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Students seek help through TRiO program

Financial struggles shouldn’t be the reason for not attending college nor should students let a physical or learning disability get in the way of their education.

“We are a success program that helps students be successful and graduate from TJC. TRiO helps students get ready to transfer to a four year college,” said Renee Hawkins, Project coordinator.

The program has been on TJC campus since 1997. Every year, TRiO gives support to 200 students. In order to qualify 67 percent of students have to be low-income families and first-generation college students. TRiO also gives support to students who have learning or physical disabilities, and require a little more attention.

TRiO offers tutoring, has its own computer lab, hosts cultural events, coordinates campus visits to potential colleges, and community service. They also help TRiO students purchase textbooks. Double tutoring time is also available for the students if needed.

TRiO is a program that is funded by the Department of Education Grant, from Washington D.C.

TRiO expects students to graduate from TJC in three years, and continue their education to a college or university. Each semester the students have to attend two workshops that will focus on several different subjects.

During the fall and spring semesters each trio student must complete 16 hours of community service. TRiO has a highway cleanup program between Tyler and Whitehouse, with a TJC TRiO sign.

By taking students to different campus visits, they can get a better feel of a particular college or university of their choice.

This year, five TJC TRiO students attended a State TRiO Leadership Conference from Aug. 2-4 at Texas State. TASSP (Texas Association of Student Special Services Program) sponsored the conference. The conference taught different activities on leadership during the three days.

The students of TRiO sent in essays on community service. The conference included high school and college students from all over Texas.

Chad Davis, Belinda Topete, Rosalba Guerrusquieta, and Brittany Pinke received scholarships and notebooks for essays they had written.

The “Eddie Anya Award” honoring a TRiO founder went to Sarah Griffin from TJC, and she also received a scholarship and a laptop.

“TRiO has helped me to be more successful in college and is getting me ready to transfer to a University, and the conference taught me

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