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BCCC TRiO presents Director’s Award for the second year

Graduation season has descended on Beaufort County Community College. As students celebrate the end of the semester, or celebrate moving on to another college or the workforce, one group said goodbye to a year of shared experiences. TRiO/Student Support Services, a nationwide tutoring, personal enrichment and support program, gave out awards, and brought students and faculty together who have helped make the road to success easier for their students.

TRiO participants receive academic tutoring and guidance, financial counseling and assistance with transfer. TRiO/SSS also provides career preparation, cultural enrichment activities and leadership development.

This year, Student Support Services director Dorothy Jordan awarded the Spirit of TRiO Director’s Award, only the second time she has ever done so, to Daniela Sebastian. Jordan presented the award to Sebastian for extraordinary spirit, fortitude and determination. She has helped other students, participated in the Gamma Beta Phi honor society, served as secretary for the Student Government Association and worked at the campus switchboard. She will attend North Park University in Chicago and plans to go to law school.

“She is driven by her spirit of caring for others and, in her own humble way, would like to be a role model for others to pursue a better life,” said Jordan. “She plows through obstacles and is brave enough to think outside the box. She has grown into a leader who is determined and willing to do the necessary work as she pursues her goals. But the special thing about Daniela is her heart and her spirit.”

Students with superior participation in TRiO programs or academic success received awards, as well. Participants from the program who graduating on Friday, May 11, received red cords to wear at the commencement exercise.

First-generation college students, low-income students and students with disabilities are eligible to participate in TRiO. Many of these students face obstacles while striving to get their education.

TRiO operates a resource center that includes a computer lab, and makes textbooks and laptops available to students. Students receive academic coaching, and learn to navigate web-based components of their classes. TRiO puts on regular workshops such as ‘Tech Tuesdays,’ which tackles basic technological topics the students face, and ‘Transfer Thursdays,’ which focuses on the requirements students must meet before advancing to another college.

The students travel together to visit other college campuses such as Elizabeth City State University or Pitt Community College where they meet other TRiO participants. Visits to four-year universities such as University of North Carolina-Wilmington or NC State University help students make informed choices about college transfer. BCCC graduate and TRiO participant Tasha Spencer offered to lead a tour of her new campus, East Carolina University.

Students using TRiO are more than twice as likely to remain in college as those students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in the program. TRiO serves students at 938 colleges and universities nationwide.