TRIO programs across Maine raise awareness for the federally funded program at the State House

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 9:43 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Trio programs across Maine gathered at the state house Wednesday.

”Six different programs here from around the state. We had veterans upper bound from the university of souther Maine, we had upward bound programs from the university of Presique isle, and the university of Maine,” Michelle Richards, Advocacy Chair with Upward Bound said.

Including the University of Maine, Farmington and Thomas College. Their goal was to raise awareness and support for the federally funded program that helps low income citizens enter college, graduate and move on.

“Trio actually began with the federal government under President Johnson, as part of the war on poverty. So we work with first generation economically disadvantages students,” Richards said.

Richards said they help the students with everything from college tours.

“To help them get on different colleges to see what college life may be like” she said.

To the application process and even tutoring for those who need it.

”We work primarily with students who never went to college so right off the bat, they are at a disadvantage because they don’t know what it takes to get there,” Richards said.

They also work with students with disabilities, and some who are parents.

”They are navigating how am I to be a parent but also do this for myself and go to college,” she said.

An estimated two million TRIO students have graduated from college since its start.

Richards said they even help grade school students as early as 6th grade.

“Maybe they are in the foster care system or are awarded to the state,” she said.

That is why she says it is important to spread awareness that there is help through programs like TRIO and hope.

“We provide whatever support we can, we are an academic program but we offer a lot more that academics,” she said.