Marnie Parris-Bingle has worked with students through TRIO Student Support Services for eight years. During her tenure, her vision for students remains the same: she wants to help students be successful in college, in life, and in the world.
When you get out in the workplace, you realize not everyone grew up in the same era or generation,” Parris-Bingle said. “Students need to be able to adapt to face whatever situations they may encounter.
TRIO provides support for students who identify as first-generation and limited income college students. Students who work with TRIO have access to academic planning and coaching, scheduling assistance and personal counseling.
Advising has to be holistic, Parris-Bingle said. Helping students plan classes, internships, or study abroad opportunities all adds up to helping their future.
“What are you going to have for your resume when you’re done with college?” Parris-Bingle said. “Everything you do is building to a snapshot of who you are and your experiences and how you can transfer those skills to the workplace.”
Parris-Bingle said the number of resources now available to students and how often students use those resources has increased.
“The stigma of asking for help is disappearing,” Parris-Bingle said. “There’s a lot more motivation from students who want to get help.”
Parris-Bingle works with students from the time they come to Grand Valley until they leave the university. She said building that relationship is the most important part of the job. "Students often don’t know they need help, or don’t know how to ask for it. TRiO is especially helpful because these students do not have to keep telling their stories; they know their advisor, and their advisor knows them," she said.
She said the work she has done during the day sometimes follows her home. “I worry about my students when I’m not at the university, but I turn that worry into action,” Parris-Bingle said. “I can’t sit around, there’s always more ways to help.”