L.I.F.E. (Leadership Integrity Friendship Education) Student Support Services, formerly known as simply SSS (Student Support Services), has helped hundreds of students graduate with their desired degree by aiding them financially, academically and emotionally. Southern Nazarene University is pleased to announce that this program is receiving another cycle of federal funding for the fourth consecutive time.
For the next five years, $230,350 will be given annually by the U.S. Dept. of Education’s TRiO programs to L.I.F.E. This will help students who have disabilities, low income or are first generation get through their college career and prepare them for their desired career or graduate degree. Professor Loral Henck, Director of L.I.F.E. since 2001, is excited about the renewal and the impact it will have on students.
“Receiving another grant was great news and a big relief!” said Henck. “Every five years we compete [for it], and the competition this year was quite fierce.”
This cycle is also stressing to professors and associates with the program to teach students about financial literacy, as well as coach and help students adjust to college.
“This is a new and crucial area for our students,” said Henck. “In order for our students to succeed they need to become fully aware of personal budgeting, credit card debt, family financial responsibilities, etc.”
Angel Aranda, L.I.F.E. member and senior, sees the grant “being used to its fullest potential.”
“The program only ever seeks to improve,” said Aranda. “To me, L.I.F.E. is a program that allows its students to see opportunities that may have otherwise been hidden to them.”
While the top priority of L.I.F.E. is to help students succeed in college and beyond, L.I.F.E. also seeks to build a community in which students can make life-long friendships and have extraordinary experiences. For instance, last year L.I.F.E. held a retreat for its members, as well as took them The Phantom of the Opera at the Civic Center. Some students even got to visit the capitol building. Aranda attests this to the dedication of the staff members.
“The SNU community should know that there is a [L.I.F.E.] staff that is dedicated to your success and recognizes that your life presents unique obstacles,” Aranda commented. “These obstacles are confronted in the L.I.F.E. program and are oftentimes resolved through the program itself, or through the ongoing efforts of the mentors/full-time staff.”
Due to the influence of the program, undergraduates have received full rides to graduate school, as well as presented speeches on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Professor Henck said she is glad for the opportunity to impact students’ lives in this manner.
“For the past 15 years I have been blessed to work at an institution that continually supports ALL students,” said Henck. “The Student Support Services program has proven to be a vital part of student success here at SNU. Due to fiscal constraints, some of [the] services [we offer] would not be provided to our students without the financial support of the grant.”
For more information about the L.I.F.E. program, visit their office on the 1st floor of the library by the coffee shop, or go to their website at http://snu.edu/about-life-trio.