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TRIO Program helping Bay College students succeed

If you qualify for the program, you’re encouraged to reach out for help
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 4:46 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - For Bay College students Emily Thibault and Erin Stevenson, the TRIO Program made going to college a reality.

“I qualify for TRIO through low-income, so it helps me by providing me with a job. I also am able to get food from the food pantry,” said Emily Thibault, a Bay College student in the TRIO Program.

“I am a first-generation student, that’s why I am part of the TRIO program, so I had no clue what I was doing coming into college,” said Erin Stevenson, a Bay College student in the TRIO Program.

TRIO is a government funded program helping low income, disabled, and first-generation college students. Two-thirds of Bay College’s students meet that criteria. The program offers a wide range of resources to students.

“From tutoring to academic and career advising to transfer school exposure and visits and support in deciding and finding a four-year transfer school,” said Heidi Charon, TRIO Program Director at Bay College.

The program is funded through a grant. Bay College has received the grant since 1993 but has to apply for it every five years. This year’s grant is worth $1.7 million and is spread out over the entire five-year cycle.

“Every five years we have to hold ourselves accountable to meeting the goals of that grant and we have to prove that we are meeting out data benchmarks and student success rates,” said Charon.

For Stevenson, TRIO has helped her take the next steps towards her future.

“They’ve helped me decide what degree I want to go into, what course I should take, scholarship essays, applying to universities as well,” said Stevenson.

“It’s okay to ask for help. That’s why TRIO is here. We really want you to be in TRIO so we can help you get the best college experience and to do the best you can throughout your college career,” said Thibault.

If you qualify for the program, you’re encouraged to reach out to the Student Success Center.

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