UNLV Celebrates National TRIO/GEAR UP Day

CenterPoint Newsletter | Summer 2017 | by Danielle Gross, Business Administration Analyst

Elected officials, community partners, UNLV and Clark County School District (CCSD) administrators, as well as students and families came together on February 25, 2017 to celebrate the achievements of TRIO and GEAR UP participants, both past and present. Shortly after 5 p.m., the Brasilia Ballroom at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino was filled to capacity by nearly 1,100 people.

Among those in attendance were Dr. Linda Young, Kevin L. Child (CCSD trustees), Patrick Carter (NSHE regent), Dr. Len Jessup (UNLV president), Anne Kingsley (UNLV associate vice president for student affairs), Dr. Carl Reiber (UNLV senior vice provost), Dr. Cecilia Maldonado (UNLV associate vice provost), Andrew Hanson (associate dean for UNLV Honors College), Dina Titus, Jacky Rosen (congresswomen), Ruben Kihuen (congressman), Tyrone Thompson (assemblyman), Issac Barron (councilman), as well as several principals from CCSD middle and high schools.

TRIO/GEAR UP Day is proclaimed by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Day of Service. A video presentation and slideshow prior to the event’s opening showcased numerous pictures of TRIO and GEAR UP participants and staff volunteering in the community throughout the year. Mr. Keith Rogers, deputy executive director, referenced the slideshow presentation proudly stating that although TRIO/GEAR UP Day is a day of service, UNLV TRIO and GEAR UP programs serve the community continuously throughout the year.

The mistress of ceremonies Maria Silva, co-anchor of KVVU FOX5 News This Morning, began her welcome by stating that she looks forward to attending the TRIO/GEAR UP Day event each year and praised The Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach (The Center) for hosting the event. She also offered her congratulations to those who participated in and completed TRIO/GEAR UP programs. These programs help low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to overcome physical, social, cultural and academic barriers. The Center houses the largest suite of federally funded (sixteen TRIO, three GEAR UP, two Title III AANAPISI) programs in the nation. Under the leadership of Dr. William W. Sullivan, The Center provides exceptional services to more than 26,000 participants in Southern Nevada.

Bryan K. Scott, Las Vegas assistant city attorney and president of the State Bar of Nevada received the prestigious Educational Pioneer Award for his community efforts and supporting low-income and first-generation students who seek to obtain a higher education degree. Mr. Scott is an alumnus of the TRIO Upward Bound program, class of 1984. The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority and Second Baptist Church Outreach Program both received community partner awards. Three GEAR UP participants and five TRIO alumni were honored for their accomplishments during the event. The audience listened as the honorees shared their stories on how the TRIO and GEAR UP programs positively changed their lives and futures. The GEAR UP achievers were Haley Yeckes, Kassidy Yeckes and Sierra Yeckes. The TRIO honorees were Dr. Juan Plata (McNair alumnus), Naweed Najand (SSS alumnus), Dr. Allena Willis Kennerly (UB alumna), Lashaun Limbrick (ETS alumnus), and Virgil Rambeau Jr. (EOC alumnus). The next annual TRIO/GEAR UP Day Celebration is scheduled for Saturday February 24, 2018.