OMA&D Academic Counseling Services

TRIO Student Support Services

UW Majors Market: Wed. 11/15

Welcome OMAD (EOP, TRIO SSS, CAMP & Champions) students! We are excited to announce our Major Market Event where, every year, we host a variety of majors and departments for our student to explore their interests! Whether you are undecided, directly admitted, or applying to a major, this opportunity will help with narrowing down your options. You may even decide on a second major or adding a minor!

Save the date for our OMAD Major Market:

When: Wednesday- 11/15

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00PM

Location: Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center (ECC)


It’s a great chance to ask questions, clarify admissions steps, and get some UW swag!

We hope to see you all there!

TRIO Halloween Party

Join us for our annual TRIO Halloween Party on Monday, October 30th from 3-5PM at the ECC! 🎃 There will be pumpkin carving, popcorn and halloween festivities! RSVP at 👻

Microsoft LinkedIn Workshop

Connect with employees from Microsoft as they offer an interactive workshop on all things LinkedIn! This information will be followed up by small group time for UW students to connect with Microsoft employees.
LOCATION: UW Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB 101) – 1607 NE Pacific St. Seattle, WA 98195
Thursday, 10/19 from 4:30 – 6:20 PM at HSEB 101


Nordstrom Internship Workshop

Join us for an Internship Workshop delivered by Nordstrom Early In Recruiter, Amelia Carter.
Tuesday, 10/17 from 2-3 PM at the ECC Native/Chicano Room
Please RSVP at

Tasy TRIO Thursdays

1st Thursday of every month from 9-11 AM at MGH 171 (Thursday, 10/5, Thursday, 11/2, Thursday, 12/7)

Stop by MGH 171 from 9-11AM for our first Tasty TRIO Thursday: Pancakes! For Fall quarter, we will have Tasty TRIO Thursdays during the first thursday of every month: Oct. 5th, Nov. 2nd & Dec. 7th! Engage with your TRIO community with free tea and pancakes! 🥞

Use the QR code to RSVP or visit Please use your UW email to sign into the Microsoft Forms to RSVP. This event is for TRIO students only.

Stop by to meet TRIO staff and students!

Research Lab Tours: Mon. 10/2

TRIO & LSAMP have coordinated lab tours with 2 science research labs on campus: 🔬
1) Nemhauser Lab – Cell Signaling and Information Processing.
This lab investigates cell signaling networks to understand how organisms process and integrate information from their surroundings to sustain life.
2) Steinbrenner Lab – Plant Immunology.
This lab investigates how activation of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) which are part of the innate immune system, helps plants combat pests and pathogens.

Join us for the tour where you can:
• Get hands on experience performing a lab protocol in each science research lab
• Interact and connect with the scientists in the lab
• Get a personal lab tour

WHEN: Monday Oct 2 at 3-4:20 PM at the Life Sciences Building (meet at 2:55 PM on the main level near the coffee).

You must RSVP at

A&O Part 3: TRIO SSS New Student Welcome 2023

For our incoming first-year students, we are excited to welcome you to UW! Every year, we host a kick off event to meet you all before the first day of the quarter with fun events and food! Save the date for our A&O Part 3: TRIO New Student Welcome Event on Thursday, 9/21 at 10 AM at the Intellectual House. It will be a great chance to meet our other incoming first-year TRIO Scholars and staff. A&O Part 3: Community Connections is a manadatory in-person event and the last component of Advising & Orientation.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact your assigned TRIO Adviser. If you have any scheduling questions about A&O Part 3, please contact First Year Programs (FYP) via email at, via phone at (206) 543-4905, via text at (206) 207-5564.

Date: Thursday, 9/21

Time: 10 AM – 2 PM

Location: Intellectual House

TRIO Celebration 2023

Congratulations TRIO Graduating Seniors on reaching a big milestone! We are so proud of all your accomplishments and would like to commemorate and celebrate you at our year end TRIO Celebration Event on Thursday, June 1st from 2-5pm and/or Friday, June 2nd from 11am-2pm. You do not need to attend both events. Come to the session that works best for your schedule. As a gift for our upcoming graduation, we have TRIO graduation cords for you to pick up and wear for your graduation ceremonies. Please RSVP by Tuesday, 5/30 by filling out the RSVP form (  

We will be offering free professional senior portraits for you and your loved ones/families if you would like to take photos! You can feel free to bring any garments or article of clothing that represent you, your culture, identity, etc. (i.e., Hawaiian Flag, etc.) We will provide simple graduation props that say “TRIO works! First Gen! Congrats grad!” etc. 

Additionally, if you would like to be featured on our OMA&D Academic Counseling Services website, please fill out this form ( by Monday, 5/22. We have a page dedicated to celebrating all our OMA&D Class of 2023 graduates.    

TRIO Celebration 2023 

When: Thursday, 6/1 from 2-5pm 

Where: Rainier Vista near the Drumheller Fountain 


When: Friday, 6/2 from 11am-2pm 

Where: Red Square in front of Suzzallo Library 

Financial Literacy Month: Student Loan Repayment Workshop

Thursday, 4/20 2:30-3:20 MGH 171

Congratulations Scholars! You’re about to graduate from the University of Washington.

The world is waiting for you! A new life, a new job… but what about the student loans you need to pay back?

Student loan repayment doesn’t have to be scary! RSVP to our workshop ( and we’ll give you some important tips to help you to stay on the right track.

We’ll go over understanding the life of your loan, basics of repayment, deferment/forbearance, forgiveness/cancellation, and consolidation.

Join TRIO SSS and Student Fiscal Services as we present Financial Literacy, our student loan repayment workshop, on April 20th at MGH 171 in the multi-purpose room.

Workshop Focuses:

  • Loan life cycle
  • Understanding the obligation
  • Loan repayment basics
  • Income based repayment plan
  • Loan consolidation
  • Loan deferment, forbearance and cancellation
  • Public service loan forgiveness

I hope to see you at the workshop. Thank you. Please RSVP.

Workshop Powerpoint Slides: Loan session for Graduates .pptx

LSAMP & TRIO: Biology Lab Tour

Tues. April 11 at 3:00 – 4:10 PM 

Are you interested in doing research? TRIO and LSAMP have coordinated a hands-on lab tour with a biology research lab on-campus. During the tour you will: 

  • Get hands on experience performing a lab protocol in a research lab 
  • Have time to ask 1 on 1 questions to scientists 
  • Get a personal lab tour 
  • Meet with the Undergraduate Research Program (URP) after to learn about how to get involved in research 

The lab tour is scheduled for Tues. April 11 at 3:00 – 4:10 PM 

  • We investigate the genetic basis of key evolutionary innovations, with an emphasis on reproductive innovations, using multiple plant model systems. 

RSVP at by Mon. April 10. 

Hope to see you there! 

The Gabriel E. Gallardo Research, Student Leadership & Advocacy Symposium

Upcoming April EventRegistration starts now!

We have an amazing opportunity for you to attend the leadership and research conference: The Gabriel E. Gallardo Research, Student Leadership and Advocacy Symposium! This is a 3-day UW conference from Monday, April 17th – Wednesday, April 19th at the University of Washington – Husky Union Building. You are not required to attend the entire conference. Please feel free to check out certain workshops that interest you by going to our event website!

The Gabriel E. Gallardo Symposium continues UW McNair’s 29-year legacy of hosting a research conference and is the ultimate experience for diverse undergraduates to connect over the power of student research, leadership & advocacy.

This symposium broadly supports TRIO and other first-gen, low-income, and underrepresented minority students by giving undergraduate attendees the opportunity to:
Present research in a supportive learning environment. Participate in workshops on graduate school, student leadership & advocacy. Attend our Graduate School Fair, featuring programs from across the country. Network with faculty, graduate students, undergraduate researchers, leaders & advocates.

There is a fee to attend, but as partners for this conference, TRIO is happy to provide funds to send some of you to this! No cost to you – FREE!

Please do not register yourselves, just let your assigned TRIO adviser know that you’re interested in attending the conference. Let us know if you would like more details or questions you may have. Check out the flyer below and our event website for more information.

TRIO presents: TRIO Noodle Network: Post-Grad & Gap Year Opportunities

Thurs. Feb 23 at 12:30-1:30pm at the ECC Rm 104/106

Wondering if you should take a gap year? Or maybe you are about to graduate and want to boost some key skill sets before hitting the job market? Whether you want to travel, do community work, or get certificates, join us for this event about the different post-graduation opportunities available to you – while enjoying a cup of noodles! List of programs below:

  • Peace Corps
  • Teach for America
  • City Year
  • Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
  • Undergraduate Research Program – Post-bac research programs
  • Career & Internship Center
  • Professional & Continuing Education – Various Certificates
  • Study Abroad Office

RSVP Link:

Tasty TRIO Event: Sushi Making

Join us for a Tasty TRIO Event: Sushi Making on Thursday, 2/9 from 11 AM – 1 PM at the Intellectual House! Learn how to make maki sushi, spam musubi and more! Space is limited so RSVP by Tuesday, 2/7!

RSVP link:

TRIO & LSAMP: Breaking into the Tech & Engineering Field

The TRIO office is partnering with LSAMP to host a panel of professionals in the engineering/tech field. Come learn more about breaking into the field without having an engineering or computer science degree! 

RSVP link:

LSAMP & TRIO: Biology + Physics Lab Tours

Are you interested in doing research? TRIO and LSAMP have coordinated hands-on lab tours with science research labs on-campus. During the tour you will: 

  • Get hands on experience performing a lab protocol in a science research lab 
  • Have time to ask 1 on 1 questions to scientists 
  • Get a personal lab tour 

We have 2 lab tour days scheduled: 

  1. Wednesday, Feb 1 at 3-4:50pm: Tour molecular and biological labs with the Kerr Lab and Swalla Lab 
  1. Thursday, Feb 16 at 3-4:50pm: Tour ocean physics with Zoltan Szuts and condensed matter physics with Yankowitz lab 

Both lab tours end with an Info Session from the Undergraduate Research Program to learn more about how to get involved in research! 

Please RSVP at (limited spots) by Feb 1 for the biology-focused tours and by Feb 10 for the physics-focused tours. 

Hope to see you there! 

TRIO SSS Resume Drop-In Hours

We’re kicking off winter quarter with our TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Resume Drop-In Hours starting Wednesday 1/18 from 11 AM – 1 PM via zoom. We will be having three Resume Drop-In Sessions which are listed in our flyer below. If you prefer in-person appointments, please join our sessions on Monday, 1/23 and Tuesday, 1/24 which will be held in Mary Gates Hall Room 171.

Please bring a first draft of your resume to the Drop-In Sessions. Here is a link to the Career & Internship Center’s resources on resumes to help you get started:

Here is the zoom link for the Resume Drop-In Hours:

This is a great opportunity to work on your resume in applying for scholarships, internships, and jobs. When you join the Drop-In Hours, you will be paired with one of our team members for a 15-minute session to review your resume and provide feedback & resources. 

Attend our Drop-In Session to have your resume prepped and ready for the 42nd Annual Diversity Career Fair on Wednesday, January 25 at the HUB Ballroom from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM. This is a great opportunity to discover exciting career and internship opportunities and connect with employers in business, construction management, consulting, education, financial services, government agencies, healthcare, social & human services, STEM and many, many more! To view participating companies that will be attending the Diversity Career Fairs, check out For more information, check out the flyer below:

If you are unable to attend our Drop-In Hours, please contact your adviser to schedule an appointment by calling our front desk at (206) 543-7132. 

Noodle Networking Event: Wed. 11/30, 12-2PM Intellectual House

TRIO is teaming up with 16 different majors for our first Noodle Networking Event on Wednesday, 11/30 from 12 – 2 PM at the Intellectual House! Check out the flyer attached to see all the different majors that will be attending our event.

This is a great opportunity meet with departmental advisers on a 1 to 1 basis and answer any questions that you may have – while enjoying a cup or bowl of noodles! 

Please rsvp by Monday, 11/28 by going to our RSVP survey!

Majors Fair: Wednesday, 11/16 2- 6 PM at ECC

EOP, TRIO SSS, CAMP, and the Kelly ECC have partnered up to put on Majors Market, a fair where many different majors will be tabling to give students an opportunity to understand prerequisites and potential career paths. Get to know a department adviser and a campus resource with our OMA&D family! The event is FREE and will be providing food and giveaways!

TRIO Rock Climbing: Monday, 11/7 1-2 PM at IMA Crags Center

You’re invited to our TRIO Rock Climbing Event on Monday, 11/7 from 1-2 PM at the IMA Crags Center!

No experience is necessary! Please bring socks. Shoes and gear will be provided. Please meet outside the IMA at 12:50 PM and we will check into IMA together.

There are limited spots available. Please RSVP by Tuesday, 11/1 by going to our RSVP survey!

Trick or Treat Party: Friday, 10/28 3-5PM Ethnic Cultural Center

You’re invited to our Trick or Treat Party on Friday, 10/28 from 3-5PM at the Ethnic Cultural Center!

There will be pumpkin carving tables and candy sushi making tables available for TRIO students.

Please RSVP by Wednesday, 10/26 by going to our RSVP survey!

TRIO & LSAMP Present: Interested in Research? Join us for a Hands-On Lab Tour

Date + Time: Monday, October 17th | 3-4:20 PM

RSVP: (limited spots)

Where: Life Science Building (Meet at 2:55pm on the main level by Evolutionary Grounds)

During the lab tour you will:

  • Get hands on experience performing a lab protocol in a science research lab
  • Have time to ask 1 on 1 questions to scientist
  • Get a personal lab tour

3:00 PM – 3:35 PM – Steinbrenner Lab

Principal Investigator: Adam Steinbrenner

About this lab:

3:45 PM – 4:20 PM – Imaizumi Lab

Principal Investigator: Takato Imaizumi

About the lab:

TRIO Common Connection

Join us for our first TRIO Transfer/Commuter Common Connection starting tomorrow, Thursday, 10/13 from 12:30 – 3:30 PM at Mary Gates Hall Suite 171! 📚 This is a great opportunity to meet other TRIO transfer/commuter students that are attending UW.

You can also use this time as a place to study, complete homework and have instructional support in biology, math, and writing. 🤓

If you can’t make it tomorrow, don’t worry! We will have TRIO Common Connection every Thursday for the rest of Fall Quarter! 🍁🍂

New Student Welcome Event: Monday, September 26, 2022

We are extremely excited to meet you all on campus this upcoming Fall quarter! To welcome you all and kick off the school year, we would like to invite you to our TRIO New Student Welcome: Monday, September 26th from 1:30-4:00 PM! Please plan ahead of time and make appropriate schedule changes to be able to attend. This is a great opportunity for you to meet the TRIO SSS team, connect with other TRIO scholars and to learn more about our program. Lunch will be provided at the event! You’ll even get a chance to win a prize! Check out the details with the flyer above and RSVP with the link above as soon as possible!

Date: Monday, September 26, 2022

Event Time: 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Event Location: Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center

RSVP Link:

Husky Hangout Events

During the summer, we will have three Husky Hangouts! Husky Hangouts are weekly summer events for newly admitted TRIO students to become familiar with the UW campus and meet our staff and other incoming students. For more information on each Husky Hangout event, check out below and register if you’re interested in attending!

Paint & Pot with TRIO SSS:

This experience is for incoming TRIO SSS students to hang out with other TRIO SSS students on campus!  We are hosting a Paint and Plant event at the Intellectual House on July 20th.  Supplies for painting and potted plants will be included.  We will get dirty so make sure you wear something you are ok to get paint or dirt on.   

Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Check in: 1:30 – 1:55 at Mary Gates Hall North Lawn

Event Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM 

Click here to register for the Paint & Pot Event! 

  • Scroll down to Wed Jul 20, 2022
  • Find > Wk4: Paint and Plant with TRIO SSS
  • Click on the green sign up button & complete the registration

TRIO Canoeing:

Join us at the Waterfront Activities Center (WAC) for our TRIO Canoeing Event! This is a great opportunity to meet our TRIO Staff, hang out with incoming TRIO students and to get familiar with the UW campus as we paddle around Union Bay! This event is free, and the WAC has all the canoeing supplies! 

Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Check in: 1:30 – 1:55 at Mary Gates Hall North Lawn

Event Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM 

Click here to register for the Canoeing Event!

  • Scroll down to Wed Jul 27,2022
  • Find > Wk5: TRIO Canoeing (On-Campus)
  • Click on the green sign up button & complete the registration

TRIO Rock Climbing:

Join us at the Intramural Activities (IMA) Building for our TRIO Rock Climbing Event! This is a great opportunity to meet our TRIO Staff, hang out with incoming TRIO students and to get familiar with the UW campus. Just a friendly reminder that this event is for TRIO SSS Students only! 

Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Check in: 1:30 – 1:55 at Mary Gates Hall North Lawn

Event Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM 

Click here to register for the Rock Climbing Event!

  • Scroll down to Wed Aug 24, 2022
  • Find > Wk9: TRIO Rock Climbing (On-Campus)
  • Click on the green sign up button & complete the registration

Financial Literacy Month: Workshop Series

To kick off Spring Quarter, our team is featuring a series of workshops on managing money in your life in honor of our annual Financial Literacy Month! 

Starting on Thursday, 4/7, there will be a series of workshops every Thursday for the month of April. These workshops are hybrid. If you would like to join us in-person, please come to Mary Gates Hall Room 171. If you want to join online, a zoom link will be emailed to you once you register for the workshop.

Please register for the workshop even if you will be online. This will help with the logistics and if we need to reserve a larger room for our in-person guests. 

Foundations in Finance

Date: Thursday, 4/7 

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Registration Link:

Description of Workshop: Karen Zukaitis is a financial educator and coach of community relations for WSECU. She will be presenting on the Cost of Credit and Foundation in Finance. In Cost of Credit, you will learn Banking 101. What is credit? Why is it important? In the Foundation in Finance, Karen will help you create a financial plan, discuss challenges and barriers of budgeting and discover ways to track your expenses. 

Recording Link:

Living on Your Own: Renting an Apartment

Date: Thursday, 4/14

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Registration Link:

Description of Workshop: Are you looking for an apartment, duplex or housing outside of campus? What does the application process look like? How much will it cost? Do you know your tenant rights? Check out this workshop if you’d like to learn what to expect when renting. 

Recording Link:


Living on Your Own: Day to Day

Date: Thursday, 4/21

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Registration Link:

Description of Workshop: Living on your own is one of the first steps in adulting! But what do you do when the smoke alarm goes off? Or if the toilet overflows?  How often are you supposed to wash your bed sheets? And what are some easy ways you can save money day-to-day? If you’d like a crash course on how to successfully live on your own, check out this workshop!

Recording Link:


Loan Repayment

Date: Thursday, 4/28

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Registration Link:

Description of Workshop: Loan Repayment is an important part of life after college. Where do you start? What is the best way to manage student loans? Check out this workshop if you want to learn some tips & tricks in the loan repayment process. 

Recording Link:


Congratulations Class of 2021!

Check out our TRIO SSS Graduating Class of 2021 on our Instagram @UWTRIOSSS every Monday, Wednesday & Friday for a Senior Highlight!

Our TRIO SSS Team is incredibly proud and honored to celebrate our 2021 Graduates! Check out our TRIO SSS graduates along side their fellow Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) Class of 2021 here!

TRIO Alumni Highlight: Sarah Keo

Sarah Keo is a TRIO Alumni sharing her story as a first-generation student navigating UW and the impact that TRIO had on her academic career. Check out her story below!

Sarah Keo

When I was a kid, there was nothing that I wanted more than to be normal. Growing up in a predominantly white, middle-class suburb, my idea of “normal” was having the quintessential, all-American nuclear family – a replica of the white picket-fenced American Dream. Unfortunately for me, as a Cambodian-American with refugee parents, that fantasy was far beyond my reach.

Both of my parents escaped the Khmer Rouge, the communist regime responsible for the genocide of over 2 million Cambodians during the late 1970s, and found asylum in North America, where they struggled to make a life for themselves. My parents tried their best to raise us kids, but they suffered an immense amount of pain and trauma that they carried with them through their adult lives, leading them down a spiral of alcoholism and depression. As a child, I was the product of a broken home with no money and little parental guidance. I was horribly awkward in school, felt uncomfortable in my own skin, and was bullied for looking different. Any hope for normalcy that I had was doomed from the start.

Under these living conditions, I quickly learned how to take care of myself and so did my brothers. After my parents divorced, my mom was a single mother working two jobs, so we were responsible for getting ourselves on the school bus every morning and doing our homework in the evenings. Unfortunately, when your first priority is to survive your day-to-day, education becomes a secondary thought. And the awful thing about trauma is that it passes down through generations, so over the years my brothers struggled through their own cycles of alcoholism, mental illness, and childhood trauma. 

According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of Cambodian-Americans have a high school education or less, 24% have some college education, and only 18% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. If there were ever a real-life case study to back these statistics, it’d be my family: my eldest brother dropped out of high school; the second eldest got his high school diploma; and the third eventually got his associate’s degree. Fortunately, I was removed from my parents’ custody at the age of 10 and was taken in by my aunt. She provided me with a loving home, and for the first time in my life the idea of attending university and obtaining a 4-year degree felt like a real possibility.

As you can imagine, the moment I opened my acceptance letter to the University of Washington was a dream come true. I was the first person in my family to break the cycle and attend university. With my acceptance, I learned I would be a part of the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program for first generation and low-income students. At the time, I had no idea what TRIO was, but if it helped me to go to college, I was game for anything.

Entering the university as a freshman, I was in for a rude awakening; I was a small fish lost in a large sea, and I had no idea what I was doing. Although this is a common feeling among incoming freshmen, I lacked the same support system most other students had and needed guidance. Luckily, TRIO requires their students to visit their advisors at least once a quarter, so I was able to get the help I needed. 

The first time I checked in for an advising appointment, I was greeted by the warm, smiling face of my advisor, Ann. The first thing that I noticed about Ann was that she was Vietnamese. I would later learn that Ann’s family also immigrated to America and struggled through their own hardships. When you’ve had mostly white teachers and advisors your entire academic career, there is a level of comfort in having an advisor who not only looks like you, but who also understands the struggles you and your family have endured.

I immediately felt comfortable with Ann, and she became my go-to person for advice. When I needed a work study position, TRIO staff encouraged me to apply for a Student Associate position at the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA&D), and I was hired shortly after. TRIO staff set me up for future success by helping me with scholarship applications, writing me recommendations, and guiding me as I chose to major in Marketing through the Michael G. Foster School of Business.. 

My TRIO adviser helped me make some of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.. If I weren’t in TRIO, I would’ve never studied abroad in India and Tahiti. Later on as a Senior, when I was faced with the mounting pressures from the business school to go the corporate route, Ann encouraged me to pursue my passion for film instead. My TRIO adviser was the person in my corner who made me believe I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to. Six years later, I am now the Production Coordinator at a reputable film production company whose most recent film, The Social Dilemma, reached 38 million households within the first 28 days of its premiere on Netflix. My secret childhood dream was to tell stories and change the world. I have TRIO to thank for helping me to achieve that dream.

It’s difficult to put into words how much TRIO did for me, but I am who I am today because of that program. Working in the OMA&D office and being a part of the TRIO program, I was provided with more than just financial aid and academic advising. I was given a second family among the Advisors and Student Associates who nurtured me and cherished me in a way that I didn’t even know I needed. It was a community of intelligent and thoughtful leaders from all different backgrounds who taught me the importance of diversity and inclusion. 

For once in my life, I felt comfortable in my own skin. For once in my life, I was embraced by a community that made me feel like I belonged. For once in my life, I understood that the adversity I faced didn’t define me and that being a woman of color and the child of refugees were things to be proud of. Maybe I didn’t get the white picket fence, but I got the family, albeit unconventional, that I had always wanted.

This is all to say that the TRIO program changed my life. When I first joined TRIO, I was skeptical of another authoritative figure telling me what to do. I was a stubborn and independent 18-year-old who held the misguided belief that I had to navigate college on my own. As silly as it may sound, my TRIO adviser was the first person to ever tell me that it’s okay to ask for help. Without Ann’s help, I would’ve never been able to get through college debt-free, nor would I have landed my dream job of working in film. So to the incoming TRIO students out there: please take advantage of this program. Being a part of the TRIO program was one of the best things to ever happen to me, and if you open yourself to this program, your life will be changed, too.

TRIO SSS Celebrates 40 years of success at UW

It was 1980. Our department, then called the Office of Minority Affairs, had just received a new grant award from the U.S. Department of Education. The UW had won a new opportunity for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, students with disabilities, and students who are the first in their families to pursue 4-year degrees. Three hundred students from this population would now have access to holistic advising, targeted instruction and tutoring, and innovative co-curricular opportunities to help them thrive and grow through the Husky experience and ultimately earn their Bachelor’s degrees. TRIO Student Support Services had arrived at the UW.

Today, 40 years later, the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity is pleased to announce that its TRIO-Student Support Services program has been awarded renewal of two grants, supporting both a TRIO-SSS Regular and a TRIO-SSS STEM program. The U.S. Department of Education awards total $3.86 million over the next five years. $2.56 million will fund services supporting 300 students in the Regular program, and $1.3 million will fund services for 120 students in the STEM-focused program.

Beyond providing holistic advising and instructional support, TRIO-SSS offers program participants a welcoming community where they can find belonging on a campus where they might easily feel like outsiders. For instance, first year program participants can take the TRIO-SSS orientation seminars that help students feel included in a UW community while they are just starting their college journey. In addition, UW TRIO-SSS offers a range of events and resources that are tailored to program participants’ needs, including financial literacy workshops, internship opportunities, and a lab class that teaches bench research skills.

Participants also build social connections and affirm their identities by sharing cultural knowledge at program sponsored events. Past activities have included a class on how to make spring rolls and a hike up to Rattlesnake Ledge.  UW TRIO-SSS programming leads students to participate in an inclusive community where they feel safe and appreciated at the university. Students taking the TRIO-SSS writing seminar for new Huskies, for example, report feeling welcomed into a community where they are accepted and understood.  Expressing this sense of belonging, Zavannah writes that TRIO-SSS offers her the opportunity to be “surrounded by people who make me feel included” and she says, “I feel at ease knowing that I can be myself.”  Her classmate, Evy, adds that with TRIO-SSS, “I don’t feel like I am walking alone. I feel empowered and that I can do anything regardless of race or ethnicity.”

As the new 5-year cycle begins, the TRIO-SSS tradition continues strong at the UW, and like Zavannah, future low-income, first generation students and students with disabilities will be able to say, “I have people around me who will empower me and support me.”