Even after 11 years, the TRiO department on campus is considered to be the best-kept secret. The program provides students with support services to help them maximize their potential as well as their success.

“This program is good for TJC because it helps young and older people to not be afraid of school because they are always here to help them and they won’t be alone,” sophomore, Jonathan Barlow said.

Touching lives, Reaching out, Increasing knowledge and Opening doors is exactly what the program is all about.

“We provide services for students to achieve their Bachelor’s Degree, and we also do community service,” Project Coordinator Renee’ Hawkins said.

The program is very competitive because it only accepts up to 200 students per year. The student must meet at least one of the requirements that the program is designed to fulfill.

For example, if the student is the first in their family to go to college or if the student has difficulty meeting expenses, even if the students needs guidance with school-related information, then the program might be exactly what they need.

“We are part of the most competitive grant program there is,” said Hawkins. “You have to compete every four years against any college who wants to write a grant.”

“TRiO has helped me in many ways. It helped me become a people person, helped me by providing my books, and they have opened a lot of doors for different opportunities,” Barlow said.

The main goals for students in the program are to stay in college, graduate from a two-year institution and/or graduate from a four-year university as well, and to create a campus community for students who are in need.

“The main reason I chose to work with this program over any other here is because I truly believe in a program that helps young people to become successful in their educational endeavors,” TRiO Retention Officer Demetrius Hill said. “We cover everything from tutoring, mentoring, advising and anything else.”

Student enrichment activities are also included in the program to promote a well-rounded student.

“In addition, we offer training seminars that benefits students not just while they’re here, but for life,” Hill said.

For more information, contact Renee’ Hawkins TRIO Project Coordinator at (903) 510-2395. The TRiO center is located on the third floor of the Rogers Student Center.

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