National TRIO Day Allows UNH to Tout Its Programs
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
February 14, 2007
President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty helped
launch a series of programs aimed at helping low-income
students overcome the other barriers besides money that
keep them from going to college.
Since 1984, the national TRIO programs—named for
the original three—have held annual celebrations
around the country. Next weekend, on Feb. 23 and 24, the
regional celebration of National Trio Day will take place
The event is being sponsored by the New England Educational
Opportunity Association (NEOA) and the New Hampshire Educational
Opportunity Association (NHEOA). Len Lamberti, director
of the Center for Academic Resources and TRIO Student Support
Services at UNH, is president of NHEOA. Debbie McCann of
Educational Talent Search is co-chairman of the event.
“The first TRIO Day in New England was on the UNH
campus,” McCann says. “Now it rotates year
to year among the New England states.”
High school students come from all across the region for
what may be their first introduction to college life. When
they arrive on Friday, they will immediately board one
of 13 buses bound for a New Hampshire university or college.
Nearly 700 have registered; about 100 are set to visit
Durham where they will get a tour of campus and then eat
in Holloway Commons.
On Saturday, 10 different workshops will address such
issues as leadership, goal setting, financial aid, personal
finances, and writing a college essay. There will also
be a college fair with information on more than 80 schools.
“All of the workshops are about promoting access
to higher education,” Lamberti says. “Educational
opportunities: those are the key words.”
Additionally, the students will participate in community
service, making fleece blankets for Project Linus, a non-profit
organization that provides handmade blankets to sick or
traumatized children. The blankets will be donated to local
The students will also have the chance to write letters
or send emails to their Congressional representatives,
telling them about the importance of the TRIO programs,
which are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education
Act of 1965.
“We’re trying to do a lot of role modeling,” Lamberti
Currently there are eight TRIO programs operating throughout
New Hampshire serving about 2,000 students and bringing
in $2.7 million. The UNH programs include two pre-collegiate
initiatives: Educational Talent Search, for 6 through 12
graders, and Upward Bound, which serves 9 through 12 grade
students. Once a student is at UNH, Student Support Services
takes over. That program helps low-income and disabled
students stay in school until they earn their degree by
providing tutoring, counseling and remedial instruction.
A fourth New Hampshire initiative, the Ronald E. McNair
Post-Baccalaureate Achievement program, encourages low-income
students and minority undergraduates to consider careers
in college teaching and also prepares them for doctoral
study. These students are provided with research opportunities
and faculty mentors.
The program is named for astronaut Ron McNair, who died
in the 1986 space-shuttle explosion.
“Getting the word out about the programs is forever
challenging,” McCann says. “We feel like we
only reach about 10 percent of the students we could be
Education Talent Search is in 50 schools in New Hampshire
and serves 1,150 students. At UNH, Upward Bound helps about