Office of Public Affairs

TRIO students win national competition

Four students in the TRIO College Programs at USM have won a national competition and will travel to Atlanta to present their work. 

Patty Herbert, Amber Veilleux, Koos Mohamed, and Raha Daud created a civic engagement project as part of a competition hosted by the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), a nonprofit dedicated to expanding college opportunities for students who are low income, who are the first in their families to attend college, or who have disabilities. 

The students were part of a COE-sponsored book club, where they read John Lewis’ Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America and heard from local guest speakers. As part of the experience, COE challenged its book clubs across the country to design a civic engagement project for their communities. 

Herbert, Veilleux, Mohamed, and Daud created the winner, a project designed to respond to today’s social injustices by engaging with students at a local high school and developing a program that provides a safe, welcoming space for students to express their thoughts and listen to others. Part of the project included a poster inviting students to a dialogue series and encouraging them to “Master your voice, educate, and advocate for yourself.”Winning poster

As the winners, the four students have been invited to the 40th Annual COE Conference in Atlanta later this month, where they will present their poster and share how they plan to implement this program.

TRIO works to empower first-generation college students, income-eligible students, and students with disabilities to achieve their goals. The advisors to the winning book club members are Linda Freeman and Riko Bol.

TRIO student competition winners