Richland College TRIO Student Support Services honored six students as TRIO Achievers at the 2019 TRIO Day Student Success Celebration, attended by Rep. Colin Allred (TX-32), Apr. 24. The students honored were Whitney Boyer, Nick Gjonaj, Felicia Keto, Christian Lara, Cedrick Munongo and Brytha Nkrumah.
“The federal TRIO programs are a set of educational opportunity programs established in 1964 that enable either first-generation-to-college or low-income students and underrepresented special needs populations to earn college degrees,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Richland College president. “The Richland College TRIO Student Support Services program is a component of the federal TRIO programs.”
At the event, Rep. Allred addressed the students and other guests, praising the accomplishments of the TRIO Achievers and encouraging the students not to give up on their version of the American dream.
“I want to congratulate the students here at Richland College, and the families who supported them, who succeeded in part because of this wonderful TRIO program,” said Rep. Allred. “This program, and really the charge of Richland College generally, provides opportunities for so many students throughout north Texas.”
Following Rep. Allred’s remarks, students Keto, Lara, Munongo and Nkrumah each told their personal stories of hardship and ultimate success in a TED Talks-style format. Keto, Munongo and Nkrumah are immigrants to the U.S. and outlined the paths they took not just to arrive in the U.S., but to succeed at Richland College. Lara, a first generation American, shared his story of his troubled past, showing a determination not only to succeed, but thrive.
“Success is the biggest thing that we should strive for, and we should never let anyone take that away from us,” Lara said. “The only person that can stop us is ourselves.”
The presentation, recorded by Richland Student Media, is available in its entirety at www.richlandstudentmedia.com/videos/trio.
TRIO programs assist students in overcoming the obstacles they face as the first generation in their families to attend and graduate from a college or university. Today, an estimated 5 million students have graduated from college with the support and assistance of TRIO programs across the country. For more information about TRIO programs, visit www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/index.html.
Since 1993, The TRIO-SSS program at Richland College has assisted eligible students in achieving their academic pursuits by offering several customized academic components designed to increase college retention and graduation rates. These free services include academic advisement, tutoring, assistance in financial aid application, university field trips, college success workshops and cultural enrichment opportunities. For more information, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/sss.