BBCC TRIO programs celebrate National TRIO Day
MOSES LAKE — Big Bend Community College TRiO Upward Bound and TRIO Student Support Services marked National TRIO Day with a virtual celebration Friday evening, honoring the program’s history and success of the many students who have participated over the years.
National TRIO Day is celebrated by federal TRIO programs across the country each February to raise awareness about the importance of educational opportunities. The annual celebration was started in 1986 through a congressional resolution.
The Upward Bound program at Big Bend has been on campus since 1967, and is one of the oldest Upward Bound programs in the nation. Advisors help students who are from low-income backgrounds and who are often first-generation college students, with anything and everything college related — including tutoring, assistance with college and financial aid applications and SAT/ACT preparation.
In addition, students participate in a variety of cultural and social events and the TRiO Upward Bound Summer Academy, which is held each year on the Big Bend campus.
The Student Support Services program at Big Bend has been on campus for more than 30 years. The goal of the program is to help motivate students to attain their educational goals.
TRIO advisors provide academic advising, transfer support and personal development for students who are from low-income backgrounds and who are often first-generation college students. The program also supports students with disabilities.
Together, the Upward Bound and Student Support Services programs at Big Bend serve more than 400 students each year.
“Today is an important day to honor TRIO programs and everything the programs have done for students across the United States, and here,” said BBCC TRiO Upward Bound director Anita De Leon during the event.
During the event, attendees got to hear from several TRIO graduates about their experiences in the program, some of the struggles they faced while pursuing their degrees and how they were able to overcome those struggles and find success.
BBCC Dean of Student Services Andre Guzman also addressed the group, and shared his story of being a first-generation college student and his experience in TRIO. He talked about starting college and how he struggled with self-doubt, and feeling like he didn’t belong, or that he wasn’t smart enough to be there.
But that all changed when he met with TRIO SSS staff, who believed in him and helped him realize his potential. He credits a lot of his success to TRIO, and the support and encouragement he received from staff while in the program.
“The things that they’re doing are remarkable,” said Guzman. “But it’s not doable unless they have students who have the passion that you do. They see your potential, and that’s why we celebrate.”
For many programs, National TRIO Day has become a tradition as it allows students who benefit from the TRIO programs to give back to their local communities through acts of service. Each year, Big Bend TRIO students work together to address a community need.
This year, Upward Bound and SSS students chose to benefit the Viking Food Pantry with their community service project. During the celebration, they announced a donation of more than 280 items, including frozen and canned foods, pantry staples and grab-and-go meals that were collected over a two-week period.
Hear from TRIO Day speakers