Westminster’s Debbie Samaniego Named College’s First-Ever Marshall Scholar – Westminster College News

Westminster’s Debbie Samaniego Named College’s First-Ever Marshall Scholar – Westminster College News

Dec. 5, 2016 Honors Program student to pursue prestigious graduate study in the United Kingdom SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster senior Debbie Samaniego has received the 2017 Marshall Scholarship to pursue graduate study in the United Kingdom. This marks the first time a Westminster student has been selected for this prestigious award.

COE Update

The following is an update from COE:

Government Relations Update
 
Only 7 WEEKS remain until Congress returns to Washington, DC to determine whether TRIO will receive a $60 Million increase. As legislators continue to meet with constituents in anticipation of the November 8th general elections it is critical that the entire community take this opportunity to reach out to Members of Congress at home.  Not sure how to get started? Check out the resources below!
 
Here is a sample letter you can use to invite your Member of Congress to visit your local program. (Also a contact list of congressional schedulers is available here.)
 
Also, here is a list of what should be included in a successful congressional visit—from beginning to end. (It even includes tips for follow-up!)
 
To help you even more, we’ve included a sample outline of a program for a campus visit!
 
Not able to organize a visit? Here is a list of many other ways to advocate for TRIO over the course of the next several weeks—including student letters, attending townhall meetings, etc.
 
If you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Kimberly Jones (kimberly.jones@coenet.us) or Selene Ceja (selene.ceja@coenet.us) by e-mail or phone (202.347.7430).

October EOC Student of the Month

The October Participant of the Month is Donald Whitmore. Donald was a new participant in 2016 and was referred by a fellow Casper Re-entry resident. He came to the EOC office and asked for assistance applying to Casper College. As I began my usual conversation about FAFSA, Compass testing, transcripts, and applying to school, he held his hand up and said “Whoa! You’re speaking a foreign language to me. I got my GED in Boot-camp – I don’t know all these things you’re speaking about!”
I realized at that moment that I was treating Mr. Whitmore like a number, not a person. Between FAFSA workshops, scholarship appointments, Financial Aid presentations, and numerous student appointments, I was in “go” mode trying to get through the busy EOC season. I set my office phone to voicemail, shrunk the screens on my computer, and shut my office door so that I could concentrate on what was important – the client. Something I had momentarily lost sight of.
Mr. Whitmore explained that he had been incarcerated for 3 years and was released in January 2016. He did not want to return to the life he had previously been living, and was interested in the Automotive Technician program at Casper College. He had concerns about paying for school, at which point I explained the Pell grant, FAFSA, and scholarships – in layman terms, understandable to people that do not work in the education world. We worked on his FAFSA and applied to CC. I explained that we would need to order his transcripts and locate his shot record for proof of MMR shots. We then talked about the Compass test and I gave him the link for practice test and a waiver for the $10.00 test. He was thankful for the waiver as he was looking for a job and did not have the money to spend on a test. This appointment lasted one hour and 15 minutes, not much longer than a typical appointment, but he had my focused attention the minute he held up his hand to slow me down.
Fast forward 7 months: I had a FAFSA & scholarship appointment with Donald on October 3, 2016. We renewed his FAFSA for the 2017/2018 school year and applied for scholarships through the CC Scholarship  portal. He currently has a 4.0 GPA and loves being a student. He would like to graduate with his Associate’s in Auto Tech and go on to get an additional degree in business. He hopes to run his own automotive shop someday. In the past seven months he has become a successful college student, got a full-time job, got married, and became a dad to a baby girl, Natalya Rose. He brought his wife, Juanita, to his appointment today – she wants to get her GED and asked if she could “join” EOC. I gladly handed her an application and asked her what programs she was interested in…without rushing her. Both Juanita & Donald said that they want Natalya to grow up with college educated parents.

Kimberly Kost from student to mentor

Kimberly Kost joined Student Support Services (SSS) TRIO at MSUB as the new Academic Coordinator last February. As a prior TRIO participant, she has come back to the program which at one point helped her to pursue her educational dreams. Now, with more experience and a great educational background, she helps students as a mentor, as a tutor, and as a coach. In the past, Kim has worked with students of diverse backgrounds in different capacities. Being a low-income and first-generation undergraduate student, she has the experience and ability of recognizing life’s obstacles that non-traditional students have to overcome in order to graduate.
Her story is full of unique events. During high school, she was the only income in her household, but she still graduated with honors. In her senior year, she got pregnant and moved out from her mom’s house. Right after graduation, she got married and a had a baby. Today, she has overcome the odds; she is happily married and has a wonderful teenager at home. She has also managed to complete different degrees.
Kim obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, an Associate of Arts in Secondary education and an Associate’s degree in Psychology. She is pursuing her master’s in Mathematics and Psychology. Kim is without a doubt a “junkie learner”, as she described herself, and would love to pass on her love for learning to our students. During the interview, Kim said “I want to push students to be more effective… help them learn how to overcome obstacles that they face as non-traditional students.”
Other personal characteristics of this wonderful professional involve her warm and welcoming personality. Always with a smile on her face, she is ready to help students with financial literacy questions, career path, and so forth.
As we say in TRIO, once that you get involved with our programs, your heart belongs to TRIO.

Westminster McNair Scholars Attend UC Berkeley Symposium

Ten Westminster McNair Scholars traveled to Berkeley, CA early in August to present their summer research projects at the 24th Annual McNair Scholars Symposium.  They were able to network with and attend the presentations of hundreds of McNair Scholars from across the country, visit either Stanford or UC Davis, and speak with recruiters at the graduate school fair.  The symposium offered a number of cultural performances, and ended with a dinner cruise on San Francisco Bay.  This event was the culmination of a busy summer full of research, graduate preparation seminars, and GRE Prep classes.  One of our students commented, “I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with other scholars and share research ideas….The sense of community at this conference was really wonderful.”

TRIO House at Colorado State University named in Honor of Paul Thayer

I wanted to share a recent article in our CSU e-newsletter that featured a story about Paul.  The TRIO House on campus was recently named in his honor, specifically recognizing his long term commitment to supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds, including his years in TRIO.  I thought that you may want to include this in our ASPIRE newsletter to share with others in the TRIO community.

http://source.colostate.edu/move-in-2016-community-for-excellence-drives-student-access-and-success/

Thanks so much!

Marilyn

TRIO receives Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Center grants from Department of Education

TRIO receives Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Center grants from Department of Education

The University of North Dakota has once again been awarded both a TRIO/Talent Search and TRIO/Educational Opportunity Center grant from the Department of Education. The goal of these programs is to ensure secondary school graduation and increase the college enrollment rate and successful degree completion among low-income, first-generation participants as they make the transition from one level of education to the next.

May EOC Student of the Month

The EOC Participant of the Month that is Mr. Steve Chenoweth. Steve is a 55 yr old, LIFG, non-traditional student. He graduated in December 2015 with his Associate’s degree in Addictionology and plans to attend UW-Casper in the fall, majoring in Social Work. The reason I chose Steve is because he is not the typical EOC participant…meaning that I had to go beyond our usual “services” to fit Mr. Chenoweth’s academic needs. He needed assistance with things that I typically do not do – which made it a terrific challenge.

Meeting with Steve was not a typical FAFSA/scholarship/application appointment. He is legally blind and partially deaf. He had assistance from our local DVR, but mostly in the form of tuition assistance and book fees. I explained that UW-Casper offers the same disability services that the Laramie campus offers for students with documented disabilities. He had no idea – and sought assistance & signed up immediately. For the fall, he will be provided with a hearing device for the classroom, was granted longer time to take tests, and a different environment for taking exams (individual). I also helped Steve apply for the BSW program at UW-Casper. This was a 20 page application with MANY requirements. Getting this application completed was a huge accomplishment with all the letters required, and a tight time frame. With Kristi’s permission, EOC was apply to pay for his $30.00 application fee for the program. We were also able to set up tutoring services for him starting in August. Through the UW-Casper scholarship portal, Steve applied for 8 scholarships. He was granted one $1000.00 non-traditional, first generation scholarship.

Quite a few times, Steve wondered if all the work required to apply for this program was worth it, as he faced many obstacles. In May, he received notification that he was accepted into the BSW program at UWC – His dream of becoming a certified social worker will come true.

Upward Bound students spend summer at UND campus

A car wash fundraiser may not seem connected to convincing more students to enroll in college, but there is a correlation through UND’s Upward Bound program.

A federally funded program, Upward Bound assists first-generation and underprivileged high school students on the path to higher education.

Phillip Coghlan, the program’s assistant director, said the summer class of Upward Bound students held a car wash last weekend to raise money for the college visits and other trips they take throughout the summer.

“It’s just a fun way to get the kids out and involved with the community,” he said.

For six weeks, 65 students from the region will live on campus at UND and take classes. Those in ninth through 11th grades will take high school-level courses from local high school teachers in math, science, language arts and a foreign language.

The students are mentored and live in dorms with college students, some of whom attend UND, Coghlan said.

Students in the Upward Bound Bridge program who have graduated from high school will take nine credits of college courses at UND free of charge.

“It will act as a bridge, hence the name, that will help them into college,” Coghlan said.

The program is also open in the fall to 88 students. An application process is required through high school guidance counselors to students at Grand Forks Central High School, East Grand Forks High School and seven other schools in the surrounding area, including Grafton, N.D., Devils Lake and New Town, N.D.

Students qualify based on income or being a first-generation college student, and Coghlan said UND’s Upward Bound staff visits with students about 25 times throughout every school year.

He said they help those in lower grades with academic skill building, SAT and ACT assistance and planning while seniors see help with college applications and scholarships.

“It’s about helping students actually overcome the ins and out of applying to a school and how that works,” Coghlan said.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and has an annual budget of $394,416, according to UND’s website.

Upward Bound is part of UND TRIO, which has grown from three to five branches of programs to help first-generation, low-income students attend and graduate from college.

The summer Upward Bound group will have more carwash fundraisers June 19 and 26 in the parking lot near Hugo’s on 32nd Avenue South.