Campus & Community

Students celebrate South Florida National TRIO Day at Palm Beach State College

From l: Program Grant Director Syla Alcin, Post Secondary Advisor Monica Seide and Administrative Assistant Ana Isabel De La Cruz Romero

More than 500 current and former participants of federally funded TRIO programs run by Palm Beach State and other colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations came together for a South Florida National TRIO Day celebration Feb. 25 at Palm Beach State College’s Lake Worth campus.

Palm Beach State hosted the event for the first time in partnership with TRIO programs from Broward College, Florida International University, Miami Dade College, Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Indian River State College, Frost Science Museum and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Dr. Peter Barbatis, vice president of student services and enrollment management, provided greetings and Anthony Davis, director of operations for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County and a PBSC alumnus and former TRIO Support Services program participant, was the keynote speaker.

“TRIO was a lifesaver for me,” said Davis. “The program was my guiding light, even in my darkest times during high school and college. Because of that light, I ran full speed through the finish line. I received two degrees and became a beacon of hope and inspiration for others, including my family.”

Participants gathered for a general session in the Duncan Theatre, and then participated in dynamic workshops, fun and exciting games, and built community through personal connections focused on stress management and mindfulness. They also enjoyed an outdoor celebration in Pruitt Plaza at the Education and Training Center.

“Hosting National TRIO Day here at Palm Beach State College was monumental,” said Deidra Moreland, program grant director for the Upward Bound Glades Region. “We want to ensure that the students, parents, community, and stakeholders are aware of the exposure, access, and opportunities that the TRIO programs provide for FREE to children and adults for post-secondary enrollment. TRIO Day showcases that, TRIO Works!”

TRIO programs, designed to help low-income and first-generation students enter college and earn a college degree, 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, including Educational Opportunity Centers, the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, Upward Bound Math/Science, Veterans Upward Bound and others. There are more than 2,700 TRIO Programs currently serving nearly 866,000 low-income youth and adults nationwide. Services include assistance choosing and applying to college, tutoring, personal and financial counseling, career counseling, college visits and others.

On Feb. 24, 1986, a congressional resolution declared that Saturday, Feb. 28, 1986, should be designated as “National TRIO Day” to commemorate the annual achievements of the federal TRIO programs. Every year since then, communities have reserved the fourth Saturday in February as National TRIO Day.

TRIO programs at PBSC serve over 3,400 students in Palm Beach County! For more information, visit

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