TRIO College Programs

Student Spotlights

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Tim Johnson, Information TechnologyTim Johnson

My name is Tim Johnson. I grew up in Portland, Maine, but spent some of my childhood in Standish and have since relocated to the incredible city of Biddeford. My major at the University of Southern Maine is Information Technology with a minor in Honors. We are looking at graduation next year - 2023!

My goal is to do and be the best in whatever I'm doing. I hope to leave USM with a head-start in the IT field, so that I have an array of opportunities at my fingertips. With these opportunities, I hope to work with an awesome Maine-based company that can help me utilize my skills - and build new ones.

I achieved High Honors last semester, so I would consider that a good achievement since I've never had High Honors before. A personal achievement of mine is that I've lost over 100 pounds of weight through cardio exercise and calorie restraint. Anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it!

My favorite hobbies include taking care of my rose-ringed parakeet, doing some sort of physical activity each day such as hiking, traveling, checking out artwork, and watching/listening to music. I haven't seen a concert in over two years, and I can't wait until I can catch a good show again!

I love that TRIO supports me through my academic travels. I encourage any eligible student to apply for TRIO assistance because they will not only assist you with your studies, but they will also be someone to lean on when times get tough. TRIO is the best!

TRIO has assisted me with studying, study habits, and keeping a pace throughout the semester. TRIO has also supported me when I had a friend in the hospital with COVID-19. It's great to have the support of TRIO services!

I encourage any eligible student to apply for TRIO because they have resources that can help you succeed! Whether it's tips, tricks, or general studying, they are there to help. TRIO is one of the best resources available at USM!



Isha Matan, Social and Behavioral Sciences  

My name is Isha Matan and I am in my fourth year at USM majoring in Social and Behavioral Sciences. I am a first generation student and always have been striving to set a great example for my younger siblings. 

My goals after graduation are to go into the mental health field and work as a whole family case manager or just work with children or adults. I have a lot of experience with the work and I feel like I am ready to begin my journey after graduation. 

Some of my achievements may not be in the form of a reward or a medal but I was able to get all A’s and B’s in both my fall and winter classes so that was something I was very proud of myself for and hope to finish strong with my last semester. I enjoy being outdoors with my family and close friends. Back in high school, I used to run Track and Field while also playing soccer at home for fun. 

What I like about being a TRIO student is that I love the small community that is filled with people from different cultures who care about the well-being and education of the students. TRIO has helped me stay focused and very determined to get good grades and be able to graduate with high honors. 

I advise students to always stay in touch with your TRIO advisor because they truly care about your education and are there to help you find the help you need when you happen to be struggling in a class. I was mostly busy when events were held for TRIO students but I wish I was available to be more involved but I was glad to have Linda who was always understanding and was there when I needed someone to talk to about anything.


Linda Trinh, Finance & International Business  

Hello! My name is Linda Trinh and I am a junior, double majoring in finance and international business here at the University of Southern Maine. My hobbies are dancing, online shopping, and watching tv shows. I am still uncertain about my future goals but I hope to do well overall. I heard about the TRIO program through my high school mentor and have been with TRIO since my freshman year at USM. 

The program helped me with things like financial aid, writing my resume, and they are always checking up on me to make sure everything is going well both academically and personally. I joined the program because TRIO was known to help out students during their study at USM and I stayed because of my kind advisor and the people at TRIO. One tip I would give to fellow TRIO students is to always reach out and open up with what you need help with sinceTRIO is able to provide you with many different resources. 

~ Linda


Aidan Ho, Computer Science

Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful spring break. My name is Aidan, and I am a junior here at USM studying computer science. A little bit about myself is that I love art and music.

Although my major is computer science, I still follow my passions and learn to draw and play music during my free time. I would like to share this quote from my fellow coder that keeps me motivated to learn,

“If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’re going to continue to get what you have always gotten.”

My future, once I finish my degree, includes plans to get a job as a software programmer or developer to support my family.

 ~ Aidan


Jadyn Cunningham, Nursing

Hey, I'm Jadyn Cunningham, and I am a freshman; Class of 2024 here at USM. I am majoring in nursing, with a minor in holistic and integrative health. I graduated high school at Oyster River High School in Durham, NH, and chose USM because it felt like home and had the best opportunities for me; as a student-athlete.

I heard about the TRIO program through flyers in the mail and took the time to research more about what it entailed and what opportunities it allowed for me as an incoming student. I have been in TRIO since the beginning of the 2020 Fall semester.

My TRIO advisor, Andrew, helped me a lot during the fall semester orientation week.  As a freshman, I was so nervous because I didn't know where or who my resources were, but he helped me learn who the librarians were, where to go for tutoring, where the financial aid office was, and where admissions were, among other things.  He helped me build confidence in myself as a new student. As a new freshman, knowing where my resources are allowed me to focus on school as much as possible.

My advice to TRIO students is to advocate for themselves. On top of everything else going on, remote learning is taking a big toll on mental health right now. Never be afraid to email professors, or reach out when you have questions or need help, especially during COVID. It is always worth it. 

During my free time, I enjoy drawing, painting, and music. I love to sing and play the piano. I'm on the USM Varsity Softball team. I’m involved with SAAC (Student Academic Athletic Committee) which helps me advocate for the student body with a team of strong athletes that make the best decisions together. I enjoy reading when I have the time to do so. I volunteer at animal shelters and give back to the community through different services and events. I also love working with Special Olympics and cannot wait to get more involved once COVID passes. 

After earning my BS in Nursing, my next goal is to work for Maine Medical Center Pediatrics. I'm excited to take advantage of the endless opportunities to help so many people with my nursing degree. My long-term goal is to go back to school and get my Nurse Practitioner degree. I love helping people and look forward to opportunities to do so for my patients.

TRIO College Programs has helped me build the confidence to reach out and join committees and clubs that interest me. I feel empowered knowing I’m learning how to be a strong advocate for others, and that as a nurse I will have this ability for my patients as well.




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