March 16, 2018
TRIO Day began on February 24, 1986, when a congressional resolution (H. Con. Res. 278) declared that Saturday, February 28, 1986, should be designated as "National TRIO Day" to commemorate the annual achievements of the Federal TRIO programs. Each year, on the fourth Saturday of February, TRIO programs across the country find ways to mark the day — some perform acts of community service, some hold celebrations on campus, others meet with community officials. Here is just a sample of some of the National TRIO Day activities for 2018.
In St. Lawrence County, NY, four associated colleges — SUNY-Canton, SUNY-Potsdam, St. Lawrence University, and Clarkson University — came together to celebrate TRIO Student Support Services Week with a book drive and a reading by New York State Assemblymember Addie Jenne. Jenne also attended a TRIO Family Fun Party where students collected donations of books and school supplies to benefit Head Start Programs in the area.
A group of SUNY-Canton Student Support Services students organized a "Cans for Cupcakes" drive to support the college's food pantry, which helps combat food insecurity for students on campus.
Georgian Court University in New Jersey organized "TRIO Week" — five days of advocacy, inspiration, and service — to raise awareness about the importance of educational equity and access, celebrate student successes, and highlight the achievements of the TRIO programs.
In Connecticut, TRIO Day activities took place on February 22-23, 2018. The days featured visits to 15 Connecticut colleges, a college fair, and a keynote address by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT).
Students from the Student Support Services, Upward Bound, and McNair Program at West Virginia University engaged in community service by helping the SHACK Neighborhood House. Students sanitized classrooms, organized books, and sanitized toys in preparation for an upcoming fundraiser — a duck race being held on the Mon River.
The University of Nevada-Las Vegas' Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach hosted a banquet to celebrate National TRIO Day at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. This event recognized the achievements of current and former TRIO and GEAR UP participants who overcame obstacles and persisted through education to achieve their personal and career goals. The event began with welcoming remarks from UNLV President, Dr. Len Jessup, and UNLV Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Juanita Fain. Among the 700 in attendance were UNLV administrators, Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents, Clark County School District administrators, and Nevada elected officials.
For National TRIO Day 2018, Houston Baptist University invited students and their families to a Celebration Brunch. They planned a commemorative scrapbook of cultural events, leadership opportunities, and graduate tour. Two current participants spoke about TRIO's influence in helping them stretch their boundaries, and combat their fears of failure. A graduate panel was held for TRIO alumni to pass down their wisdom to current participants. The celebration closed with recognition for the 66 TRIO participants who made the Dean's List for the Fall 2017 semester.
The St. Edward's University McNair Scholars Program in Austin, TX celebrated National TRIO Day by hosting a reception in honor of their 15 year anniversary. Current scholars showcased their research projects and participants viewed photos of the program's accomplishments during the program's history.
TRIO programs in Ohio combined their Student Leadership Conference with National TRIO Day. During the event, students wrote cards of encouraging words to students in Puerto Rico and Parkland, FL.
Joliet Junior College (JJC), in collaboration with the Illinois TRIO Association, hosted roughly 500 junior high, high school, and undergraduate students to commemorate the 32nd Anniversary of National TRIO Day. The celebration at JJC included several breakout sessions and workshops, and inspirational messages shared for students and created by them. This year's theme was "Moving Forward: Deliberately, Diligently, & Dutifully," and focused on college readiness, student leadership, and engagement and career development. The more than 20 breakout sessions offered information on transitioning from high school to college, career exploration, dealing with anger, and offered hands-on Science and Engineering activities, among others.
DeAndre Butler, JJC Project Achieve/TRIO Programs director, along with JJC President Dr. Judy Mitchell and Vice President for Student Development Dr. Yolanda Farmer shared opening remarks with students. The keynote address was provided by Cameka Smith of BOSS (Bringing Out Successful Sisters). The day also featured proclamations by Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) and JJC alumnus and State Senator Pat McGuire, with a speech and performance by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and the Jesse White Tumblers.
For this year's National TRIO Day, the TRIO Southern Piedmont Educational Opportunity Center Program (EOC) staff collected donations for the Patrick Henry Community College Patriot's Pantry. The EOC program is administered by Danville Community College and serves the counties of Halifax, Pittsylvania, Henry, Patrick, and Franklin counties and the cities of Danville and Martinsville, VA.
The Delaware State TRIO Organization held a National TRIO Day Celebration at Delaware Technical College. The celebration honored Don and Nancy Edwards who have donated a $20,000 scholarship to a deserving Delaware Upward Bound junior each year since 2000. This year's scholarship recipient is Cindy Zheng, an Upward Bound Math/Science participant at Delaware Technical College, Owens Campus.
The seniors in the Upward Bound project at the University of Guam hosted, planned, and conducted a Talent Showcase — showing their singing and dancing talents and reciting poetry. This event was organized by the graduating seniors with their senior advisor's guidance. The event included: a raffle of cash prizes by the Upward Bound's Parent-Student Association (PSA) officers; announcements of seniors selected to participate in the Annual Cultural and Educational Enrichment Trip to the Republic of Palau; and the announcement of sophomores and juniors selected to attend the University of Hawaii-Hilo's Upward Bound Math/Science summer program.
Staff and students with Pensacola State College's (PSC) TRIO programs celebrated National TRIO Day by "sharing the love" with PSC students on Valentine's Day. Students enjoyed free lunch, music and dancing, fellowship, and games. Display tables offered information about each of the college's TRIO programs, and SSS club members were on hand to speak about the club and its community service efforts and how to join. As part of the TRIO service project, donations were collected for the PSC Student Food Pantry.
At the University of South Carolina, Salkehatchie, the Student Support Services project travelled to the Lowcountry Food Bank in Charleston. At the food bank, students boxed food items to be shipped to families in need of food in the Lowcountry region.
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) Student Support Services project celebrated TRIO Day with the youth of their community. As an American Indian community that has struggled for decades with the loss of native traditions and customs, UNCP students felt that it would be appropriate to hold an event to enlighten and educate young people and future leaders about the true heritage of their ancestors. Kat Littleturtle, a community storyteller and her grandson, Kaya Littleturtle, the Tribal Cultural Enrichment coordinator, provided stories, traditional songs, and shared a brief history of how their people once lived in the area and the language they spoke. The project also provided gifts of a UNCP lanyard and UNCP banner to the kids donated by the admissions office at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
This year, to celebrate National TRIO Day, the Student Support Services and Upward Bound projects at the University of Montana hosted a local food drive benefiting the Missoula Food Bank. The event also included a photo booth to commemorate the day; testimonials of firsthand accounts of TRIO successes; and networking opportunities to meet other students, alumni, and staff. The event was featured on KPAX-TV.
The Colorado State House of Representatives extended commendations to the TRIO programs at the request of State Representative Daneya Esgar — who had previously been an academic advisor for the Upward Bound projects at Colorado State University-Pueblo and Pueblo Community College. She asked State House members to remember that anytime they speak with their Congressperson, to remind them how important it is to fund the TRIO programs.
Meanwhile, in Cheyenne, WY, Governor Matthew H. Mead proclaimed February 13, 2018, as Educational Access Day.