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TRIO works in Rohnert Park

  • Students from Sonoma State's TRIO program, gathered at the state capitol Feb. 7 to celebrate the anniversary of the TRIO program. Photo courtesy Susan Wandling of SSU.

By: Irene Hilsendager
February 23, 2018

Students and graduates from Sonoma State’s Academic Talent Search and Upward Bound programs commemorated the 32nd anniversary of National TRIO Day on the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 7. More than 230 students from TRIO programs in Northern California gathered to share and hear each other’s inspirational stories. They then marched around the capitol to raise awareness of the importance of educational opportunity.

For millions of students from low-income families who strive to be the first in their families to attend and graduate from college, seven federally funded programs called TRIO are making a world of difference. TRIO refers to the original three programs – Talent Search, Upward Bound and Student Support Services – that emerged from the Higher Education Act of 1965 to address challenges faced by educationally disadvantaged students to earn a college degree. Sonoma State’s Academic Talent Search program alone serves 1,500 students in Sonoma and Mendocino counties by providing assistance in choosing and applying to colleges; tutoring; financial aid counseling; academic skills development; and college visits.  Sonoma State also hosts seven Upward Bound programs, as well as Student Support Services and McNair programs for undergraduates. 

Gillian Stewart of Technology High School said, “TRIO Day helped me realize that there are hundreds of kids in my state in similar situations as me, which was a really empowering feeling and comforting to see.” Other TRIO Day participants from Rohnert Park included Sarah Groff and Marcos Garcia of Rancho Cotate High School. All three seniors have applied to numerous CSUs and UCs and have already been admitted to Sonoma State and Humboldt State. Coincidentally, new student recruitment for Academic Talent Search is underway, closing on March 2. For more information, contact 707-664-2359.

Historic Conversation of Chicanos & Education

Bobby Verdugo and Yoli Rios were leaders of the historic 1968 high school walkouts of East Los Angeles. Verdugo and his wife Yoli Rios, are featured in the critically acclaimed documentary “CHICANO- The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement.” Verdugo was portrayed in the HBO movie “Walkout,” a docudrama about the 1968 walkouts. Yoli has many years of experience as a community activist and in the labor movement. In 1995, she was elected Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Local 399 along with a slate of hospital workers and janitors which later sparked the Justice for Janitors campaign. Student Ballroom A, 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is $5-7 ABOUT US: With a student population of 9,300, Sonoma State 

University is unique in its liberal arts and sciences mission with a longstanding tradition of promoting intellectual and personal growth, leadership opportunities and technological proficiency. We cultivate a community in which a diverse population can learn and work in an atmosphere of civility and respect. We encourage innovation, experimentation and creativity, as well as contributions to equity and inclusion, in the pursuit of excellence for all members of our university community. See more news from SSU at