National TRiO Day to be celebrated on Feb. 21

Chris Bird, News Editor

In honor of National TRiO Day, TRiO and the RISE department will be holding a celebration on Feb. 21, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the RISE office at the Madison College Truax Campus.

The celebration will be an opportunity for TRiO students and RISE department staff to share how TRiO has changed their lives and show how much it means to those involved.

Ra’Shi Common, Student Support Service Trio advisor at Madison College, is organizing the day’s activities. She hopes guests will take some time to find out how students are affected by TRiO and to celebrate what the group accomplishes.

She has helped plan a day of sharing both in experiences with TRiO and through what she called a “60 second service opportunity.” Attendees will be able to assemble a small care package of essentials for someone in the community who is in need of things like hygiene products.

Not everyone has much time to dedicate to volunteer and service work, but even small gestures like one care package can make a difference in another person’s life.

TRiO helps students who are first generation college attendees, have low income, or have documented disabilities.

“We are the element of support that is supposed to guide students through the whole culture of college,” said Common. TRiO tries to provide cultural experiences and encourage people to form connections

Connections are an essential part of giving students support and enriching their college experience. “It’s important to have that go to person and not feel like they don’t belong,” said Common. The TRiO space provides an environment for socializing and support towards that purpose.

Students in TRiO meet with advisors routinely to establish a channel to the things that TRiO offers. There is a sense of personal responsibility in the process. The program provides tutoring, advising, and even financial literacy advice to help their students be responsible and control their futures. “Arming them with the information that can help them make more informed decisions on things like borrowing and credit card management,” Common said.

TRiO has been with Madison College for almost ten years now, with the anniversary coming up in August. Dr. Jeff Galligan, the TRiO and Men of Excellence director at Madison College, said that it is important to remember the people who provide support on a student’s path through college.

Not everyone has the help that they need to find success, but those who are in position to offer assistance can pay that help forward.

“When you are benefitting from something, take the time to pass it on and help others,” Common said.