Elena Lewis (Wilson) ’01, Director of Student Support Services at Brandeis University, has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The grant will support ongoing and new initiatives for 150 students who are the first in their family to go to college and low income students. Federal TRiO Student Support Services grants fund programs that help college students who are low income, first generation or students with disabilities. Its goals are to provide services to promote retention, good academic standing, and graduation of its participants. The program encourages students’ achievement by providing advising, academic tutoring, financial literacy education, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses, and other forms of assistance.
Lewis has been working in student support services programs for the past 18 years, 15 years at Brandeis University and three years at Westfield State. She credits the SSSP, Urban Education, and the McNair TRiO programs at Westfield State for her success in college.
As director of SSSP at Brandeis, she oversees a small, community-oriented program dedicated to working with students who are the first in their families to go to college and those who have overcome significant barriers to attend college. The program promotes academic success by providing students advising, peer tutoring, peer mentoring, cultural enrichment activities and workshops.