Student Opportunities


Virtual Student Business Pitch Competition Sponsored by Nucleus

COE and Nucleus, LLC announce their first joint national TRIO Pitch Competition for pre-college students on Saturday, April 23, from 12 to 2 p.m. ET on Zoom.

The pitch competition offers students an opportunity to develop a brief competitive presentation to propose their business ideas to an audience and a panel of judges. Contestants will have an opportunity to win up to $2,500 in scholarships and prizes. The virtual pitch competition is exclusively for active TRIO participants.

Apply here to enter the competition before Thursday, March 17.

Please email Woodrow Lewis, Jr. at ( for more information.

Learn How Your Students Can Compete In A Pitch Competition
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. (ET)
COSTFree for Everyone!

COE and Nucleus, LLC have partnered to launch their first-ever virtual pitch competition for pre-college and college TRIO and GEAR UP participants. This "Shark Tank"-like competition allows COE and Nucleus to hear the business ideas of TRIO entrepreneurs, both young and seasoned, to help make their visions become a reality. In this webinar, representatives from Nucleus and COE will explain the details of the competition and answer questions.

STEAM Clubs for Jurassic World: Dominion

COE, Internet Essentials from Comcast, and NBCUniversal invite your students to join our STEAM clubs offering new curricula themed in connection with the upcoming new Jurassic movie Jurassic World: Dominion.

Here's an opportunity to use the exciting science of Jurassic World to engage your TRIO students in real-world projects based on paleontology, animatronics, genetics, and DNA, and more! Each club must engage at least ten students in curricula for five 2-hour sessions. Twenty TRIO projects will be selected for participation during Winter and Summer 2022. Select participants will be able to attend the Comcast Jurassic STEAM Symposium to showcase their projects at Universal Studios Hollywood in June 2022.

For pre-college youth in grades 9 through 12:

  • Selected projects will receive supplemental funding to support their project.
  • Contact Nicole Norfles at ( for more information.

Apply here before December 20.

Want to hear more? Register for this webinar on Tuesday, December 7, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET to learn more about this exciting opportunity. Sign up here.

Thomas R. Wolanin Congressional Internship

Applications are now open for the 2022 cycle. The Thomas R. Wolanin Congressional Internship Document is available for download (.pdf) provides individuals who are in the first generation of their families to graduate from college with an opportunity to observe the federal policy-making process first-hand and to participate in that process. Primary Responsibilities include:

  • Researching legislation;
  • Attending and summarizing meetings, briefings and hearings;
  • Drafting talking points and memos; and
  • Providing support to Congressional staff.

For more information about qualifications, stipend, and timing of the internship, please see the announcement Document is available for download (.pdf).

Each candidate for the Wolanin internship must be nominated by a current or former staff member of a TRIO program. In addition to the application form, the candidate must also submit a letter explaining his/her interest in policy and in the internship, undergraduate transcripts, a resume, and a letter of support from a faculty member. The application is available here Document is available for download (.pdf).

Application DeadlineJanuary 14, 2022

For questions, please contact Holly Hexter via e-mail ( or phone at (202) 744-8646.

Increasing Student Competitiveness for the World of Work and Graduate School

This eight-session, free webinar series begins in November. McNair faculty and alumni are among the variety of presenters you don’t want to miss. Be sure to invite your students to register and participate.

1. Building International Partnerships to Spur Scholarly Exchange and Graduate School
Monday, November 1
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. (ET)
Competitiveness International exchanges, whether virtual or in person, can benefit McNair Scholars and their host institutions in a variety of ways. Such partnerships allow students to present their research to their peers overseas and build a portfolio that will set them apart in their graduate school applications. Learn from a McNair Director how to build such a partnership and learn from a McNair alum how the international exchange enhanced her competitiveness for graduate school admissions.

2. TRIO Grads Go Abroad! Helping Your Students Win Competitive International Fellowships
Monday, November 15
12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. (ET)
Study and teaching abroad can be valuable steppingstones for personal and professional development. Undergraduates can apply for a host of international scholarship and fellowship opportunities. Celebrate International Education Week by learning about some of those offerings as well as gaining insight from previous fellowship recipients. Open for students to attend.

3. Helping TRIO College Students Apply for Competitive Research and Other Fellowships (Part I, with a Fellowship Professional)
Monday, December 6
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. (ET)
Whether your students are participants of McNair or SSS, there are a host of fellowships that undergraduate students can receive in preparation for graduate school, some of which may be renewable. This session will provide information about some of those offerings and the preparation from a TRIO professional and a university fellowship office professional. Open for students to attend.

4. Helping TRIO College Students Apply for Competitive Research and Other Fellowships (Part II, with TRIO and Student Presenters)
Monday, December 13
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. (ET)
Whether your students are participants of McNair or SSS, there are a host of fellowships that undergraduate students can receive in preparation for graduate school, some of which may be renewable. This session will provide information about identifying some of those offerings as well as insight from previous TRIO alumni fellowship recipients. Open for students to attend.

5. Competitive Research and Other Fellowships for McNair Scholars (Alumni Perspective)
Monday, January 24
1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. (ET)
There are a host of fellowships that McNair participants should apply for in preparation for graduate school. The key is to plan early, and revise if necessary. This session will provide information about some of those offerings as well as insight from previous fellowship recipients. Open for students to attend.

Virtual Selective College Fair

COE will host a virtual, selective college fair to connect rising pre-college sophomores and juniors to selective and competitive schools nationwide on Thursday, June 17 at 1 p.m. ET. TRIO directors, complete this form and the accompanying excel sheet to register all your rising sophomore and junior high school students at once. All colleges at this fair commit to helping first-generation, low-income students succeed. Register your students by Friday, June 11. Learn more here.

  • Learn best practices to prepare your students to get vital information out of college fairs and visits as they navigate the college admissions process in this webinar on Wednesday, June 2 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Register here.

Keith Sherin Global Leaders Program Seeks Applications for Summer 2022 Cohort

Keith Sherin Global Leaders Program

Keith Sherin Global Leaders Program — COE works with university and international partners to offer a short-term, summer study abroad experience for TRIO participants in Student Support Services and McNair Scholars programs in institutions that are COE members. Destinations have included the United Kingdom, Spain, and the Netherlands. When in-person, students can apply for financial aid and receive academic credit for the experience.

The 2022 program will be in person! Interested students are encouraged to apply! Opportunities to lead the group are available for staff.

Program Dates: June 25-July 16, 2022

Application(s) Due: March 9 by 5:00 p.m. ET

Student Program Cost: $2,100

Student Deposit Due with Application: $250

Program Details

Program Details

Spend the first week getting to know your host country! You’ll be learning about the Netherlands’ social and educational context with a specific focus on higher education and cultural diversity in theory and practice. Under the auspices of ECHO, the Center for Diversity Policy, during the first week, students will visit Amsterdam as well as schools, universities, and cultural sites elsewhere in the Netherlands and meet student leaders representing migrant communities.

For the next two weeks, you’ll be studying at The Hague Summer School, a cutting-edge modular set of courses based on the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The courses focus on solving global issues by connecting the public and private sectors. There is no better place to learn and practice world citizenship than in The Hague (Den Haag), the International City of Peace and Justice, and the political, cultural heart of the Netherlands.

For More Information:

Student Eligibility:

  • Current Student Support Services or McNair participant in good academic standing.

To apply, complete your application and submit supporting materials no later than Wednesday, March 9, at 5:00 p.m. ET. You can create an account to save your application and return to it later.

Questions? Please contact Holly Hexter via e-mail at (

NEW: Comcast Pilot Virtual Internship Program

Comcast Internet Essentials has provided COE support to develop and pilot virtual STEAM internships for students in four of the TRIO programs: McNair, Student Support Services, Talent Search and Upward Bound. It is expected that two programs from each category will be selected to participate in the pilot — and that each selected program will engage a minimum of two students in Virtual Internships. Each selected project may be eligible for a grant of up to $5,000 that may be used either for student stipends, staffing, or program development costs. We are delighted that Nate Easley ( will be facilitating this effort for COE. We hope to extend this model to many additional programs in the 2021-22 academic year.

Expectations of Selected Projects

  • Identify a minimum of two high school students or undergraduates to participate in virtual internships to be carried out between May and August of 2021. Students should be enrolled in or preparing for undergraduate programs in business, engineering, marketing and communications, mathematics or science, or technology;
  • To the extent feasible, assure your students are available to participate in pre-internship activities to be conducted this spring;
  • Share with COE the names and contact information of local and national businesses that you currently work with for purposes of preparing students for the professional workforce, and
  • Participate in program evaluations.

Download the application by clicking here Document is available for download (.pdf). The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday, March 31.

Additional Student Opportunities

For information about Keith Sherin International, National Student Leadership, Keith Sherin Global Leaders and the Wolanin Internship, please download the Student Opportunties brochure Document is available for download (.pdf).

National Student Leadership Congress

COE is excited to host the 33rd annual National Student Leadership Congress (NSLC), where TRIO pre-college students from across the United States and U.S. territories gather in Washington, D.C., to work together in finding innovative solutions to today's societal issues. NSLC is an intensive six-day leadership experience hosted on the campus of Georgetown University. Highlights of the event include a Mock Congress Competition, Diversity and Inclusion Training, Interactive Learning Labs, College and Career Fair, Monuments Tour, and a day on Capitol Hill! For more information, download the NSLC brochure Document is available for download (.pdf).

Student Application Information

Outstanding students from the Class of 2023 and 2024 are encouraged to apply to serve as a representative for the 2022 National Student Leadership Congress. Students should be prepared for a rigorous program that includes a full schedule that will challenge the students and provide an intensive learning experience. Selected students must be in attendance for the entirety of the program which takes place June 11-16, 2022. This program is for new applicants only. Applications from students who participated previously will not be considered. Student applications are due no later than Friday, March 25, 2022.

Counselor Application Information

Interested in making an impact on TRIO students at the national level? COE encourages TRIO staff to apply to be NSLC Counselors. Support the NSLC as a counselor and get a chance to facilitate a transformational experience for pre-college TRIO students from across the United States and U.S territories. Student participants depend on NSLC counselors for assistance as the students model federal policymakers and discover innovative solutions to today’s societal issues. Selected counselors will guide 10-15 students through the intensive, in-person, six-day leadership experience for first-generation high school students. This role is crucial to both the students’ experience and success during the program. Counselors must be available for the entirety of the Counselor Training and NSLC Program — June 7-17, 2022. Student applications are due no later than Friday, March 25, 2022.