Local News: TRIO helps students succeed with mentorship and academic resources (1/29/22)


TRIO Student Support Services is a program focused on helping students who are underrepresented due to economic need, family studies, or other institutional criteria.

Senior Mya Weakly at a conference for McNair Fellows.

Photo submitted by Mya Weakly

The program emphasizes preparing students for success at the start of the semester by encouraging them to use their Academic Support System (ASC) program.

This program offers a variety of information points to ensure that students get the engagement they need on campus.

TRIO director Valdis Zalite said TRIO is not a program where everyone is treated the same.

“We build the success of the program by providing individualized support to our students,” Zalite said. ??We meet with students individually, identify their individual goals both academically and personally and build around that.??

Each TRIO staff member is assigned a personal student mentor throughout the semester.

Academic coordinator Kristen Seabaugh said staff members are aiming for a holistic approach to ensure students get the help they need.

??We try to do as much as possible for our students. Academics are really important, but if they’re struggling with their personal life or their mental health, we as mentors want to make sure they’re good,??? Seabaugh said.

Seabaugh said “TRIO staff members strive to provide as much support as possible to students without overwhelming them.”

The program has created a TikTok account as an interactive learning tool for students in the program, as well as prospective students.

Mya Weakly, a senior in TRIO’s McNair Scholar program, says the program has helped her grow in her personal and professional life.

??TRIO has provided me with scholarships, grants, networking opportunities, preparation for interviews, graduate studies and a multitude of opportunities that I would not have had,?? Weakly said. ??The advisors and mentors that this program gives us go above and beyond, this program has really helped me grow.??

Weakly said she was grateful for the program and the opportunities for first-generation students.

“It’s great to know that minority and first-generation students are so well represented through Trio, ? Weakly said. ??Trio helped me realize the importance of networking and building your personal brand.??

TRIO Student Services is located in the University Center, room 206. Students interested in this program must complete an application on the SEMO website and meet the requirements in order to be admitted.


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