Cali DeMarce
Lake Region State College

Cali DeMarce first decided to enroll at Lake Region State College when she was 21 years old. She had given birth to her only child, Joseph, earlier that year in January. She knew she wanted to give him a good, stable life, so she decided to go to college and get a degree. Cali enrolled at Lake Region in the Fall of 2006, and she also applied to the TRIO program. Cali earned an Associate in Arts degree in Accounting and Business Administration in May, 2008. She transferred to the University of Mary, Bismarck, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 2011. Cali is now employed at Summers Manufacturing Company as an Accounts Payable Clerk II. She does all the Accounts Payable as well as other accounting duties such as Sales Tax and Fixed Asset duties. Below are the remarks that Cali made when she was awarded a TRIO Achiever Award by the TRIO/Student Support Services program at Lake Region State College.

“When I first told my mother, Jeanette Herald, of my plans to enroll at Lake Region State College, the first thing she told me, besides, “Good!” was “Sign up for TRIO!” She explained everything TRIO does and said, “You shouldn’t attend college without it!” When I enrolled at Lake Region in the Fall of 2006, I also applied to the TRIO program.

I was assigned a TRIO advisor, Andy Wakeford, who helped me sign up for classes and made sure I was taking the classes I needed. The advisor checked on me throughout the semesters to make sure I was doing okay. The TRIO staff always had an open door for all of us who were in the TRIO program, and I never felt unwelcome.

When it was nearing the end of my last semester at Lake Region, before I would graduate from Lake Region with an Associate in Arts degree in Business Administration/Accounting, I received an informational flyer in the mail from the University of Mary in Bismarck. I showed interest and sent in information they wished to review in order to determine if attending the University of Mary would be beneficial to me and the university. It turned out it was, and my advisor, Andy Wakeford, set up a tour of the campus in Bismarck, and he even drove me there for the day and helped me ask all the questions I didn’t even know I needed to ask.

Soon, I was all signed up for the University of Mary, and before I knew it, I graduated in the spring of 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. During that time, I kept in touch with some of the TRIO staff at LRSC, who were always eager to hear how I was doing. I even assisted Patty Wallace with a presentation she was giving about TRIO to the Legislature. At that event, I gave a speech about what TRIO has done for me. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my experiences with them.

After I graduated, I took some time off to let my brain rest and figure out what the next step was going to be. I decided to move back to my hometown of Saint Michael, ND, and in October, 2011, I was hired at Summers Manufacturing Company where my boss values my accounting degree and gives me opportunities to use it.

I have tried to imagine doing all of this without TRIO, and while it still probably would have happened, I couldn’t help but feel something would have been missing from my higher education experiences. TRIO staff members made me feel like someone, and besides my parents always had my back. It is comforting to know that there are people who are willing to go above and beyond their job descriptions to make sure you’re doing okay and who will do what they can in their power to help you succeed, and that’s what TRIO has done for me.”

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