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TRIO Week Draws Alumni for Candid Talk About Success

Students and graduates from Georgian Court University this week are participating in various activities leading up to the 2020 National TRIO Day of Service on Saturday, February 22.

As part of TRIO Week at GCU, alumni of the program joined current students for a candid conversation about their success. They also offered advice on everything from study habits and campus involvement to how to prepare for life after college. Excerpts from TRIO alumni follow below.

Coping When College Gets Tough

Find your secret spot on campus and go there—a place where you can feel like you’re in a safe space. Maybe it’s just you and the people you feel comfortable with; it comes down to making time for yourself.

Alexis R. Jenkins ’17

Manage your time. Always think about what you need to get done today and what you want the evening to be like. Avoid distractions.

Ayo Adebayo ’18

Stay on top of your stuff. Watch your credits and look at your transcript. Ask your advisor questions. Pay attention to any requirements in your major. These are the things that will help make your path to graduation smoother.

Harley Suter ’19

TRIO-SSS and GCU Make a Difference

Georgian Court prepares you—all of you: academically, professionally, personally. This place prides itself on service and demonstrates that in ways I haven’t seen at other institutions . . . and I’ve seen a lot of institutions. Because I encountered that commitment to service here, I work hard to serve my own students now. It wouldn’t be that way if not for the service learning I did at GCU. 

Alexis R. Jenkins ’17

My experience here influences me as someone who is focused on giving back. That’s the difference for me. I find myself always looking for the bright side, the positive side.

Ayo Adebayo ’18

There are many offices and options at GCU for getting help if you need. The Counseling Center is there, but so is the TRIO-SSS staff; 9 times out 10 they’ve seen someone else with your problem and they’re here for you. They’re here to help.

Harley Suter ’19

TRIO Observances Nationwide

TRIO Week and the nationally observed TRIO Day drive support and awareness for several federal programs, including Georgian Court’s own Student Support Services. The campus marks the week this year with several activities, including service projects and widespread use of the social media hashtags #TRIOWORKS and #NationalTRIODay

Nationally, the seven federally funded programs that comprise TRIO assist students from low-income families who strive to be the first in their families to attend and graduate from college. The programs are not limited to helping students overcome financial barriers only, but rather, deliver a range of other support services—tutoring, workshops, cultural events, academic counseling and more. More than 800,000 students participate in TRIO programs.

According to the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), National TRIO Day “is meant to focus the nation’s attention on the needs of disadvantaged young people and adults aspiring to improve their lives if they are to become contributing citizens of the country, and to the talent which will be wasted if that investment is not made.” 

About TRIO Day

Enacted by a Congressional Resolution in 1986, National TRIO Day is a call to citizens from all walks of life to come together to promote educational access and success in communities where TRIO Programs continue to create change. By providing students, professionals, alumni and affiliates the chance to contribute through community service, TRIO Day celebrates the lives that have been transformed by college access and success. Nationwide, TRIO programs serve more than 800,000 students in nearly 3,000 programs at institutions that make higher education a reality for students who are often the first members of their family to enroll in and graduate from college. 

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, GCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.