From Iowa to Louisiana, TRIO Day Commands National Attention 

The Mississippi Association for Educational Opportunity Program Personnel hosted its National TRIO Day 2023 event at Jackson State University: the day-long celebration workshops, student competitions, and men’s and women’s basketball games.

On February 24, 1986, a congressional resolution declared that Saturday, February 28, 1986, should be designated as “National TRIO Day” to commemorate the annual achievements of the Federal TRIO programs in communities across the country. 

Every year since then, the TRIO community reserves the fourth Saturday in February as National TRIO Day — an opportunity to focus the nation’s “attention on the needs of disadvantaged young people and adults aspiring to improve their lives if they are to become contributing citizens of the country, and to the talent which will be wasted if that investment is not made.” 


The Louisiana Association of Students Assistance Programs (LASAP) annually hosts TRIO Day with the Pelicans. With the hard work of Co-Chairs Mr. Donta Mills, associate director of Baton Rouge Community College Upward Bound II, and Dr. Shrylin Davis, director of Southern University at New Orleans UBMS and EOC Horizon/Orleans, over 1,000 students in Louisiana participated this year.  

“When the TRIO students pack a place as large as the Smoothie King Center, I’m just energized. I know that some programs drove hundreds of miles so their students could participate in this event,” said Joseph R. Givens, director of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program at Louisiana State University and 2022-23 chair of the COE Board of Directors. “The TRIO Leaders in Louisiana worked hard to build a relationship with the Pelicans NBA team, who support the TRIO mission.” 

The energy and excitement of this event are matched with a day-long program to help these students better understand how a college education can put them on their dream career path. 

The students attended a speaking session with a guest panel of TRIO alumni and a college fair with over 25 colleges and universities. Later that evening, the students attended a Pelicans game. Several students participate in the Pelicans ‘Fan experience,’ in which the students created a tunnel through which the Pelicans players ran. 


In Iowa, the state TRIO association welcomed over 160 pre-college and college TRIO participants and staff to the state capitol in Des Moines, IA, on February 20, 2023. The event allowed attendees to write postcards to Iowa’s federally elected officials, tour the historic capitol grounds, and speak with local Iowa State legislators. 

“As this was the first time Iowa TRIO programs gathered in person since the pandemic, the excitement was incredible for staff, students, and invited elected officials alike,” said Sibyl McIntire, director of TRIO Student Support Services at Southeastern Community College. “TRIO participants shared with locally elected officials their TRIO success stories and how state funding—All Iowa Opportunity Scholarships, Iowa Tuition Grants, Last Dollar Scholar, and Kibbie grants—helps support their educational journeys.” 

Helping state elected officials see the fruits of their labors through their support of state funding for students in higher education connects them to personal stories and conveys the impacts they have.  

“Connecting the work of Federal TRIO Programs to the state elected officials is a great way to garner more support and create relationships that can benefit TRIO,” said Jen Rudolph, COE’s director of pre-college and state initiatives. “Often state leaders become federal leaders. This early work in establishing relationships and showing the benefits that TRIO brings to the state lays a foundation that strong advocacy can continue to build from in the years to come.” 


In Pennsylvania, East Stroudsburg University’s Upward Bound program partnered with its sister program from Wilkes University to host a series of alumni workshops and an alumni panel discussion for over 100 students from both programs. 

“We split the students into groups nicknamed LBJ, TRIO, and COE for workshops on community relationships, false narrative social media displays, and emotional intelligence,” said Janine L. Hyde-Broderick, director of Upward Bound at East Stroudsburg University. 

“We always value what our alumni can share with their ‘younger Upward Bound cousins.’ Not long ago, our alumni sat in those same seats, and now they’ve graduated from college or are in college and are changing the trajectory of their lives. They’re the role models our current students need,” said Hyde-Broderick. 

Please send pictures and news clips about your TRIO Day activities to COE Digital Media Manager Trauvello Stevenson at [email protected].

More News & Impact