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ASU joins National TRIO Day celebration for increased educational access for disadvantaged students


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February 26, 2016

Feb. 27 marks the 30th annual National TRIO Day, celebrated at ASU and across the nation. National TRIO Day is a celebration of increased access to higher education for underprivileged students.

Federal TRIO Programs are outreach and student-services programs designed to help low-income, first-generation students and individuals with disabilities progress through the academic pipeline and achieve a postsecondary education.

“Compared to their counterparts, statistically, many individuals fitting this criteria either do not enter college or do not graduate from college,” said Ronald Briggs Jr., assistant dean of students, educational outreach and student services. “TRIO takes pride in assisting students in completing their secondary education, enrolling in a post-secondary educational institution, and graduating from their post-secondary educational institution.” 

ASU has seven federal TRIO projects. Collectively these programs receive nearly $10 million in federal funding to support students who are first-generation college students, low-income, and students with a disability. TRIO programs not only support current ASU students, but also 142 Phoenix metro area high school students and 140 U.S. veterans living in Maricopa County.

ASU TRIO Upward Bound, implemented in March 1966, is the oldest of these programs, celebrating 50 years of advocacy, education and service with nearly 5,000 alumni. Upward Bound offerings include providing academic instruction, tutoring, academic advisement, college entrance-exam preparation, counseling, and social and personal development.

For this year’s National TRIO Day, ASU partnered with the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy to lend support to the Delivering Democracy Lecture. The lecture Saturday will feature education advocate and award-winning actress Viola Davis, a former TRIO student and alumna of the Upward Bound project in her home state of Rhode Island.

Nearly 150 students, ASU staff and friends of TRIO, including ASU leadership and U.S. Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), are expected to participate, highlighting the importance of educational opportunity programs and what these programs enable students to achieve.

“TRIO is a family within the larger ASU family in place to support student success,” Briggs said.

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