Students need to know how TRIO can help

The TRIO building. Photo courtesy: Kiara Scott

Many students at Florida A&M University are unaware of some of the outstanding programs and resources on campus.

TRIO is an umbrella organization that encompasses programs like Upward Bound Math and Science, Student Support Services program, Educational Opportunity Center and Educational Talent Search programs on FAMU’s campus.

TRIO Upward Bound started in 1965 as a part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s war on poverty. The program’s purpose is to provide resources for first-generation college students and students from low-income backgrounds. FAMU was one of the first universities to implement this program.

Zaychina Nance, director of the TRIO Upward Bound Math and Science program and Student Support Services program, said that TRIO was created for students to achieve the “American dream.”

“The program for actual FAMU students is the Student Support Services program which allows students to get the educational support they need,” Nance said. “Being either a first-generation college student or student from a low-wealth background, you often don’t know. This program is about helping students to navigate their way through the university, which would make their path easier to obtaining their undergraduate degree.”

TRIO provides tutoring for English, science and math. It also provides access to computer labs, printing, workshops and post-graduation assistance. TRIO emphasizes the importance of having a support system and providing the necessary resources for its students to succeed.

TRIO also has pre-collegiate resources, including Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound Math and Science programs.

“The talent search program works with middle and high school students, the Upward Bound program works with high schoolers, and the Educational Opportunity Center works with all adult learners. The adult learners are people who may have the desire to go back to school, complete a GED, and then complete a baccalaureate degree,” Nance said.

Other services that TRIO provides are the Veterans Upward Bound program and the McNair program, which is for undergraduate students who want to pursue a terminal degree, a doctorate or a medical degree.

Destiny Toussaint, the program assistant at TRIO, says she thoroughly enjoys her work and loves helping students on their path to success.

“Working here has been very rewarding. You get to build great relationships with the students and help them along their path,” Toussaint said. “Being a first-generation college student myself, I didn’t have those resources until I was in TRIO.”

The students at TRIO are thankful for their experience in the program and don’t know where they would be without it.

Dexter Vickers, a fourth-year healthcare management student, said that TRIO gave him the support he needed to be the successful student he is today.

“My experience here is wonderful! TRIO has been the best program I have been in since coming to college,” Vickers said. “I truly believe everyone here has my back, and I thank God for them.”

For enrollment, students are required to meet one of two qualifications: to be a first-generation college student or to meet an income guideline based on the taxable income and the number of people in the home. You must complete an application and submit your parent or guardian tax forms. Applications are available in the TRIO building behind FAMU Polkinghorne Village.