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During the academic year, Southeast Missouri State University's student-led publication, the Arrow, contributes campus news for KRCU's digital and broadcast audience.

TRIO Program at Southeast Helps Students Succeed With Mentoring And Academic Resources

Senior Mya Weakly, seen here, at a conference for McNair Scholars.
Photo submitted by Mya Weakly, courtesy of The Southeast Arrow
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Senior Mya Weakly at a conference for McNair Scholars.

TRIO Student Support Services is a program focused on assisting under-represented college students due to economic need, family educational background or other institutional criteria.

The program focuses on setting students up for success at the beginning of the semester by encouraging students to utilize their Academic Support System (ASC) Program.

This program provides a variety of informational outlets to ensure students are getting the engagement they need on campus.

TRIO Director Valdis Zalite said TRIO isn’t a program where everyone is treated the same.

“We build success in the program by providing individualized support for our students,'' Zalite said. “We meet individually with the students, identify their individual goals both academic and personal and build around that.”

Each staff member of TRIO is assigned students to personally mentor throughout the semester.

Academic coordinator Kristen Seabaugh said staff members aim for a holistic approach to ensuring students get the help they need.

“We try to do as much as possible for our students. Academics is really important, but if they’re struggling with their personal life or mental health, we as mentors want to make sure they’re good,” Seabaugh said.

Seabaugh stated, “staff members of TRIO strive to give as much support as possible to students without overwhelming them.”

The program created a TikTok account as an interactive learning tool for students in the program, as well as potential students.

Mya Weakly, a senior in the McNair Scholar Program of TRIO, says the program helped her evolve in her personal and professional life.

“TRIO has provided me with scholarships, grants, networking opportunities, preparation for interviews, graduate school and a multitude of opportunities that I wouldn’t have had,” Weakly said. “The advisors and mentors that this program provides for us go above and beyond, this program has really helped me grow.”

Weakly said she is grateful for the program and the opportunities first-generation students are provided with.

“It feels great to know that minority and first-generation students are represented so well because of Trio,” Weakly said. “Trio has helped me realize the importance of networking and building your personal brand.”

TRIO Student Services is located in the University Center, room 206. Students interested in this program must fill out an application on SEMO’s website and meet the requirements in order to be admitted.