In March 2015, a small group of MSU TRIO SSS students and advisors traveled to Washington, D.C. There, they attended the Council for Opportunity in Education’s 35th Annual Policy Seminar, where they spent their time lobbying for the continued funding of TRIO programs across the nation.
According to the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE)’s website, the 35th Annual Policy Seminar’s theme was Shaping the New Landscape: Transforming Advocacy into Action.
The objective of the seminar was “…[to] afford the TRIO and GEAR UP communities the opportunity to help educate Members of the 114th Congress, congressional staff, and Obama Administration officials about the history and the success of TRIO and GEAR UP. More importantly, this event gives participants a chance to represent the interests of low-income and first-generation students and students with disabilities in the policy arena.” (http://bit.ly/1DeM9FK)
The MSU TRIO SSS students encompassed a wide spectrum of academic majors, cultural backgrounds, languages, and ethnicities. But they all had one thing in common: their connection to TRIO.
By using their stories of the empowerment they achieved through TRIO programs, they successfully persuaded Michigan’s political representatives to continue fighting for the financial resources that TRIO uses for millions of students.
MSU’s TRIO SSS students weren’t the only students in attendance. Hundreds of TRIO SSS students from other universities, along with their respective advisors, specialists, and educators, were in attendance as well. The atmosphere surrounding the seminar was one of triumph, and future MSU TRIO SSS students can look forward to attending the subsequent policy seminars hosted by the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE).