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Single Father Recognized Among Program's Participants

The Lubbock area TRiO programs are celebrating National TRiO day on Friday, March 28, from 11:30am-1pm at the Legacy Event Center. Each program will honor their Achiever of the Year, who will give a speech and receive an award. LCU’s TRiO program, known as Flight Plan, will honor 2013 graduate Damion Draper.

Damion struggled to balance his responsibilities as a single-father with his school work throughout his college career. After the devastating loss of his mother and brother, Damion had to put his academics on the backburner to focus on his family. In 2012 Damion joined Flight Plan and found the courage to return to school. He received his Psychology degree in 2013 with the goal to help others. Damion is now considering graduate school or nursing school.

“Not only did Damion continue his education when life made it challenging,” says Flight Plan counselor Yvonne Hardwood, “he did so with excellence, aiming for the Dean’s list and planning for graduate school. Damion represents everything that we want other students to see. We want our students to know that even when life circumstances and family issues seem too large, and graduation seems too far away, it is possible to keep going.”

TRiO is made up of federally funded programs such as Educational Opportunity Center, Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Student Support Services, and McNair. These programs have been providing valuable supportive services to students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them successfully become first generation college students and graduates for over 40 years.

Kyndra Brown, director of LCU Flight Plan/TRiO, explains the program further, “We like to think of ourselves as providing equal access to education. National TRiO Day is a day that allows the TRiO programs, nationwide, an opportunity to highlight their success through students’ stories.”

TRiO programs serve 220 students at LCU alone and approximately 790,000 students nationwide. Their goal is to increase the college achievement levels for underrepresented populations. Their services include: tutoring, personal and financial counseling, career counseling, special instruction in reading, writing, study skills, and mathematics; assistance in applying for financial aid, and workshops in time management.

For more information, please contact Judy Bowyer. 806.720.7496 or