Campus & Community

PBSC to celebrate National TRIO Day with two events this week

Current and former participants of Palm Beach State College’s TRIO programs will celebrate National TRIO Day with two events this week highlighting the successes of the federally-funded programs designed to remove barriers to a higher education for youth and adults.Trio-Newscenter-315x185

A TRIO Day celebration will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Thursday in the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza on the Lake Worth campus. It will include a fun-run/walk, speakers, entertainment and cake. On Saturday, TRIO students and graduates will partner with Paint Your Heart Out Palm Beach County to paint a local home as a community service project.

The TRIO programs, including Talent Search, Student Support Services (SSS), Upward Bound, and Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC), provide academic support for low-income and first-generation students or young adults to help them get on track to college. Palm Beach State’s TRIO programs serve more than 2,500 students in Palm Beach County.

“We want more people in Palm Beach County to know about the services of the TRIO programs. We also want people to know that these programs work and should be expanded to serve more students from low-income families across Florida,’’ said Dr. Monica Powers, PBSC director of TRIO and outreach.

TRIO began as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Upward Bound was created under the Educational Opportunity Act of 1964. A year later, Talent Search was created under the Higher Education Act, and Student Support Services was created in 1968. While there were three original programs coined TRIO, others were later added: Educational Opportunity Centers, Training Program for Federal TRIO programs, the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program Upward Bound Math/Science and Veterans Upward Bound.

Together, the TRIO programs provide services for about 840,000 youth and adults around the country, including assistance choosing and applying to college, tutoring, personal and financial counseling, career counseling, workplace and college visits, special instruction in reading, writing, study skills, and mathematics, assistance in applying for financial aid and educational and cultural events.

Palm Beach State received its first TRIO grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 1999 to establish Upward Bound. PBSC was awarded a grant in 2002 to establish EOC, which today serves 1,000 low-income and first-generation high school seniors and adults 19 and older from 11 target communities. The College also received funding in 2001 to establish Student Support Services, which serves about 170 students who are enrolled at the College.

PBSC launched its first Talent Search program in 2002 to serve students at 10 middle and high schools in Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Belle Glade and Pahokee. It received a separate grant in 2006 to expand the Talent Search program to eight middle and high schools in southern Palm Beach County. The two programs together serve 1,300 students.

To learn more about PBSC’s TRIO programs visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/OutreachTrio.

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