Fort Scott Community College’s TRIO Program helps first generation college students graduate

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FORT SCOTT, Kans. — It’s always easier to achieve a difficult goal if you know someone else that’s accomplished it themselves.

But what if you don’t? That’s the purpose of a program on many college and university campuses.

What do Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton all share in common? They were the first members of their family to graduate from college.

Helping first generation students to do the same thing on the campus of Fort Scott Community College is the purpose of the TRIO Program. Stefan Ferrara can’t say enough about the impact the TRIO Program, and the people who staff it, have made in his efforts to some day become a pilot.

“It’s amazing because not only do they help you with the academics and everything, they help you with your mental too, you go to them, you can talk to them, it’s been days I’ve been in there for hours, just talking to them, it’s like a family as well, the TRIO Program keeps you going, keeps you motivated,” said Stefan Ferrara, Fort Scott Comm. College Student.

“Supporting them with advising, tutoring, career counseling, transfer advising, we go on campus and cultural events with them to show them what is available to them,” said Stacy Bishop, Fort Scott Community College TRIO Program.

“They also help me get out of my comfort zone and everything else, and they let me speak to them if I have any problems,” said Kenna Snyder, Fort Scott Community College Student.

“If you haven’t had a parent or somebody that has gone through that experience, it’s helpful to have advisors and have supportive staff to walk you through the steps that it takes to achieve your degree here,” said Bishop.

Nationally, one third of all college students and 54% of all students at Fort Scott Community College are first generation students.

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