The annual Bellevue College TRiO Awards Ceremony was held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 in N201. Director of TRiO Student Support Services Barbara Brodsky was the main speaker at the ceremony. TRiO is a federally funded student support program and is dedicated to academic advising and transfer planning with personal support for students with limited income, disabilities or who are the first in their families to attend college.
The Bellevue College TRiO program serves about 200 students a year and has served over 1,100 students since their inception.
Brodsky explained that the name TRiO is not an acronym, but celebrates the original three federal programs that fell under the Higher Education Act of 1965, which are Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Services.
TRiO works with the financial aid office to help students complete forms such as FAFSA and scholarship applications. Brodsky awarded the “Paul Chiles Spirit of TRiO” award to financial aid staff members present at the award ceremony, in honor of their work done to help the program.
One of the recipients of the award thanked Brodsky and said, “We are committed to working with students, and this is a nice reward for that.”
The Dean of International Education and Global Initiatives Jean D’Arc Campbell spoke about his experiences in the TRiO program. Campbell was an orphan who immigrated to the U.S. from Africa and became a first generation college student. During his first year of college, Campbell worked with a counselor who was part of a TRiO program called Education Opportunity Centers.
“I found it amazing that there were those who were willing to help me, there were those who were interested in my life, who wanted to make a difference in my life,” said Campbell.
Campbell said he took advantage of the opportunities given to him through the program and the encouragement of the people in it, working hard to earn his degree. “When you talk about TRiO it is about opportunity,” said Campbell, “it’s a job that they love because every day they get to see the impact.”
Student retention per year is 65 percent for the general student body of Bellevue College, but 89 percent for TRiO students at BC.
The TRiO program helps students plan out their graduation and transition to a university, according to Brodsky. 73 percent of BC’s TRiO students graduate from a four-year university.
TRiO has ceremonies every quarter to award students for academic diligence.
Students who are interested in participating in the TRiO program can check their eligibility and apply on the TRiO website.
To find more information about TRiO, visit their office in B233 weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or contact Brodsky at Barbara.email@example.com.
“Trio is like a family. We care about each other. We like to be around each other,” said Brodsky, “The TRiO students make it that way for us.”