Federally Funded Programs Support Students From Disadvantaged Backgrounds In Their Pursuit Of College Degree

News | March 14, 2019| Danielle Gross, Business Administration Coordinator

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2019 Honorees and Achievers. Top: Dr. Jesse Fitts (TRIO McNair alumnus), Halley Darwin (NSF LSAMP alumna), Zackary Buchanan (TRIO Student Support Services alumnus), Anita Aisha Momodu (TRIO Upward Bound alumna), Khira Momodu (TRIO Upward Bound alumna), Jennie Johnson (TRIO Upward Bound alumna), Reynaldo Solis (GEAR UP achiever). Bottom: Bobbi Jean Rasheed-Pipkin (TRIO Educational Talent Search alumna), Joyce Michelle Laygo (AANAPISI alumna), Marisa Scanlon (TRIO Educational Opportunity Center alumna).


Elected officials, community partners, UNLV and Clark County School District (CCSD) administrators, as well as students and families came together on February 23, 2019 to celebrate the achievements of TRIO, GEAR UP, AANAPISI, and NSF LSAMP participants, both past and present. Shortly after 5 p.m., the Pavilion Ballroom at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino welcomed 850 attendees. Among those in attendance were Dr. Juanita Fain (UNLV Vice President for Student Affairs), Dr. Linda Young (CCSD trustee), Mr. Donald McMichael Sr. (NSHE Regent), Dr. Deanna Kowal Jaskolski (CCSD Associate Superintendent), Jacky Rosen (NV Senator), 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 slideshow prior to the event’s opening showcased numerous pictures of TRIO, GEAR UP, AANAPISI, and NSF LSAMP participants and staff volunteering in the community throughout the year. Dr. B. Keith Rogers, deputy executive director, referenced the slideshow presentation proudly stating that although TRIO/GEAR UP Day is a day of service, UNLV TRIO, GEAR UP, AANAPISI, and NSF LSAMP programs serve the Southern Nevada 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, AANAPISI, and NSF LSAMP 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 (nineteen TRIO, four GEAR UP, two Title III AANAPISI, and one NSF LSAMP) programs in the nation. Under the leadership of Dr. William W. Sullivan, The Center provides exceptional services to more than 25,000 participants in Southern Nevada.

The Princeton Review received the community partner award for its great collaboration and partnership with UNLV GEAR UP. The Princeton Review provides GEAR UP program participants with tutoring services for a variety of subject areas, including ACT test prep. Eleven of The Center’s alumni were honored for their accomplishments during the event. The audience listened as the honorees shared their stories of how the TRIO, GEAR UP, AANAPISI, and NSF LSAMP programs positively changed their lives and futures. Those recognized for their accomplishments were: Dr. Jesse Fitts (TRIO McNair alumnus), Joyce Michelle Laygo (AANAPISI alumna), Halley Darwin (NSF LSAMP alumna), Zachary Buchanan (TRIO Student Support Services alumnus), Bobbi Jean Rasheed-Pipkin (TRIO Educational Talent Search alumna), Marisa Scanlon (TRIO Educational Opportunity Center alumna), Jennie Johnson (TRIO Upward Bound alumna), Anita Aisha Momodu (TRIO Upward Bound alumna), Khira Momodu (TRIO Upward Bound alumna), Reynaldo Solis (GEAR UP achiever), and Zayra Ortega (GEAR UP achiever).

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