Student Spotlight

Program participants come from all academic majors and walks of life. Ranging in interests from intermural athletics to volunteering, SSS students engage in the world around them. The students featured below highlight the variety of experiences that participants can have in TRIO SSS.


Kambriana Gates

Kambriana known as Kam has been involved with TRIO going on her fourth year now. She has started her first semester of nursing school with a minor in African/African-American Studies. She has recently returned this summer from studying abroad for six weeks in South Africa with the Women’s Center here at Grand Valley. Among other things, she co-leads the 'Collegiate Black and Christian' bible study on campus for students. “It truly was the constant encouragement and guidance from TRiO SSS that motivated me to accomplish many of these aspirations I had for college.” During her process of studying abroad, she received a passport scholarship along with the Gilman International Scholarship to assist in her finances. “Aside from the academics, TRIO continues to make Grand Valley a welcoming place for first-generation college students like myself.” 

Angel McFarland

Angel McFarland

Angel McFarland is a 5th year senior graduating in December with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Religious Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. Passionate about empowering the Grand Valley community, Angel was able to serve as a Peer Educator for two years alongside four other undergraduate student leaders from diverse racial/ethnic and academic backgrounds.  The Peer Educators work to destigmatize mental health concerns, increase student awareness of available resources on campus, and facilitate challenging discussions around issues of social justice. In her last year as an active Peer Educator, the group had the amazing opportunity to present at the nationally renowned Association for University and College Counseling Center Outreach (AUCCCO) Conference on the success of the outreach programs they’d sponsored. 

During her four year career at Grand Valley she was also able to study abroad in Oman, Dubai and Isreal. While abroad she finished her certification of Intercultural Competence from the ITC Program at Grand Valley under the leadership of the astonishingly intelligent Dr. Regina McClinton. Angel will be returning to Israel in January to work towards bettering Jewish-Christian relations alongside Faydra Shapiro. Without the amazingly resourceful and dedicated facility and staff, Angel says she may have never seen some of these dreams come into fruition. Angel is firmly grounded in the belief that you can do anything by faith, if you’re willing to put in the work for it, sacrifices, and situational losses included. 

Page last modified January 25, 2019