Students can satisfy their sweet-tooth Friday in Lighty Student Services Room 260W during the celebration of the 26th annual National TRiO Day. Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe will provide cake and ice cream for the event, which will be from 1 to 3 p.m.
Also in honor of TRiO day, Saturday will be a day of community service benefiting the Avalon Care Center in Pullman from 1 to 3 p.m., Orphan Acres in Viola, Idaho, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a TRiO Story Time for Children in the Hecht Room at the Neill Public Library in Pullman from 2 to 4 p.m.
Edie-Marie Roper, a Student Support Services retention counselor, said National TRiO Day, established by Congress in 1986, recognizes the success of higher education programs set up by former President Lyndon Johnson in 1965.
“He articulated the need for more higher education opportunities for lower and middle-income families, and for college and university resources to help deal with nation problems like poverty and community development,” she said. “The Higher Education Act was a response.”
Roper said because the Council of Opportunity in Education in Washington D.C. is the headquarters of education programs, TRiO Day is honored differently from campus to campus.
WSU TRiO programs, the McNair Achievement Program, Student Support Services and Upward Bound, benefit from this association by producing success stories from more diverse backgrounds, Roper said.
“TRiO’s goal is to combat the traditionally low-graduation rate of first-generation, low-income and disabled college students,” she said. “TRiO provides support, resources and outreach to WSU’s already established resources to students struggling with one more of these barriers.”
Roper said many students would be unable to afford WSU tuition without the assistance from these programs. Across the country, TRiO programs helped approximately 2.2 million students graduate from college, she said.
“TRiO has helped to reduce defaults in the federal student loan program by assisting low-income students understand their financial aid obligation and avoid unscrupulous institutions that promise students more than they can deliver,” Roper said.
She said these programs focus on attainment of a degree, provide opportunities and hope in society. They also provide tools and orientation to move individuals toward economic independence.
Roper said the annual day of service is a way for benefactors to give back to the program, as well as to provide an outlet to serve the community.
“Community service not only means our students are contributing to society but also that they are bettering their own sense of social support, furthering their momentum towards success,” she said.
These service opportunities are provided through the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) and are open to students, faculty, staff and community members. The CCE will be offering rides to the different locations. Volunteers interested in carpooling should arrive approximately 15 minutes before the start time.