First-generation, community college graduate leads TRiO

Seattle Central College recently named Robert Ortiz as the new director of TRiO, a student success program that supports first-generation, low-income and students with disabilities. He will oversee the program and ensure the success of the students they serve while working to create new initiates to increase enrollment and engagement.

“I get what it’s like to be the first.” Ortiz said. “It’s a big deal. It changes your life and the course of your family’s history.”

As a former community college student, Ortiz wants to give back.

“I am privileged to work with a team at Seattle Central to serve 361 first-generation students as they begin their journey to accomplish their dreams. My hope is to help these students avoid some of the struggles I went through.”

Before arriving at Seattle Central, Ortiz worked at Year Up in Seattle, served as a TRiO Coordinator at Tarrant County College in Texas. He also worked at World Relief, one of the largest non-profits in the country.

Ortiz is currently working toward a master of communication degree in communities and networks at the University of Washington. He earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from the University of Texas, Arlington and his associate’s degree from Tarrant County College.