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Program for disadvantaged students to celebrate 25 years at UAHT

by Andrew Bell | September 20, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.
Pictured are several UAHT TRiO Student Support Services members and TRiO Director Bryan Smith, far right. (Submitted photo)

HOPE/TEXARKANA, Ark. -- The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana TRiO Student Support Services Department has served students on the UAHT campus for 25 years.

TRiO Programs are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRiO includes eight programs that serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

The UAHT TRiO program began in 1997 under the direction of founding TRiO director Mary Allen White. She led the program for 23 years before retiring in 2020. White, a Hope native, graduated from Yerger High School in 1963 and earned her bachelor of arts degree in social studies at California State University and her master of science degree in education from East Texas State University.

She taught in Los Angeles and Texarkana before joining the UAHT team to head the TRiO program.

White said she believed in mentoring programs and building self-esteem when she was hired as the first director of TRiO at UAHT.

"Most students can be a success if they have a network or system of support, and that is what we are going to provide," White said.

"Mrs. White's statement and vision all those years ago proved to be correct," said Bryan Smith, director of TRiO Student Support Services. "Since 1997, hundreds of UAHT TRiO members have walked across the graduation stage with their college certificate or degree, many of which may not have made it if not for the services offered by TRiO."

To commemorate this milestone, the UAHT TRiO Student Support Services department will hold a 25th anniversary celebration 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 29, in the TRiO Student Support Services lobby. The celebration will include a special dedication to Mary White.

A TRiO float will be a part of the festivities during the Fair Parade on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in downtown Hope.

For more information about TRiO at UAHT, call 870-722-8248.

Print Headline: Program for disadvantaged students to celebrate 25 years at UAHT

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