Graduating TRIO students honored for academic excellence
Students of Grand Valley’s TRIO programs were honored on April 15 for their academic successes and upcoming Commencement during TRIO’s annual Academic Achievement Ceremony.
TRIO is a federally funded outreach and student services program designed to assist first-generation students, students with limited income or those with disabilities.
Grand Valley’s three TRIO Student Support Services offer assistance to students in any major (Classic); science, technology, engineering, mathematics or health sciences majors (STEM-Health) or education majors (Teacher Preparation).
President Philomena V. Mantella and Vice President for Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach B. Donta Truss, both of whom are first-generation college students, offered words of encouragement to this year’s graduates.
Mantella reminded students of their path to their upcoming Commencement and offered a challenge to them when they do graduate.
“Be sure you walk out of this room and know that your resilience, your ability to navigate and your ability to problem solve is the highest level of intelligence,” she said.
“You have vision, you have leadership and you have intelligence. Change the world with it.”
Truss shared a personal story with the graduates, revealing an inspirational story about his efforts in securing his first job in higher education after graduating from Alabama State University. Interview after interview yielded nothing for him, he said, but he learned from each experience.
“Never give up,” said Truss. “There will be opposition. There will be barriers placed in your way. Don’t let it stop you because that next one could be the one.
“All of those times that I got turned down, it was setting the stage for the big prize. As you go through life, never give up because you never know what’s next.”