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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

TRIO day awards students, praises campus programs

Photo by Alex DeBuhr
TRIO programs were first established on Marquette’s campus in 1969.

After being established on Marquette’s campus in 1969, TRIO programs continue to fulfill their mission of supporting first-generation and low-income students from pre-college through graduate education.

The Educational Opportunity Program was established in response to the civil rights movement. At Marquette, EOP is comprised of five programs: Student Support Services, McNair Scholars, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math & Science and Educational Talent Search.

The college division programs are SSS and McNair Scholars. SSS offers a network of supportive services, financial aid assistance, academic counseling and other services to students.

McNair Scholars prepares participants for graduate school. Scholars attend monthly seminars and participate in student and professional conferences.

The pre-college division programs include Upward Bound, Talent Search and Upward Bound Math & Science. UB and UBMS assist and educate low-income and first-generation high school students in their goal of becoming college graduates.

METS works to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education.

Students, staff and faculty joined together for the National TRIO Day Celebration Feb. 25. As people walked into Weasler Auditorium, they were welcomed by Dj Zach, the official DJ of the Milwaukee Bucks and a TRIO alum.

To begin the TRIO Day event, people were welcomed by a celebration video showcasing students in the different TRIO programs. Laiya Thomas, executive director of EOP, then welcomed everyone.

“TRIO programs here on MU’s campus have been around since 1969, over 50 years, and have made a difference in some many students’ lives and families, I’m excited to see what the next 50 years will bring. Thank you to all those who support TRIO programs,” Gregory Griffin, Student Support Services counselor, said in an email.

Throughout the event, there was dancing, raffles and awards. One of the awards, which was given to multiple students, was the Annual TRIO Student Achievement Award. This award recognizes the accomplishments of students in the areas of academic achievement, community involvement and leadership.

“TRIO programs provide opportunities to those who are facing many close doors. TRIO programs are one way that those doors can be open through education,” Griffin said in an email. “It offers us, yes me included exposure and provides direction on how education can enhance our life. Without TRIO programs many students wouldn’t be able to not only get to college but get through college. The value of TRIO programs is priceless.”

Griffin said nothing is more rewarding than seeing students share how important and impactful EOP is in their educational journey.

“This is my life work! The benefits of EOP are life-changing for all those who participate. Growing up I wasn’t aware of programs like TRIO’s EOP so with that I wanted to make sure every young person I’m in front of I would promote EOP as a life-changing opportunity,” Griffin said in an email.

Also at the event was U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Marquette TRIO alumna, spoke to the students about how TRIO impacted her and reminded students to take advantage of the opportunity to be a part of the programs.

“I want you to know that as hard as we fight for money there are so many eligible, wonderful young people that we are not able to give an opportunity because we don’t have the resources,” Moore said. “So when you start feeling lazy, when you start saying I can’t do it. I want you to think about whose seat you’re taking.

Jaylin Rivas Rodriguez, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and student speaker for TRIO Day, spoke about how much the TRIO programs mean to her. Rivas Rodriguez said that she has been able to thrive in her college experience because of TRIO.

“I’ve been a part of Marquette TRIO Programs for the past seven years of my life,” Rivas Rodriguez said. “Ever since I turned 16, TRIO has been on my side and I usually get emotional because this is awesome.”

Aesha Adams-Robert, EOP-SSS writing specialist, is a pipeline student, which means that she went through every TRIO program. She was a part of Upward Bound, Student Support Services and McNair.

“I believe it’s really important for students to be able to have a vision of what’s possible for them because when I was an Upward Bound student, I had no idea that I could be a professor and that I could do the type of work that I ended up doing. It also I think helps to have staff that looks like you, you know, and who believe in you who push you,” Adams-Robert said.

The event ended with the TRIO Choir performing the TRIO song, which was written by Adams-Robert and Debbie Duff, EOP-SSS financial aid counselor. Duff said that the words of the song were inspired by speaking with students and staff about what TRIO means to them.

“TRIO’s a family like a giant tree branding out towards the sky, TRIO’s a family we are so much more than just you and I. We are growing, we are growing, we are a family,” the song said.

This story was written by Hannah Hernandez. She can be reached out [email protected].

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