VSAC Students Participate in Summer Program

Over 50 students from VSAC Outreach programs (Talent Search, GEAR UP, and Aspirations) attended a three-day leadership program at Northern Vermont University in Lyndon in June. Students from grades 9 and 10, from high schools around the state, participated in the SEEDS Training Leadership Program. SEEDS Training, which is based in San Diego, designs and delivers educational programs that build life, leadership, and learning skills.

Students spent time together at NVU learning about their personal leadership styles, how facing the fears of "image" can keep them from fully pursuing their goals, and working to try, to trust, and to break through barriers. Both students and staff actively participated in team-based goals that focused on multiple ways for students to shine individually and as a team. In its second year, this was another successful experience for VSAC Outreach students and staff.

Students get outdoors to learn about leadership at SEEDS training.

Students get outdoors to learn about leadership at SEEDS training.

SEEDS presenter engages student participants

SEEDS presenter engages student participants

Vermont Programs Well Represented at Regional Conference

Staff from Vermont’s college access programs attended the annual conference for the New England Educational Opportunity Association (NEOA), held in Warwick, Rhode Island, in early April. Close to 300 people attended the conference from across New England and northern New York. Attendees were able to learn from each other through workshops and networking. Representatives from the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), the national Trio advocacy organization, shared federal updates and ideas for advocating for federal funding. Former program participants and staff received awards for their achievements.

Three VEOP members were elected to the NEOA board. Rick Williams (Northern Vermont University at Lyndon Upward Bound) was elected to be the next NEOA president, after serving as President-Elect this year. Brian Post (SUNY Plattsburgh Upward Bound) was elected to be President-Elect. Karen Madden (Northern Vermont University at Johnson Student Support Services) was elected to be Vermont’s state liaison to the board.

VEOP also held its annual meeting to review the year, vote on next year’s budget and to elect officers for next year. Board members for next year will be:

  • President-Elect: Lindsay Carpenter

  • President: Adam Hurwitz

  • Past President: Sue Polen

  • Secretary: Doe Dahm

  • Treasurer: Matt Beagle Bourgault

  • Director Liaison: Julie Finnegan

Monda Kelley and Angie Ryan-Williams were thanked for their service to the board this year.

Also discussed at the meeting was the planned 5K run/walk to happen in October at the University of Vermont. This is a new initiative to raise funds for VEOP’s scholarship program.

Finally, Tabitha Pohl-Moore, who was awarded the VEOP Achiever award at our last state conference, was awarded the NEOA Achiever award, selected from a competitive group of nominees.

Tabitha Pohl-Moore, NEOA Achiever, with nominator Monda Kelley from VSAC Talent Search

Tabitha Pohl-Moore, NEOA Achiever, with nominator Monda Kelley from VSAC Talent Search

Vermont Trio Attends Policy Seminar in Washington

Staff and alumnae from Vermont’s Trio programs attended Policy Seminar, hosted by the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in March. Attendees were briefed on issues facing Congress this year, including upcoming budget discussions that affect Trio, the re-authorization of the Higher Education Act and other proposed changes to federal law. Participants came from across the United States to advocate for their programs and for Trio programs overall.

On March 27th, the Vermont group visited Representative Peter Welch, Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Patrick Leahy. They were fortunate to get to meet each of them in person, as well as with their aides, to share stories of success and to ask for their continued support.

Participants from Vermont included:

  • Anne Kaplan, Counselor, Talent Search, VSAC

  • Matt Bourgault, Director, Talent Search, VSAC

  • Vanessa Santos, Alumna, Talent Search, VSAC

  • Rick Williams, Director, Upward Bound, NVU-Lyndon

  • Kaytlyn Oliver, Alumna, Upward Bound, NVU-Lyndon

  • Mikayla Royer, Alumna, Upward Bound, NVU-Lyndon

  • Karen Madden, Director, Student Support Services, NVU-Johnson

  • Erica Fuller, Assistant Director, Upward Bound, NVU-Johnson

  • Elaine Collins, President, NVU

Vermont Trio staff and alumnae with aides for Senator Bernie Sanders

Vermont Trio staff and alumnae with aides for Senator Bernie Sanders

NVU Upward Bound Graduate Receives Truman Scholarship

The prestigious Truman Scholarship, established by Congress in 1975 to honor the memory of the 33rd president, supports the graduate education and personal development of standout undergraduates committed to public service leadership. Awarded on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and a strong record of public service, the scholarship requires a detailed policy proposal that addresses a particular societal challenge.

Boston College junior Natalee Deaette of Montgomery, Vermont, a student in the Lynch School of Education, has been named a recipient of a 2018 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, one of just 59 winners nationwide from an applicant pool of 756 candidates. "Receiving the Truman Scholarship is such an honor," said Deaette, who is BC's 19th Truman Scholarship recipient overall. “When I started the application process almost a year ago, it was a pipe dream that I never thought would become a reality. I was the first in my family to go to college and I have had to work incredibly hard to afford it, so the fact that I am now going to receive support to go to graduate school to study what I am passionate about means the world to me. I hope to focus my coursework on finding and developing solutions to the inequitable access to higher education, particularly for the often-overlooked population of rural high school students." A graduate of North Country Union High School in Newport, Deaette distinguished herself both as a participant and staff member at the Upward Bound program at Northern Vermont University in Lyndon, which provides low-income, first-generation Vermont high school students with an opportunity to prepare for collegiate success. "Working with Upward Bound is what ultimately has pushed me to pursue a career in public service," said Deaette, who plans to pursue graduate studies in educational policy and leadership. "I've not only experienced firsthand the difficulties that students with this background face in accessing and completing higher education, but I've also had the privilege of hearing the stories of countless more through my work as a staff member."

This story was originally published in the Winter 2009 NEOA Member Newsletter

VEOP Annual Conference brings Trio and GEAR UP professionals together

Our annual conference was held at Vermont Technical College in Randolph on October 9th, 2018. 125 people attended from programs in Vermont, New York and New Hampshire.

Keynote speaker Heather Bouchey, Vermont Deputy Secretary of Education, talked about the success and challenges of flexible pathways in Vermont. Other speakers included representatives for Congressman Peter Welch, Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Patrick Leahy, as well as Stephanie Cruz, president of New England Educational Opportunity Programs.

Attendees attended eight different workshops and entered the silent auction to raise funds for the VEOP scholarship program. A record $880 was raised this year for that effort. Award winners at this year’s conference included:

  • VEOP Achiever: Tabitha Pohl-Moore, former GEAR UP participant

  • Educator of the Year: Stefano Donati, Southern Vermont College

  • Carolyn Donahue Friend of Equal Opportunity Education Award: Denise Moses, NVU Lyndon

  • New VEOP Professional Award: Annalise Goyne, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation

  • Jack Anderson Award: Heidi McLaughlin, Winooski High School

Sponsors for this year’s conference included:

  • Boston Red Sox

  • Heritage Automotive Group

  • Keurig Green Mountain

  • Oriental Trading Company

  • Smuggler’s Notch Resort

  • University of Vermont

  • Vermont Coffee Company

Thanks to our sponsors and to all who participated. See you at next year’s conference.