Program offers tutoring and other student support services.
Johnston Community College's TRiO program honored four students with awards March 31 at its annual TRiO Day celebration.
The students were honored for their leadership, academics, and dedication to educational success. This year's recipients of outstanding student awards are Mario Hobbs of Selma, Heven Anderson of Princeton, and Mark Jackson of Archer Lodge. Kelly Brewington of Coats received the TRiO spirit award.
Two speakers, Margaret Raynor and Michelle Atkins, both of Smithfield, highlighted the event. Raynor, a JCC graduate and past TRiO participant, said the program helped build her confidence as a student and challenged her to be a leader.
"Always put a positive spin on whatever you want or are trying to do," Raynor said. "I'm a witness that you can do whatever you put your mind to. Never say never. Remember it's not about you, it's about who you can help and be an example to."
Michelle Atkins, current JCC student pursing an associate in arts degree, hopes to transfer and earn a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She encouraged her fellow students to not let their challenges in life overshadow the importance of staying focused and pursuing their educational dreams. "I have overcome a lot challenges in my life, but I have determination and perserverance, and I will succeed in my journey."
At JCC, TRiO is a federally-funded program offered through the college's Student Support Services department of the Student Services division.
The program provides counseling and tutoring as well as offers study skills workshops, financial aid planning, and college transfer assistance to eligible students. Currently, SSS serves approximately 160 students, most of whom are first-generation, low-income college students. Initially funded in 2001, SSS is a federally-funded program through the U.S. Department of Education.
In 2014, 90 percent of students in TRiO were in good academic standing, 46 percent of TRiO students graduated or transferred with an associate's degree or certificate within four years, 74 percent of TRiO students enrolled this semester received some form of financial aid, and 36.5% of TRiO students made the dean's list last semester.
Cut line: Pictured from left are TRiO student award winners Heven Anderson, Kelly Brewington, Mark Jackson, and Mario Hobbs.