Iowa Central’s TRIO celebrates

The TRIO program at Iowa Central Community College on Friday celebrated National TRIO Day.

Kris Nerem-Lowery, TRIO coordinator, said the day was honored on campus with its students.

“We had food for our students, and talked to them about the history of TRIO,” Nerem-Lowery said. “We sponsored a jeans day on campus. When we do jeans day here on campus, people pay $5 to wear jeans and that money goes to the program. It helps us offset the cost for field trips and other activities.”

The program’s students also went on a field trip to the Iowa State Capitol, Nerem-Lowery said.

“We took students to visit with their legislators and learn about state government,” she said. “We also had the opportunity to meet with Sen. (Daryl) Beall, and he knows TRIO programs very well. He meets with us every year. We had the opportunity to talk to other individuals about TRIO programs statewide and how they benefit students.”

TRIO is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Education.

“We work with individuals who are low-income, first generation students or who have disabilities,” Nerem-Lowery said. “Our program offers services to help them be successful in college.”

Nerem-Lowery has seen students benefit from TRIO.

“I’ve worked with TRIO for 14 years and nine of those years have been at Iowa Central. And so it’s been really nice to see the students grow and to learn, and to take advantage of all the services we offer and see them graduate and transfer,” she said. “That’s our goal. I’ve seen many students do that and succeed beyond that.”

In 2012, Nerem-Lowery served as president of Iowa TRIO. She said she enjoyed the experience.

“Our state organization is a wonderful organization to belong to,” she said. “It offers support to all of our professionals that work with TRIO programs throughout the state, and it helps you to get to know professionals in other regions, and in other states.”

TRIO is partnering with Iowa Central’s choral department on April 4 for a fundraiser.

“We partner with them with every year, and they do a fundraiser for us. It’s at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, here in Fort Dodge,” Nerem-Lowery said. “They have a choir perform a variety of music and we get out a little information about the TRIO programs, and they do a freewill offering and treat us to lunch after.”