TRiO Spring 2012 Academic Awards

Photo by Rachel Burch

The welcome sunshine this week has brought an early whiff of summer into the air, and the TRiO Student Support Services program at Bellevue College recognized the quarter’s coming close with the tenth anniversary of their TRiO Academic Awards Ceremony.  The members of the TRiO program gathered together with their friends and loved ones last Thursday, May 10, to formally recognize the academic achievements of their students and to celebrate the accomplishments of their 2012 graduates.

Certificates in bronze, silver and gold were awarded to the students based on their grade point averages from last quarter, along with a special award presented to two exemplary graduates for their commitment to academic excellence.  The students present also expressed their gratitude to the TRiO staff for their continued commitment to their success and their appreciation for the close bonds they had formed within the TRiO community.

The TRiO program located at Bellevue College Student Services provides a wide array of academic and personal support to first generation college students with a limited income and/or disabilities.  Their services include study skills development, tutoring, academic and personal advising, the renting of school supplies, scholarships, and assistance in transferring.

Their goal is to further the Bellevue College Mission of educational excellence and equal access, an aim which seems to be successfully applied according to TRiO members.  “TRiO has provided me with support in all areas, personal as well as academic,” Jenive said, a former TRiO student now studying at Seattle Pacific University while serving as Scholarship Advisor at TRiO, “I knew I could always come to them for direction during the difficult times in my life.”

The ceremony was opened by Barbara Brodsky, director of the TRiO program at Bellevue College, who took the time to personally thank the students for the returning support she had received from them before introducing two student speakers from the Class of 2012.  She also acknowledged the future plans of TRiO’s graduating students, who had been accepted to a long list of schools, including all three University of Washington campuses: Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, Western University, Eastern University, Central University, as well as UC Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Irvine.

Two TRiO graduates, Zukhra Siddikova and Dale Griffith, were then each invited to give a brief testimonial, in which each of them gave a personal look at the challenges they had overcome with the help of TRiO programs and the impact TRiO had made in their lives.  “Luckily, I met TRiO in all the right places,” Zukhra said while explaining how TRiO had turned her dreams of entering medical school into a reality.

After their testimonials Brodsky revealed that these same students had also won this year’s Mary Chambers Award for Commitment to Academic Excellence, an award dedicated to the now retired organizer of TRiO’s Academic Awards Ceremonies. The certificates in bronze, silver and gold were then presented to the students by Tom Pritchard, the Vice President of Student Services.

The award ceremony ended with restated thanks to everyone involved in TRiO, marking the step for TRiO’s newest graduates to a future as bright as the uncommon Seattle sunshine that was outside.