March 10, 2015

BY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE - More than 100 high school and college students from the southern region of Illinois gathered at John A. Logan College recently to celebrate National TRiO Day.  Participants from six different colleges and universities representing the Student Support Services and Upward Bound TRiO initiatives attended the event.

The theme for this year’s TRiO Day was “Reaching for Success: Access Every Opportunity to Achieve Success,” and Nikki Brooks, TRiO project services coordinator at JALC, said the conference reflected that theme. 

“TRiO programs are designed to help at-risk students stay in school and be successful in college,” Brooks said.  “We offered a variety of workshops for the students on topics we thought would benefit them as they pursue their academic goals, such as time management, communication skills, career choices, and others.  The workshops were well attended and well received.” 

Brooks said that Dr. Michaelis Jackson, an ophthalmologist who owns Jackson Vision and Laser Center in Carbondale, gave the keynote address.

“Dr. Jackson shared his personal journey with education with the students,” Brooks said.   “He was honest with them, and I think they could really relate to him.  His story was very inspiring.”

Cody Alstat of Marion, a TRiO student studying accounting at Logan, said he enjoyed Dr. Jackson’s speech. 

“He talked about some obstacles he had faced and what it took to overcome them,” Alstat said.  “He did a really good job showing us that hard work and determination can lead to success.” 

Carolyn Gallegly, director of the Student Success Center at JALC, was pleased with how the conference went.  

“Nikki did a great job coordinating the event and the whole staff at the Student Success Center contributed their time and energy to making the day a success,” Gallegly said.  “TRiO Day conferences are held once a year and are a great opportunity for students and staff from different schools to get together and celebrate the positive impact TRiO programs are making in the students’ lives.  We enjoyed having so many engaged, success-minded students on our campus and look forward to hosting the event again in the future.”