The University of California, Riverside will continue to help underserved students succeed in college with the assistance of a $1.1 million Student Support Services grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This is the second time UCR has been awarded this competitive grant, which will disbursed over the next five years.
The Student Support Services (SSS) grant, known as the TRIO Scholars Program at UCR, is a federally funded grant program which provides outreach and services to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, low income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with physical or learning disabilities. The program goals are to improve retention and graduation rates.
“For me,” said participant Arlene Padilla, “TRIO means having a support system that also serves as a second family on campus. They provide such great services that have made my college experience that much more enjoyable and hassle free.”
The TRIO Scholars program offers 140 participants a year academic, social, personal, and career advising and support, from program entry until graduation. Participants can access priority registration, a computer workstation, printing, workshops, academic advising, career counseling, information about financial aid and financial literacy, leadership development, and other resources.
Alicia Velazquez, executive director of the Educational and Community Outreach Programs at UC Riverside, was grateful for the renewed funding. “Having the Student Support Services (TRIO Scholars Program) grant on campus is a real honor. I look forward to continuing to provide supplemental services to 140 UCR students,” she said.
Brighitte Preciado, director of the SSS TRIO Scholars Program, sees it as an opportunity to impact many more lives in direct, meaningful ways. “Beyond the tangible benefits,” she said, “my hope for our TRIO Scholars is that they will develop a sense of community and find a strong support system. I am excited to be able to support UCR students through their collegiate journeys with the help of this grant.”
Student voices echo the importance of the academic and social support. “TRIO is an opportunity – a space for personal, academic, and social growth,” said participant Tevin Bui. “It offers resources to support their students and a sense of community that facilitates their growth. To its present and former scholars, TRIO is and will always be our home away from home.”
Programs like this are great examples of the Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar by demonstrating that we are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.
The TRIO Scholars Program is open to eligible undergraduate students in all levels. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Students interested in applying may obtain and submit an application at the TRIO Scholars Office, HUB 261. For more information, interested students can call (951) 827-6195.
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