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DACC continues to offer support through Avanza program


Doña Ana Community College (DACC) continues its mission of assisting low-income students through its Avanza program.

Avanza, Spanish for “advance,” is an integrated services support program that began in southern Doña Ana County to assist current and incoming DACC students realize their educational goals and achieve their desired quality of life for themselves, their families, and their community. Avanza not only offers DACC students support services, but also provides information and support with community services outside the college. The Avanza program is funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan and will continue after the grant period is over.

“We realized there was a great need for students in our southern county. Many of them are first generation college students who need extra support and guidance to make their studies successful and help them graduate,” says Alma Olacio, Avanza program specialist. “Our intent is to assist students overcome barriers they may experience in completing their programs.”

Avanza is unique in that it goes beyond assistance for college. Services include but are not limited to:

  • Education supports and mentoring
  • Career exploration and employment readiness
  • Connecting students to community resources and social service organizations
  • Food pantries in Anthony and Sunland Park
  • Childcare resources

In 2020, iPads to support students’ online classes were provided to eligible participants by a grant from the Union Pacific Foundation. 

Currently, the Avanza program serves any DACC student throughout the county. If you are, or you know of a DACC student who may benefit from Avanza services, please contact Program Specialist Alma Olacio at aolacio@dacc.nmsu.edu.