For the third time since launching Student Support Services in the 2001-02 academic year, Palm Beach State College has received another five-year grant to continue the federally funded Trio program to help low-income, first-generation college students and those with disabilities successfully complete their education.
With $247,584 per year from the U.S. Department of Education, Student Support Services will continue serving 170 PBSC students at a time through academic advising, help completing financial aid forms, university transfer assistance, tutoring, and exposure to cultural events and activities. PBSC is among 968 colleges and universities awarded grants this year.
“It’s an excellent program that provides outstanding academic support to students to help them reach their educational goals,’’ said Dr. Monica Powers, director of outreach department. “The staff here at Palm Beach State do an outstanding job. They go the extra mile to make sure our students are successful.”
Student Support Services is one of seven federal Trio programs designed to help individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds get on the path to higher education. In addition to Student Support Services, PBSC also operates Upward Bound, Talent Search and the Educational Opportunity Center.
Patricia Medina, who completed her degree from PBSC in May, said the program helped her tremendously. She is attending Stetson University in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in political science. After that, she plans to go to law school.
“It has just been life changing,” she said. “It allowed me to not only get hands-on, personal advising from someone who knew me personally, it allowed fellowshipping to grow with other students in the program. I was able to learn from them and to know I wasn’t alone.”
Medina also served as PBSC student trustee for 2014-15 and was a founding member of the Student Support Services Debate Team. Twice the team won the regional debate competition at the annual Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Student Initiatives Conference.