Westminster McNair Scholars Attend Berkeley Research Symposium

At the beginning of August, ten students from the Westminster College McNair Scholars Program presented their summer research at the 23rd Annual McNair Scholars Symposium at the University of California at Berkeley.  They were a great success!  This symposium includes a number of components designed to enhance graduate school preparation.  Students visited Stanford University, networked with faculty and graduate students, attended a graduate school fair, heard special sessions on careers and graduate study in STEM fields, received graduate admission advice from nationally-known speaker Don Asher, and guidance from a panel of California-based graduate school admissions professionals.  The symposium concludes with a cruise on the San Francisco Bay; students danced and dined with hundreds of McNair Scholars from across the country– they especially enjoyed meeting the cohort from another ASPIRE program at the University of Northern Colorado. Each year, the Berkeley Symposium is a highlight of our services, and a fine way to conclude the intense and busy summer research program.

Talent Search alumnus continues educational path


My name is Bethany O’Connell and I am a 2015 graduate of Dupree High School on the Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation in South Dakota. I am a TRIO Talent Search alumnus who is continuing on her educational path. This fall, I plan to attend the University of Minnesota, Morris to pursue a four year degree in Environmental Science. In the future I hope to use my education to bring awareness to environmental issues on my home reservation as well as across the country.

Although my final year of high school was somewhat stressful, with help from my school guidance and my TRIO Talent Search counselors and my parents I decided to apply for a number of scholarships. I am happy to have received a couple of local scholarships, but the best one I was awarded is the Gates Millennium Scholarship. I am so grateful because now I will be able to realize my long term goals!

I am also very interested in joining the Peace Corps and working with youth in developing countries. If that doesn’t work out, at least I want to be a motivator and mentor to children and teenagers on my reservation. Through my example, I want to be able to model how important it is to get a college education and follow a career path that will have a positive influence on the people and community. I feel that many young people do not learn at home how essential a high school education is, much less how important it is to earn a college degree.

In conclusion, my advice to incoming seniors is to apply for as many scholarships as possible so your academic dreams can be accomplished.



Talent Search students collaborate with Spirit Lake Youth Inter-Agency

Cankdeska Cikana Community College’s TRIO Talent Search collaborated with the Spirit Lake Youth Inter-Agency to take 23 high school students from Four Winds, Devils Lake, Warwick and Minnewaukan schools to the Youth Leadership Conference held in Park Rapids, MN on April 24-26, 2015.  The three days was spent at the Boy Scouts Camp Wilderness where the students engaged in various leadership and team building skills.  They were also given the opportunity to attempt the rock climbing wall and the zip-line obstacle course.  The night time activities consisted of bowling and a movie for all to enjoy!

VUB Weber State University Instructor Receives Master’s Degree

Yulia 1 YuliasDegree

For quite some time Yulia Goff has been going to class to increase her own education. In May she achieved her goal when she earned her Master’s Degree. Way to go Yulia!

Montana Can! Agents of Change – 2015 State Conference

MONTANA CAN! AGENTS OF CHANGE ~ 2015 State Conference

Montana TRIO at State Capitol

Montana TRIO at State Capitol

TRiO Programs in Montana combined resources with Gear UP, Montana College Access Network, and Financial Aid administrators and produced a great conference April 8-10th in Helena, Montana. TRIO Achiever speaker, Angela McLean, Montana Lieutenant Governor inspired our achievers to reach for their goals and presented each with a plaque in recognition of their success. Angela is a huge supporter of the TRIO mission and we are lucky to have such a great relationship with her. Kimberly Jones from COE joined us for her first trip to the Last Best Place and gave us great education on how to work with our legislators. Great speakers and presentations were shared allowing membership to network with professionals in each field . TRIO staff converged at the state Capitol and recognized on the floor of the Senate during legislative hearings.

Angela McLean, Lt. Governor & Natalie Black, UM graduate

Angela McLean, Lt. Governor & Natalie Black, UM graduate

Of course, our conference wouldn’t be fun without a fantastic silent auction. Included this year was a raffle for a motor cycle!

Of course, our conference wouldn’t be fun without a fantastic silent auction. Included this year was a raffle for a motor cycle!

Educational Access Day

Ed Access for AspirationsThe TRIO Educational Access Day in Cheyenne, WY was a great experience. It was exciting to see people in the TRIO programs come to the state capital and learn about the legislative process.

One of the great things about attending Educational Access Day was meeting other people from the UW Student Success Services program as well as other TRIO programs, such as Upward Bound and the McNair Scholars Program. Getting to talk to them and learn about their experiences has broadened my insight to what TRIO programs are able to do for many people from different walks of life.

For me, I don’t think I would be able to go to college to earn a degree without the help of TRIO programs offered at my high school. My siblings have also benefitted from the TRIO programs where they live. I am the first, in both my entire family and my neighborhood, to attend college.

It is realistic that I can get my degree because of the TRIO programs and resources. Educational Access Day helped motivate me even more to get my degree and pursue my goals of a higher education as well as help others with those similar goals. It meant so much that we have representatives who value these programs and want to cheer students to meet their individual goals.

Victoria Ramos
SSS Participant
University of Wyoming

Access equals success


Call for proposals

ASPIRE Regional Conference 2015
“CelebraTing HistoRy CreatIng MOmentum”

October 3 – 7, 2015
Best Western Ramkota Hotel & Convention Center
Rapid City, South Dakota

Call for Conference Proposals
Deadline: April 30, 2015

Please join us in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota for our ASPIRE Regional Conference! We invite you to share your knowledge, experience and expertise with hundreds of colleagues who -like you- are invested in improving college access and success. ASPIRE is seeking creative, informative and relevant proposals that will engage professionals who work with college access, college preparation and college success strategies for students from 6th grade through graduate school.

Submit proposals by the April 30, 2015 deadline. Presenters are encouraged to nominate or collaborate with colleagues from other schools, states, and organizations. Conference concurrent sessions will be scheduled on Monday, October 5 and Tuesday, October 6 and should be approximately 50 minutes in length allowing time for questions and answer.

Start creating your momentum by completing the attached form, and email a copy to laurie.johnson@sdstate.edu or call 605-688-6653 for questions.

Online proposal system to be online soon.