On Saturday, February 22, 2014, Skyline College hosted this year’s National TRiO Day in partnership with Cañada College’s TRiO SSS program and Upward Bound program.  The event was a success hosting close to 200 students, staff, and faculty in Building 6.  This student led event was comprised of student selected workshops, guest speakers, keynote speaker, and activities throughout the day.  The theme of this year’s event was A Day of Service and students contributed to a can food drive that went to support the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Group1650Workshops consisted of two alumni panels covering Transition to College and Study Abroad.  In addition, workshops focusing on Financial Literacy, Financial Aid, Leadership & Service, and Taking the “Pro” out of Procrastination were facilitated by Melanie Espinueva, Jose Milan, Anthony Heimuli, and Nate Nevado respectively.

dininghall650The day was kicked off by a short history of TRiO programs, which were created in the 1960’s in response to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty and an encouraging welcome by President Regina Stanback Stroud.  Following Dr. Stroud was a general session on Internships and Volunteer work facilitated by Alex Jones, Job Developer with Workability III and Career Counselor.

TRiO students benefited from the lunch-time College and Program Showcase.  We had a number of universities table during this lunch hour, including San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, Sonoma State University, and Notre Dame de Namur.  We also had programs such as Financial Aid, Sparkpoint at Skyline College, A2B, CIPHER, and the Transfer Articulation Bridge present.

This year’s keynote speaker was Leopoldo Rosales, a TRiO alum and former member of the Warner Bros. group, Malo that toured and appeared on shows such as American Bandstand.  With hit songs such as Suavecito, Leo recounted his path from upbringing and stardom to the lowest of lows, and finally graduating Skyline College with honorsand now being an elite marathon runner. You can see a video of Leo performing Suavecito at the age of 18 as the lead singer and drummer on this clip filmed in Vancouver Canada in 1972: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwmtbLJdKvI

loe-vanessa - CopyLeo was appreciative of the opportunity to speak to our high school and college TRiO students. “I can’t stop thinking about the conference. I feel like I’m still there talking to the students. I’m finding so much more depth in my story. My mind and spirit keep recalling events that were so tough and I’m finding meaning in them like an equation that I am finally understanding. Believe me when I tell you that when I talk to the students, one more piece of my broken heart gets healed and mended back into the whole.  Thank you again for trusting me with your students.”

Leo’s note is an indicator of how genuine and transparent he is and was at the conference to our students. There was a line of students waiting to speak with him about how he touched on things that the students themselves are going through and how they too can find meaning and success in their path to graduation and transfer.

counselors1-650We’d like to thank the Financial Aid Office, the Skyline College Bookstore, and the Office of the Vice President for their support in this event.  Additionally, this event would not have been possible without the help of our TRiO student leaders who helped plan and facilitated the event, and the TRiO staff and faculty that helped organize and provide leadership for our students.

Article by Nohel Corral | Photos by Raul Guerra and Felix Perez