Ms. Donna Thompson

Ben McCuneDonna Thompson has worked with Federal TRIO programs for over 30 years. She began her association with Upward Bound as an undergraduate at Wesleyan University in Middletown CT serving as a tutor.  She has since held numerous roles including summer instructor, academic year advisor, director and principal investigator. She has developed innovative and challenging curricula, helped to launch new programs in the state and has served as a local, statewide, national and international advocate for the needs of low-income, first generation college bound students.

Ms. Thompson has served as a national trainer for over ten years working with the University of Washington TRIO Training and the Council for Opportunity in Education. She has presented about the need for STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) preparedness for low-income students. cloud technologies, the educational use of handheld devices, federal regulations, program design, assessment, evaluation, etc.   She has also served as judge for the annual TRIO Thinkquest national educational website competition.

Ms. Thompson is President and founder of Thompson and Associates, Inc, an educational consulting firm that works with educational and business institutions to strengthen and expand educational opportunities for low-income, first generation, college bound students.

Ms. Thompson served as President of the CAEOP (Connecticut Association of Educational Opportunity Programs) and served two terms as President of the (NEOA) New England Educational Opportunity Association, a regional professional association that supports advocacy and professional development to improve educational opportunity for low income, first generation, underrepresented students.  for  She also served ten years as a member of the Board of Directors on the national Council for Opportunity in Education Association serving as Treasurer, International Access Co-Chair,  Chair of Technology Committee and member of the Finance Committee.  In these positions, she worked closely with congressional offices regarding legislation and policy issues that impact underrepresented college bound students. Last May, she was part of a panel at the US White House speaking on behalf of TRIO programs in New England.

She also served as a Spanish and French public high school and middle school teacher in Connecticut public schools for nine years.  She has also been a national advocate for study travel abroad for underrepresented students and has presented and written about the need of preparing underrepresented youth for success in a global society.  In this capacity, she has also conducted numerous study travel tours abroad for students and adults to Spain, Mexico, France, London, Liverpool, and Amsterdam.   She has also traveled to Scotland, Belgium, Portugal, Estonia, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Austria, Greece, Turkey, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, China, South Africa, the Bahamas, and  Jamaica for personal and professional development opportunities.  

Ms. Thompson has served as the Grants Coordinator for the former Middletown Foundation for the Arts and has served as a field reader for seven US Department of Education grant competitions. She also co- taught a class in Grant Writing at Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies Program.

Ms. Thompson is a founding member of the Middlesex Coalition for Children and a founding member of Connecticut’s Know How 2 Go (To College) and College Goal Sunday statewide initiatives.  She is also a board member of Roadside Academy, an independent school co-founded by her identical twin sister.

Donna holds a B.A. in Spanish Language & Literature/Education and a M.A.L.S (Masters in Liberal Studies).  She is an alumna of the Philadelphia High School for Girls and a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, gardening, gourmet cooking and international travel. She resides in Middletown CT.