National TRiO Day

This year on Saturday, February 25, National TRIO Day will be recognized in communities throughout the United States. National TRIO Day was initiated in 1986, and designed to be celebrated annually on the last Saturday in February, in order to focus the nation’s “attention on the needs of disadvantaged young people and adults aspiring to improve their lives.”  Federal Trio Programs assist low-income Americans  enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America’s economic and social life. Our hope is that through focus on “National TRIO Day” these programs will see increased awareness and support.

The Educational Opportunity Centers of Pennsylvania, based out of Edwardsville provides TRIO services to at least 2,233 adult participants residing in eleven contiguous counties throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Educational Talent Search Project has been assisting students in selected schools throughout the Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Hazleton area.

Over the last year alone, staff at the Educational Opportunity Centers of Pennsylvania have worked with 2,260 participants in their EOC project.  Of those, 212 received a high school diploma or equivalency, 800 participants received assistance in the completion of their Financial Aid applications, and nearly 700 enrolled in Post- Secondary education.

Educational Talent Search Project staff worked with over 1,000 students, 211 of whom were seniors. Of those, 159 were admitted to Post-Secondary education and 167 were assisted with completion of their financial aid applications.  Every one of the 800 Educational Talent Search participants from grades 7 through 11 received preparation for post-secondary education by way of workshops, field trips to colleges, and 1:1 intervention.

TRIO works!

Nothing ever stopped her pursuit of an education…

Chrissy came to EOC a long time ago when she needed her GED.  She tried for years to pass that test and every time, she fell just a few points short.  So, her Academic Specialist at EOC offered a unique plan to pass that test; come in once a week and go over those questions that she just couldn’t figure out by studying at home.

So, once a week for four months, Chrissy met with her EOC counselor and together they worked through the test.  Finally, Chrissy passed the GED and decided to not stop on her educational pursuit.  First step, the Certified Nurses Aid (CNA).  Chrissy found that she was a natural with taking care of the elderly.  For the first time in her life, she had a regular paycheck.  But Chrissy wasn’t finished yet.  Next step, the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).  To prepare for the entrance test, Chrissy and her EOC counselor met once a week and went over the test in pieces until Chrissy knew the material and was confident in taking the Nursing Entrance Test.  Of course, she did great on the test, and was admitted to the program.

Today, Chrissy is a nursing professional that not only loves her job; but is making more money that she ever dreamed possible.  She called today to say that her and her husband are closing on their first home next week; to think that when this all started, she was living in public housing.

Partnering to Inform our Students


Educational Talent Search has partnered for years with PHEAA (Pa Higher Education Assistance Association) to inform our students, parents, and the community on study skills, careers exploration, education opportunities, and financial aid completion. My students at Shenandoah Valley got the chance to hear about the various education levels available to them, some example careers at each level, and sample earnings. My 7th and 8th grade students, like most others, have a limited view of careers with the traditional nurse, doctor, lawyer, teacher, et al type ideas. After presenting nontraditional careers and having students realize that they don’t have to be confined by gender, location, or finances, students are energized with new ideas as ETS strives to expand the horizon of our students.


If your EFC is blank

If your EFC is blank

The questions on the FAFSA are used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC measures your family’s financial resources and is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Your EFC will be listed on your Student Aid Report (SAR). The EFC is a number that ranges from 0 to 99,999. 

If an EFC does not appear, it may mean that the report is invalid. The SAR may be invalid if the FAFSA is missing a signature, or if some information appears to be incorrect; for example, the reported taxes paid is equal to or is more than the reported income earned. If this is the case, you may make a correction to provide the missing signature or adjust any confusing data. Your SAR will indicate what is missing or which data may be confusing.  Contact us for help on these issues., funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S. colleges, gives 9th-12th grade students college scholarships.  Check if your school participates.  My students have been joining, achieving, and referring for micro-scholarship earnings!

They create an account, put their info in the Portfolio in order to earn micro-scholarships from colleges, from now in their current grade level through midway through senior year.  My students know their school participates so they can get $100 just for getting classmates to join and stack up the Benjamins.  Check out the easy ways to earn.