This summer, local high school students will travel outside the state of Louisiana, most for the first time. Group Leader Amelia Sellers and the TRIO team at Southern University at New Orleans will take qualified students to Chicago for a college tour. In honor of TRIO Day, Ms. Sellers shares about her upcoming TRIO plans.
What Is TRIO?
For those who are unfamiliar with the term “TRIO,” here is a quick definition according to the U.S. Department of Education: “Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student service programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantages backgrounds.” In short, TRIO programs are made possible by various colleges and institutions across the country who have this type of program established, along with the help of many dedicated individuals.
For SUNO University, TRIO means offering a variety of educational services to underprivileged students who would otherwise not be given such opportunities. Some of their services available include tutoring/mentoring, study skills and career workshops, scholarship essay assistance, financial aid resources, career speaker events, and more.
An Ultimate TRIO Program
Not only do TRIO programs help broaden the horizons of students by providing helpful tools for career success, but they also provide opportunities for touring a college campus. To give students the best overall TRIO experience, Ms. Sellers teams up with Brightspark to help plan and organize a college campus visit to Chicago this June.
Behind the Scenes
After a standard application process to determine eligibility for the program, the elected students are given a sense of hope and excitement for the future. “We ask the students which colleges they would be interested in attending,” Ms. Sellers said. “Our job is to encourage the students in all that they wish to accomplish, and to help them reach their goals every step of the way.”
The Bigger Picture
The director of the Educational Talent Search at SUNO University, Ruth Johnson, finds fulfillment in her job, knowing that she is helping students who need it the most. “The excitement in their eyes is the best part,” Ms. Johnson said. “Most of these students have never even stepped outside the state of Louisiana, so traveling to Chicago is a significant life event.”
Happy TRIO Day!
TRIO Day is a designated holiday to celebrate the positive impact of federal TRIO programs, and to echo the importance of equal educational opportunities for all Americans. “There are too many students that don’t have the support or resources at home,” Ms. Johnson said. “TRIO Day brings attention to the programs that are helping provide opportunities for these students.” The TRIO mission to provide increased access to higher education for disadvantaged students is truly making a positive impact on our nation’s communities.