Concordia celebrates National TRIO Day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 7, 2005

Over 825 students and representatives from 11 institutions across Alabama met Saturday, March 19 on the campus of Concordia College to celebrate National TRIO Day 2005.

Mayor James Perkins, Jr. was the guest speaker for the event, whose theme was “Enhancing Your Mind…Reviving Your Soul”.

“This was actually a day set aside so that all TRIO programs in the state of Alabama could highlight their two top students,” said Ronnie Harrison, Concordia College’s Upward Bound Director.

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Concordia’s Upward Bound Program presented plaques of honor to Melanie Wright, a former Upward Bound student who is now principal of Southside Primary School, and Adrienne Cunningham, a Keith High School senior.

“I felt good. I was surprised,” said Cunningham. “I didn’t know that I was going to be honored. It (Upward Bound) helps me to understand some of the stuff that I don’t understand from school, and gives me the extra help that I need. I get a chance to meet new people and improve my social skills because I used to be a little shy.”

The daughter of Eugene and Catherine Griffin, Cunningham is a candidate for Girl of the Year, has a 3.8 G.P.A., and is expected to be the Valedictorian for her class. She plans to attend Concordia for two years, then transfer to an out-of-state college and major in forensic investigation.

“She’s a very excellent student, very quiet, and a good worker,” said Anessa Kidd, Keith High School’s Guidance Counselor. “If she keeps striving, she will soar in the future. She has a lot going on for herself.”

Begun in 1964 as part of the War on Poverty, TRIO consists of Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound Math/Science, Veteran’s Upward Bound, Ronald McNair, Student Support Services, and Educational Opportunity Centers.

The primary purpose of these programs are to motivate, support, and encourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds to complete high school and enroll in, and graduate from college.

An Upward Bound Program is housed at Concordia College. Wallace Community College Selma is home to Student Support Services and an Educational Talent Search Program.

Each of these programs addresses the needs of its students by providing academic, career, and financial counseling.

Alabama’s TRIO Programs currently serve 22, 993 students. Of these, 4,686 students are served in the 7th Congressional District, which includes Dallas County and ten other counties.