Jan 04, 2017

Columbia State Welcomes New TRiO Director

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Jan. 4, 2017) - - - Columbia State Community College welcomes Yaritza Castro as the TRiO director.

"We are glad to welcome Yaritza back to Columbia State," said Dr. Phillip Owens, Columbia State director of student success counseling. "She returns to Columbia State with a wealth of experience in the counseling field and we are thrilled to have her. Yaritza offers inspiration and a personal connection to each student she encounters."

Castro will be responsible for helping high-risk students navigate the challenges of higher education. Her job helps with student retention and promotes degree completion.

"TRiO is designed to help first-generation, low-income and students with disabilities," Castro said. "This position means a lot to me because I was a first-generation student. Navigating the higher education system was difficult at times. I am happy to be giving back the knowledge and experience that I have acquired."

Castro previously worked at Columbia State in the TRiO program as an academic coordinator.

Castro earned her bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and master's in counseling and educational psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Castro most recently worked as a school counselor at Glencliff High School in Nashville where she helped students achieve their diploma, obtain information about post-secondary education, set goals for the future and assisted students in filling out the FAFSA and other materials needed to apply for college.

Castro pursued a career in education because her passion is to help students achieve their goals.

"It's an honor to see them graduate and I am excited every time I get to see these students walk across the stage," Castro said. "They feel accomplished, and so do I."

Castro currently resides in Thompson's Station with her three children.

TRiO provides transfer assistance, career exploration, tutoring services, registration assistance, student success seminars and workshops, cultural and social engagement events and a number of other services that are specifically designed for students in the program. For additional information about TRiO, visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/TRiO.

Yaritza Castro
Photo Caption: Yaritza Castro, a Juncos, Puerto Rico native.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit www.ColumbiaState.edu.

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.

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