Editor’s Note: The local notable TRiO program graduates mentioned in this release are available for individual interviews by calling Cora Zaletel at 719-549-2576. Other graduates from both schools are available through Zaletel or Gary Franchi at PCC, 549-3053.
Colorado State University - Pueblo and PCC join to celebrate National TRiO Day
PUEBLO – Nearly 100 college students from Colorado State University-Pueblo and Pueblo Community College will participate in a day of service on Saturday, Feb. 26, to bring awareness to National TRiO Day and to the TRiO programs. Those programs have been helping low-income students enter college, graduate, and become successful community citizens for more than three decades.
The local federal programs estimate that in the past three decades they have pumped more than $8 million into the Pueblo community and assisted nearly 50,000 college students. Those include notable local graduates NewsFirst5 reporter David Ortiviz, NeighborWorks of Pueblo Executive Director Lionel Trujillo, Jennifer Barela, Regional Representative for Senator Michael Bennet, and Dr. Arnold Mitchum, Pueblo Junior College and Pueblo Catholic High School graduate and President of the Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., which coordinates the TRiO programs nationally.
In 1965, Congress established a series of programs to help low-income Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. These programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the TRIO Programs (initially just three and now eight programs). While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs help students overcome class, social, and cultural barriers to higher education. Locally, both PCC and CSU-Pueblo have Student Support Services, Upward Bound, Veterans Upward Bound, and Southern Colorado Educational Opportunity Center programs or offices.
In 1986, Congress declared the last Saturday in February as National TRiO Day to increase awareness and rally support for all of the TRiO programs. Considered a National Day of Service, TRiO program participants are encouraged to perform acts of community service as a way to give back and say thank you for the federal support they receive as well as to celebrate the positive impact they have in our communities. The TRIO Alliance of Pueblo has formed a dynamic partnership with NeighborWorks of Pueblo and Sangre de Cristo Hospice to carry out our community service activities.
From 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 26, students will organize the Grief Library at the Sangre de Cristo Hospice, 1207 Pueblo Blvd Way, provide light housekeeping for the families of the terminally ill, and assist families experiencing recent deaths of family members with more significant clean-ups. At noon, participants will gather at the NeighborWorks offices, 1241 E. Routt Ave., for a luncheon and official awards ceremony that will include a county proclamation celebrating National TRiO Day.
A book, art supply, and toy drive is currently under way through Feb. 25 to help stock the Hospice Grief Library and its Kids Grief Camp. Requested items include children’s, spiritual, and grief books as well as stuffed animals, puppets, CDs, markers, Colorado pencils, construction paper, activity books, granola bars, and water bottles. Donation drop off locations include East, Central, County, Centennial, and South high schools, PCC’s Upward Bound (AB154) and TRiO Student Support Services (AB174) offices, and CSU-Pueblo’s Upward Bound (OUC004) and Student Support Services (OUC 035) offices.
For more information on the National TRiO Day activities on Feb. 26, contact Jen Haight, program coordinator of Upward Bound at CSU-Pueblo, at 549-2750.
-- CSU-Pueblo --
Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.
-- Pueblo Community College --
Founded in 1933, Pueblo Community College is a premier teaching institution focused on providing academic and service excellence to help its students acquire the 21st Century skills needed to better their lives. An educational and technological leader, PCC fosters economic development and utilizes strong partnerships in the communities it serves through its Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.