Wyden, Merkley: $2.5 Million to Go to Oregon College Prep Programs for Underserved Students
Photo: Trio Talent Search students on a field trip to the Hatfield Aquarium in Newport, OR (2019).
U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced that seven college preparation programs all over the state will receive a combined more than $2.5 million to increase the number of young Oregonians from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in postsecondary education.
“Programs like these can make the difference in an Oregon student’s life between starting out with a high school diploma or as a high school dropout,” Wyden said. “Every student deserves the chance to pursue their passion. Since students from disadvantaged backgrounds often face more barriers to postsecondary education, it’s critical to invest in college prep services that can help them. I am gratified to see these incredible Oregon programs earn federal dollars to tackle this challenge head on and give every student a fair shot.”
“Every Oregonian should have access to a quality education, regardless of their zip code or how much money their parents have,” said Merkley. “As the first in my family to graduate from college, I know how hard that transition can be. A little extra support can make a big difference and I am pleased that we were able to secure federal resources to help provide more higher learning opportunities for our students. I will continue to push for support that will create pathways for our students to succeed.”
Southwestern Oregon Community College will receive $622,986 for the Talent Search program, which provides academic, career, and financial counseling to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education. “Southwestern has been fortunate to have Trio Talent Search funding since 1991. It’s wonderful that we now have another five-year grant renewal. Talent Search Helps over 1,100 students annually on the South coast reach their educational goals. It truly changes lives and families,” shared Sharilyn Brown, Education Talent Search/Upward Bound Director at Southwestern.
Funded projects provide tutoring services, career exploration, aptitude assessments, counseling, mentoring programs, workshops, information on postsecondary institutions, financial literacy education or counseling services, guidance on and assistance in secondary school reentry, alternative education programs for secondary school dropouts, and programs and activities previously mentioned that are specially designed for students who are English Language Learners, students with disabilities, homeless students, students aging out of foster care, and other disconnected students.
For more information about the Trio Talent Search program at Southwestern visit www.socc.edu/trio or call 541-888-7223.