Celebrating “game changers” who are first-generation students is the agenda for TRIO Day at Illinois State University on Saturday, February 23, in the Bone Student Center’s Prairie Rooms.

Logo with the words Diversity at StateWith a theme of “G.A.M.E. Changers (Growth Above Marginalized Expectations),” the day will be filled with workshops and presentations geared toward the experience of first-generation and income-eligible students. This is the first time in nearly a decade that the statewide celebration will be at Illinois State.

“TRIO programs around the country will come together for a day of celebration, reflection, and action,” said University College’s Interim Coordinator of TRIO and Student Support Services Tamekia Bailey.

headshot of Tamekia Bailey

Tamekia Bailey

“The events of the day will center around the continued need for access to higher education for income-eligible and first-generation students, as well as the need to increase retention and graduation rates for these students.”

Sessions throughout the day will include presentations on money management, leadership skills, academic success, and career and staff development.

The keynote speaker for the day will be Illinois State and TRIO alumna Joanette McBounds.

headshot of Joanette McBounds

Joanette McBounds

McBounds is an IT release manager at AT&T Inc. In her role, McBounds oversees the implementation of IT billing applications for AT&T Mobility used by customer service representatives. Due to her leadership, she has been selected to lead high-revenue impacting projects with high visibility. In addition to her professional work, McBounds is the former president of Women of AT&T-Northern Illinois, where she led more than 700 men and women through professional and philanthropic growth and initiatives. Under her leadership, WOA-NI received the prestigious title of 2013 Chapter of the Year and hosted community impact events to help girls in STEM programming (science, technology, engineering and math) called “Girls Rock Technology.” She graduated from Illinois State with a degree in information systems. She also earned a master’s degree in public administration from Roosevelt University.

TRIO history:
On February 24, 1986, a congressional resolution (H. Con. Res. 278) declared that Saturday, February 28, 1986, should be designated as “National TRIO Day” to commemorate the annual achievements of the Federal TRIO programs in communities across the country.

Yearly since then, the fourth Saturday in February has been deemed National TRIO Day–an opportunity to (re) focus the nation’s “attention on the needs of under-served young people and adults aspiring to improve their lives if they are to become contributing citizens of the country, and to the talent which will be wasted if that investment is not made.”

Those with questions about TRIO can contact Bailey at tybaile@IllinoisState.edu.

Diversity and inclusion are part of the University’s core values as spelled out in Educate • Connect • Elevate: Illinois State – The Strategic Plan for Illinois’ First Public University 2018-2023.