TriO assists and mentors low-income students

Jackie DeLaToree / Staff Writer

The TRiO is a DMC program for students that assist them with opportunities for academic development, mentoring and many other ways to encourage students to complete their college education.

TRiO is designed particularly for first-generation and low-income students students and once accepted into TRiO, students can begin taking advantage of the many services the program provides.

The program is national program and federally funded. Educational institutions compete for grants and DMC recently received grants through 2015.

TRiO provides member students with temporary loans of tape recorders, scientific/graphing calculators, textbooks, digital cameras and laptops and basics like pencils, pens, notebooks and scantrons are provided when necessary.

The TRiO Funds Program provides students who utilize the services to the fullest extent with a one-time disbursement in the Spring Semester. Typically students receiving this award are also recipients of the Pell Grant.

TRiO also provides students with tutors and a mentor who will serve as a confidant to the student.  Mentors inform students about upcoming TRiO workshops, important deadlines for the students and other resources outside of DMC.

Melanie Vanessa Prieto,a  radiology major who is going through her first semester as a participant in TRiO, said,  “TRiO has been a big guidance to me. Whenever I need tutoring I know I have somewhere to turn to. TRiO also has a close family vibe.”

Most of the staff members have in some way been involved with the TRiO program. Tamatha Jackson has been serving as Director of the TRiO program in the Division of Student Development since July 2010.

Jackson said she was a TRiO participant when she was a student at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2003, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She said, “I know firsthand and understand a lot of challenges that life gives when trying to pursue and education.”

She said she is very passionate about this program because of how much it aids students and that drives her to making sure TRiO makes a mark on students’ life the way it did on hers.

The TRiO mentors are also participants in the program like Nurya Silva, a Registered Nurse Education major and TRiO mentor.  “I love working for Trio because they are there for the students,” she said.

Silva has been awarded funds, been able to borrow textbooks, and saved money because of her involvement in the program.  She said most importantly she has received significant emotional support and has always been encouraged to move forward and not to give up when life becomes hard.

“As part of the TRiO Program, students will be encouraged, informed of resources that are available for them, guided and most importantly they will be listened to and cared for,” she said.

To apply for the program, go to the TRiO Office on your campus.

On the East Campus, TRiO is located in SC 111 (361/698-1589). Hours are Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The West Campus TRiO Office is located in ET 102 (361/698-1894) and is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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