Johnston Community College’s TRiO program honored four students during its annual TRiO Day celebration.
Mario Hobbs of Selma, Heven Anderson of Princeton and Mark Jackson of Archer Lodge received the Outstanding Student Award for their leadership, academics and dedication to educational success. Kelly Brewington of Coats received the TRiO Spirit Award.
Two speakers, Margaret Raynor and Michelle Atkins, both of Smithfield, highlighted the event. Raynor, a JCC graduate and past TRiO participant, said the program helped build her confidence as a student and challenged her to be a leader.
“Always put a positive spin on whatever you want or are trying to do,” Raynor said. “I’m a witness that you can do whatever you put your mind to. Never say never. Remember ,it’s not about you, it’s about who you can help and be an example to.”
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Atkins, a current JCC student pursuing an associate’s degree, hopes to transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She encouraged her fellow students to not let their challenges in life overshadow the importance of staying focused and pursuing their educational dreams.
“I have overcome a lot challenges in my life, but I have determination and perseverance, and I will succeed in my journey,” Atkins said.
At JCC, TRiO is a federally-funded program that provides counseling, tutoring, study-skills workshops, financial-aid planning and college-transfer assistance to eligible students.
In 2014, 90 percent of students in TRiO were in good academic standing, and 46 percent graduated or transferred with an associate’s degree or certificate within four years. This semester, 74 percent received some form of financial aid, and last semester, 36.5 percent made the Dean’s List.