The Daily Evergreen

TRiO hosts open house to increase engagement

BY KEVIN HERRIMAN | Evergreen reporter

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Attendants of the annual TRiO open house filled Lighty 260X Wednesday to celebrate organization’s contributions to disadvantaged students and keep the future of the program bright.

TRiO, a federal organization that assists low-income and first-generation college students, consists of eight separate programs. Two are offered at WSU: Student Support Services and the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program.

Although the programs may not be well known by students who aren’t directly involved, TRiO boasts some impressive statistics, said SSS Retention Counselor ReAnna S. Roby.

“TRiO programs actually have a 20 percent higher graduation rate than students who aren’t part of the programs,” Roby said.

The McNair program, named after the second African-American astronaut, exists to help disadvantaged students succeed in postgraduate education.

Student Support Services (SSS) is targeted toward undergraduates and exists to increase retention and graduation rates.

“My counselor is great and just fosters a really friendly environment,” said Deysi Garcia, a student clerical assistant with SSS and a beneficiary of the program.

Garcia also talked about some lesser known benefits of the program.

“If students attend their monthly counselor meetings plus three of our workshops, they receive access to priority registration,” she said.

The results of the recent Food & Professional Clothing Drive Competition were announced at the open house. More than 285 pounds of food and clothing were donated to the SSS Food and Clothing Banks.

Counseling Services came in first place in the competition for the second year in a row. Several other WSU centers contributed to the Drive, including the International Center, the Access Center, and Student Success & Transition Programs.

Despite the benefits of TRiO programs, they are consistently in danger of budget cuts. Students at the event were invited to fill out provided postcards to urge their legislators to keep the program.

The WSU TRiO staff still hopes to make a difference despite the question of the programs’ funding.

“I was actually a McNair beneficiary myself,” Roby said. “I work here in the hope that I can make a similar impact on someone else.”

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TRiO hosts open house to increase engagement