TRIO Detroit students travel to Windsor for first international experience

June 11, 2024 (Volume 47, Number 19)

two rows of students and staff standing in front of military memorial in Windsor Canada, Detroit River and Detroit in background

TRIO Upward Bound Detroit students and staff members traveled to the University of Windsor for a two-day conference, marking the first international experience for the students.

Students who participate in TRIO Upward Bound Detroit attended an African Diaspora Youth Conference at the University of Windsor, which marked their first opportunity to visit Canada.

Adam Harris, director of TRIO Upward Bound Detroit, said 11 students who met the "Rising Star Challenge" attended the conference. The challenge criteria included school and TRIO program attendance and a 3.0 grade point average.

The two-day conference, Harris said, included more than 300 high school students from southeast Michigan and Ontario.

"I was truly happy to see our scholars building relationships with international students, participating in breakout workshops and engaging in fun presentations that were presented to the entire conference," Harris said.

Kendrick Lile, an 11th grader, said his first international experience was eye-opening.

"The whole concept of an African-centered conference was unique, especially as an American where we promote Black excellence instead of African excellence," Lile said. "I am very thankful for Mr. Harris and the entire GVSU TRIO team for helping us make it on this trip." 

Sophomore Erica Brown said her favorite part was meeting new people. "I met people who came from different countries and continents, letting me know that even though we’re the same color, we have totally different backgrounds," she said.

Nykia Gaines, assistant vice president for federal TRIO programs, said this conference is one example of how TRIO programs expose students to opportunities to help them grow personally and professionally.

"Global experiences often increase a student's ability to make new friends, experience new cultures and increase valued skills such as problem-solving and adaptability," Gaines said. "I hope each of these students considers participating in a post-secondary study abroad program."

 

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This article was last edited on June 5, 2024 at 9:1 a.m.

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