Yuma, Arizona - TRIO Student Support Services is currently celebrating 50 years of helping students across the U.S. achieve their academic goals. Arizona Western College’s TRIO KEYS Program, grant funded by Student Support Services, is kicking off local anniversary festivities with an Open House on Thursday, February 22, from 3 to 5 p.m. The community is invited to attend the event, which will be held in the KEYS building at the AWC Yuma Campus, 2020 S. Ave. 8E.

A reception will also take place on March 24, for all alumni of the TRIO KEYS Program, which was first implemented at AWC in 1991. The event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Cocopah Casino Sports Bar and Grill, 15318 S. Ave. B, Somerton, Ariz.

Nationally, the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program has guided millions of students and their families through the college preparation and application process since 1968. The federal program was established during the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act to help fulfill former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s goal of seeing that, “no American talent is wasted.”

SSS works with students from families with incomes under $36,900 in which neither parent graduated from college. The program helps students better understand their educational opportunities and to persist in college until they earn their baccalaureate degrees. Undergraduates receive tutoring, counseling, and remedial instruction. Some SSS programs target students with disabilities, students interested in STEM, those interested in teaching, students for whom English is a second language, and military veterans.

Data provided by the U.S. Department of Education shows that students who have participated in TRIO’s SSS program are more than three times as likely to earn a baccalaureate degree within six years compared with their peers who only received a Pell Grant.

Noteworthy TRIO Student Support Services Alumni from across the US:

  • Hector Balderas, Attorney General, New Mexico, Student Support Services, New Mexico Highlands University
  • Franklin Chang-Diaz, First Hispanic Astronaut and Chairman & CEO, Ad Astra Rocket Company, Student Support Services, University of Connecticut
  • Viola Davis, Actress, Student Support Services, Rhode Island College
  • José M. Hernandez, Former Astronaut, NASA, Student Support Services, University of the Pacific
  • Gwendolynne Moore, Congresswoman, Wisconsin, U.S. House of Representatives, Student Support Services, Marquette University
  • Harry Lee Williams, President and CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Student Support Services, Appalachian State University