UM to Celebrate National TRiO Day

February 14, 2018

MISSOULA – The University of Montana will celebrate the lives transformed by TRiO programs during the 2018 National TRiO Day of Service from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, in the Emma Lommasson Center Room 154.

For millions of students from low-income families who strive to be first in their families to attend and graduate college, seven federally funded programs called TRiO are making a world of difference. For over 50 years, TRiO programs have provided valuable supportive services to students from poor and working families to successfully enter college and graduate. National TRiO Day provides an opportunity for students, professionals, alumni and affiliates to come together and give back to the community.

“TRiO has been a massive help to my success at UM,” said UM student Josh Meagher “Learning Strategies for Higher Education was helpful in getting me back into the mindset of being a student after nine years out of school. I am also incredibly thankful for the insightful advising, the book loan program, tutoring and printing TRiO has to offer.”

This year, TRiO Student Support Services at UM will host a local food drive benefiting Missoula Food Bank. Participants should bring nonperishable items as donations. The event will include a photo booth to commemorate TRiO Day; testimonials of firsthand accounts of TRiO successes; networking opportunities to meet other students, alumni and staff; a donation box for Missoula Food Bank; and snacks and beverages.

TRiO is comprised of a set of seven college-based educational opportunity outreach programs that motivate and support students from low-income backgrounds, including military veterans and students with disabilities. TRiO provides academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance and more to 828,000 students from middle school through postgraduate study. An estimated 5 million students have graduated from college with the support and assistance of TRiO programs across the country.

Cierra Anderson, a UM student who plans to enter the master’s program in economics, said TRiO has helped her study for the GRE, look into graduate programs and complete a 27-credit course load with a 3.46 GPA.

“I am taking 28 credits this semester – insane I know! – and without the TRiO services I wouldn’t be successful,” Anderson said. “TRiO helps me to maintain my sanity and helps me to manage my time well.”

Statewide, TRiO programs serve 5,875 Montana students with funding around $7.3 million. UM is a host institution for two TRiO programs: TRiO Student Support Services and Upward Bound. TRiO SSS, on the UM campus since 1978, serves 375 students annually. Upward Bound, in its 52nd year, serves 77 high school students from Missoula Hellgate, Big Sky and Browning high schools.

To learn more about each federal TRiO program, visit For more information about UM’s TRiO Student Support Services, call Director Darlene Samson at 406-243-4199 or email


Contact: Darlene Samson, UM TRiO Student Support Services director, 406-243-4199,