lives of many students – both academically and personally.

Alicia Romero (right) accepted the 2019 College Reading & Learning Association’s Outstanding Mentor award from Ashley Lewis, a CRLA representative, at the organization’s annual conference in New Orleans. Romero was honored for her work as a TRIO Student Support Services peer mentor at NMSU.

“She goes above and beyond to help her students accomplish goals and achievements they are unaware they are capable of. She spreads positivity and motivation to anyone who comes in contact with her on a daily basis,” says Bernadine Booky, NMSU TRIO Student Support Services mentor coordinator.

For her hard work and dedication, Romero was recognized as the 2019 College Reading & Learning Association’s Outstanding Mentor in November 2019 in New Orleans. A May 2020 graduate, Romero spent more than 400 hours mentoring students and more than 100 hours attending trainings while she pursued a bachelor’s degree in biology, wildlife management and conservation ecology.

“Mentoring is about empathy and using the skills that you are taught through trainings to help students in their endeavors,” the Roswell, New Mexico, native says. “It is about being a confidante and offering advice or resources when asked. It is about being a part of the support system for the student that helps them succeed.

“The biggest reward of mentoring that I have experienced is when the students share with you their accomplishments,” Romero says. “It’s the text messages that say, ‘I’ve made it into the program!’ or ‘I’ve passed the test!’ I enjoy celebrating in their accomplishments with them.”

Tiffany Acosta