TRiO Student Support Services

What is TRIO?

Our nation has asserted a commitment to providing educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, and ethnic background or economic circumstance. In support of this commitment, Congress established a series of programs to help low-income Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. These programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the TRiO Programs (initially just 3 programs). While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRiO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

Student of the Month: Deza'Rae Collins

My name is Deza'Rae Collins and I am a senior undergraduate honors student, double majoring in Psychology and Social Science. I have been a TRIO - Student Support Services student since my junior year at Chemeketa Community College, where I met Ashley, my first TRIO advisor. I joined TRIO because I was nervous about graduating from CCC and I did not know if I should transfer to a four-year university, or where for that matter. 
As an independent first-generation low-income student, I did not have the support system at home to help me determine what I should do next with my future. This is where TRIO stepped in. After meeting with Ashley and talking about my goals in life, I realized my potential to be successful in higher education, as well as my passion to give back to my community. 
After joining TRIO, I began working as a College Access Programs assistant, and then transferred to Western Oregon University, where I also joined TRIO - Student Support Services and met my new advisor, Gabriel. After two terms at WOU, I felt that I was not being challenged enough and wanted to expand my experience with scientific research, which is what lead me to Portland State University. Of course, I could not forget about joining TRIO - SSS when I transferred to PSU! 
Since attending PSU, I have studied abroad in England as a Benjamin Gilman scholar, have participated in the Ronald E. McNair scholars’ program (also a TRIO program) and performed behavioral neuroscience and public health research at Oregon Health & Science University through the NIH Build EXITO program. 
I would give all of the credit to TRIO and my advisor, Andrea, who has always believed me in even when I doubted myself, but they would probably tell me otherwise and that it was really because of all my hard work and perseverance. Although, I really could not do it without always having a team by my side to ask for advice or support, like TRIO has been there for me. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to be a part of such a wonderful program the majority of my academic career!