According to a retention specialist, over half of Eastern’s population is eligible for the TRiO program without even knowing it.
Amy McGreevy works as a retention specialist for TRiO student support services and said students who are either first generation, come from a low-income family or students with disabilities may be eligible for the TRiO program.
“TRiO is a federally funded program. We’re really trying to spread and educate the campus that TRiO is here,” McGreevy said.
TRiO member and EWU graduate student Arlene Delgado said the program also helps with retention.
“The TRiO program is really there to guide you and help provide the services you need and keeping you in college,” said Delgado.
To raise awareness about the program, TRiO is hosting an awareness week April 14-18.
Heather Veeder, who is another retention specialist with TRiO student support services, said the awareness week will focus on the members of the program and their success.
“In order to accomplish that, we decided to do a student expo and the idea is to showcase what the students are doing,” Veeder said. “The types of things that are going to be showcased are the McNair scholars … and our civic leadership trip.”
The expo will take on April 16 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. in Monroe 114, in parallel to TRiO’s annual clothing drive, which is being held until April 18.
“It’s an event to raise awareness and collect donations. We literally will put boxes in every single building on campus, as well as in the dorms. We ask for new or gently used clothes for the local Cheney clothes bank,” Delgado said.
McGreevy said the goal of the event is to bring attention to the needs of the community.
“This event is the event that provides Cheney clothing bank with their donations for the year. Cheney is a small community. There aren’t a lot of large scale organizations that can provide the clothing bank itself with that kind of service,” said McGreevy.
She said the TRiO program helps to connect students to school, but also the community.
“I think it’s beneficial for students to see that they come to Cheney as students, but they’re not just students,” McGreevy said. “They are citizens of this community as well, and I think [the clothing drive] helps to connect them to that.”
EWU freshman Molly Maas said getting involved has been her favorite part about TRiO.
“In high school, I didn’t really know how to get involved in my community and now after taking the civic leadership class, I really understand how to do it,” said Maas.
As Maas mentioned, the civic leadership class is just one of the classes offered by TRiO. They encourage students to take part in a civic leadership conference.
“We had a bunch of speakers. We had senators and congressman. We got to see that they do and we got to see the capital,” Maas said.
Delgado added that these trips are a learning experience.
“It was definitely getting a perspective from the representatives side, but also noticing that we can push for change and make sure our voices are heard,” said Delgado.
Veeder said these are just a few of the activities that TRiO offers.
“If a student knows that they need support and they might be eligible, they can come in and they can find out,” Veeder said.
Delgado, who is a first generation student, said TRiO has helped her achieve success and develop confidence.
“It’s a scary experience and you don’t know much about college or the process and the services, but TRiO is there to guide you.” Delgado said.
For more information on TRiO, call 509-359-6299, or email McGreevy at firstname.lastname@example.org.