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Marshall Trio Program Celebrates Success

Reported: Feb. 17, 2014 4:18 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 17, 2014 5:47 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Darrah Wilcox) -- Marshall University freshman Cheryl Halcomb is like most college students, working hard on a career path.

"My goal is to graduate with a B.S.N. and probably work at Cabell (Huntington Hospital) and to work myself up to be a neonatologist," she said.

Halcomb has a full schedule, but her life doesn't quite mirror her freshmen peers. The Fort Gay native is mom to a young toddler, and is the first generation in her family to go to college. Her family is extremely proud of her accomplishment.

"They love it," she said.

Halcomb is here with the help of two of Marshall's Trio programs. There are seven total federally funded Trio programs, five of which are offered through Marshall.

Scott Robertson, education outreach counselor for the Heart of Appalachia Talent Search Program, one of those Trio programs, said the goal is "to help individuals who are first generation and low income to get them to go to college, to break down those economical, social, cultural barriers that may get in the way. Our whole purpose is to help them take that next step."

The program helps them determine a career path, apply for college, navigate and pay for college entrance exams and apply for financial aid.

The Heart of Appalachia Talent Search Program serves youth in Mason and Wayne counties.

"We meet with the students once a month and talk to them about study skills and time management, career decision making and all the things that are important for our students. We want them to be the most prepared as possible," Robertson said.

In Cabell County, they are served by Empowering Appalachia Talent Search Program. The Educational Opportunity Center, or EOC, provides services for adults who are interested in completing their education.

The Upward Bound Program is a tutoring program that also is a summer program for West Virginia high school students in Cabell, Wayne and Lincoln counties, and Student Support Services is designed to help Marshall students with reading, learning and study skills.

All of the Trio programs at Marshall celebrated their success with a special presentation on campus Monday. For Robertson, the programs have come full circle.

"I was in Upward Bound in high school, and Student Support Services at Marshall, and now I work for a Trio program, so it's very close to my heart, to give back and to work with the population that we work with," Robertson said.

Halcomb said Trio also has been the key to her continued success.

"They helped a lot, getting in to college, and doing what we need to do to succeed. We come to Marshall, they also have Trio, so we just kind of fell in," she said.

While the support system is in place, the students supply the drive and determination to reach their goals.

If you want to find out more about eligibility or any of the programs at Marshall, check out the link here.



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