UND celebrates student education programs at TRIO Day – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – After a year-long break due to the pandemic, UND TRIO Day once again celebrated high school, high school and college students participating in long-running federal programs that encourage university attendance and success.

A gala dinner was held at the Memorial Hall on Wednesday, February 16th. About 150 students were present, as well as their teachers and UND administrators. Representatives of the students spoke about their participation in the programs and heard about the opportunities that education can provide.

“I have to say that the doorway, the entrance into another life, was through education,” Beth Helwig, UND’s interim vice president for student affairs, said in her opening remarks. “It’s really the difference that I can be someone standing in front of you today.”

Helvig told the audience that she entered college in 1972 – the same day that her mother did the same. She said it was a great experience for her mother to have the opportunity to get a higher education after she raised five children and also cared for six foster children. She said TRIO programs are also great in that they provide experience and support to students whose path to university education was different from others.

Helvig encouraged those present to have a teacher in their lives, be it a father, grandfather or school counselor, in their quest for education.

“If you can dream about it, you can do it,” she said.

About 150 high school students and TRIO staff attend TRIO 2022 Day at the UND Memorial Union on Wednesday, February 16, 2022.

Eric Heiden / Grand Forks Herald

TRIO programs have been operating at UND since 1966. The program’s name comes from the “troika” of federal programs launched in the 1960s – Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Services, now called the Special Services Program – and were part of the Linda Johnson administration’s “War on Poverty” initiative. There are now eight TRIO programs, five of which are offered at UND.

The goal of the programs is to assist students from high school and above in entering and graduating from university and beyond. They are aimed at low-income students and first-generation students whose parents did not study at university.

Hannah Dudic, a ninth-grader from Oakley, Minnesota, was one of the speakers at Wednesday’s event. It is part of the Talent Search Program, one of the longest running TRIO programs at UND.

Talent search identifies students who have academic potential but who may lack the preparation to succeed in high school and college. She has not yet decided what she would like to do after graduation, but is considering entering a university in the region, perhaps studying art or science. She said the program taught her the values ​​of subjects such as math and also improved her learning skills.

“The more our advisor comes to us, the more I feel I understand than I would like to do,” Dudych said.

Along with other students, Dudic’s program visited UND, the University of Minnesota-Moorhead and the University of South Dakota on a talent search trip. She also visited Minneapolis and said students were encouraged to study science, engineering, engineering or math.

“I met a lot of new people and visited places I’ve never been,” she said. “It was nice.”

Derek Sporbert is the administrator of the TRIO program at UND. He said some programs specifically target active UND students, but others allow his team to interact with younger students across the region. In some cases it may mean introducing a person to the concept of college, in others it means helping them get an equivalent high school diploma and prepare it for college.

This is not to say that he recruits into UND – TRIO programs are designed to help students get a high school education at any college they choose. TRIO is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, and UND supports and informs more than 3,000 students of all ages in the area.

“I get them all from babies to adults,” Sporbert said.

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