Central College knows all about giving back—it’s central to the community, students and the TRIO programs on campus.
TRIO refers to a group of federally funded college-access programs. Central sponsors three: Upward Bound, Student Support Services and Educational Talent Search. With the TRIO programs spanning six decades at Central, the college celebrated National TRIO Day the week of Feb. 25 by hosting a food drive to support the surrounding communities.
National TRIO Day first began in 1986 as a way to increase awareness and rally support for TRIO programs. According to the 1986 Congressional resolution, National TRIO Day is meant to focus the nation’s “attention on the needs of disadvantaged young people and adults aspiring to improve their lives, to the necessary investment if they are to become contributing citizens of the country and to the talent which will be wasted if that investment is not made.”
“TRIO programs across the country celebrate National TRIO Day as a means to advocate for and celebrate the work of TRIO programs,” says Julia Tjeerdsma, the educational talent search coordinator and organizer of the TRIO food drive. “Since National TRIO Day has traditionally been celebrated as a day of service, we decided to host a food drive in order to bring the campus community into a common act of service. All of the TRIO programs thrive in providing support and services to disadvantaged and underrepresented students.”
With many students on campus taking advantage of the services the TRIO programs offer, it is a no-brainer that the food drive was a success—with more than 300 food items donated. With red canvas bags placed in buildings across campus, students, faculty and staff were all able to contribute to the efforts for the week.
Around the country, about 800,000low-income, first-generation students are funded and supported through more than 2,800 programs. These TRIO programs provide tutoring, counseling, mentoring, financial guidance and access to education. Tjeerdsma applauds the Central community for understanding the importance of service and the power of an education.
“We appreciate the support that the Central College community gives us—every bit of support given to TRIO programs helps us give more support to our students.”