Wahupa Educational Services started in 1973 to help Native American high-school students obtain college educations. 

Throughout the last 45 years, Wahupa has expanded to offer services to all low-income and first-generation high-schoolers seeking a college career.

The word “Wahupa” means enlightenment in the language of the Lakota Sioux. As the organization has grown we felt that the message of enlightenment, the practice required to achieve it, the freedom it offers and the idea of lighting the way for students along their path to college all still accurately reflected our core mission. So, we kept it.

We are a community-based non-profit organization funded by U.S. Dept. of Education TRiO grants. The goal of TRiO is "to increase the percentage of low-income and first generation college students who successfully pursue postsecondary education opportunities."

These are the TRiO Programs

Educational Talent Search

Upward Bound

Educational Opportunity Centers

Our Team


Jim Pauley, President

Kevin Ho, Treasurer

Patricia Fitzmorris, EdD., Member

Leslie Whitney, Member


Management Staff

Judith Ortiz 
Executive Director

Patricia Bácame
Educational Talent Search Programs Director

Corrie Charfauros
Educational Opportunities Centers Programs Director

Chanika Marsh
Upward Bound Programs Director