TRiO awards honor students

trioLast Valentine’s Day, Bellevue College hosted in room N-201 the annual TRiO Winter Academic Awards that recognized the academic accomplishments of students a part of TRiO Student Support Services at Bellevue College. TRiO is a federally-funded program that provides academic and personal support to students with limited income, disabilities, or who are the first in their families to attend college. The audience consisted of students and faculty, as well as friends and family members supporting their honorable students receiving certificates in recognition of their hard work.

Barbara Brodsky is the director of TRiO Student Programs, who led the ceremony. Her work has utilized the tens of thousands of dollars brought in, to provide aid in a variety of ways for students who would otherwise struggle through further education. Over 300 million students have graduated from college with the assistance and support from TRiO Programs. The program is only allowed to serve 200 students each year with only three staff providing very extensive and intensive interaction with the students, incredibly relationships and incredible success.

Dr. Ata Karim is currently serving as interim vice president of Student Services and director of Multicultural Services. Behind the scenes of TRiO, Dr. Karim showed how proud he was of the students making a difference in their lives by putting forth the effort and dedication in furthering their education. “The secret to success is challenge and safety. Without the challenge, there is no growth. Without the safety, people don’t take chances. Commit to doing three things: never lose hope and become a source of hope, give in any way you can give best, and finally, to make a difference,” said Dr. Karim in a moving speech.

Natausha Sabin-Lee is a former BC TRiO student, now attending WSU, and provided a speech as well. As a part of the awards ceremony, she presented her experience and her success getting to where she’s gotten. “We have these visions of being these people that we will be,” Natausha said in her speech. “More importantly, we wanted to do it to have the ability to help people.” She expressed her appreciation for all that the TRiO staff and faculty have provided in their services and advice, as well as the students who were “like family to all that come in and out of the center.”

TRiO is a very safe environment for people with all types of backgrounds. Natausha mentioned TRiO as a place where “you can say ‘I want to have a Ph.D.’ and ‘I want to be in a book’That’s okay to say here. It’s always been okay.”  Lina Huang is Student Support Specialist, certified with a bachelor’s in Speech & Hearing Sciences, who is one of the staff providing aid. As well as Ron Holland, assistant director with a Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language. Their offices are open in B-233 for those in need whether that is “textbook lending, an open door, through ‘let me write an email’ or ‘let me get back to you’.”

In honor of the positive impact of the BC TRiO program, Jay Inslee provided a proclamation that recognized Feb. 14 as Bellevue College TRiO Day to celebrate their accomplishments and influence for future students.