The TRiO, Student Support Services Program, at the University of Maine at Fort Kent held its fifth annual recognition banquet on April 17, to honor students involved in the TRiO program. UMFK President Wilson G. Hess provided the welcome address.
TRiO Student Support Services is funded through the Department of Education under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the TRiO Programs because there were initially three programs. TRiO programs are designed to help low-income, first-generation, and/or disabled students, under the guidelines of the American with Disabilities Act, Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life.
The Student Support Services Program's focus is to insure that their participants have a realistic chance to persist in school and graduate from the University of Maine at Fort Kent. To accomplish these objectives, they provide services to enhance students' academic success, personal skills, and social skills.
The banquet's keynote speaker was Reverend James Nadeau, the St. John Vianney Parish priest. He is an alumnus of TRiO's Upward Bound program. Father Nadeau attributes much of his success to Upward Bound. He received the distinguished National TRiO Achiever award at New England Educational Opportunity Association's annual conference in 1997 and has spoken at TRiO national conventions. He continues to support and advocate for TRiO in numerous ways.
The 2013 Student Support Services awards were given to the following students:
Leadership Award: Alan Pelletier (Madawaska); Ivon Portellez (Fort Kent); and Kapricemari Thompkins (Woodville)
Most Successful Freshman Award: Chantel Bernier (Frenchville)
Honorable Mention: Devon Brewer (Lisbon Falls) and Jennifer Reis (New Sharon)
Most Successful Sophomore Award: Ivon Portellez (Fort Kent)
Honorable Mention: Valerie Cormier (Grand Isle) and Kapricemari Thompkins (Woodville)
Most Successful Junior Award: Oliver Silver (Winterville)
Honorable Mention: Devon Cote (Connor Township) and Krystal Paradis (Frenchville)
Most Successful Senior Award: Russ Mortland (Presque Isle)
Honorable Mention: Kristy Morneault (Madawaska) and Sierra Daigle (Madawaska)
The awards recognize students for their successful transition to higher education and their proactive approach to academic achievement.
The following student was recognized for her exemplary participation and involvement with the Student Support Services program during the academic year:
Most Involved Participant Award: Heather Young (Fort Kent)
The following students were honored for their significant improvement to academic achievement; recognizing their increased efforts towards becoming a successful student.
Most Improved Participant Awards: Alex McNally (Sherman); Morgan Porter (Rockport) and Heather Young (Fort Kent).
The following students were recognized for their significant determination and persistence towards academic achievement and attaining their academic goals:
Outstanding Persistence Award: Chelsea Frey (Weld); Malachi Hayden (Bangor); Kate Laliberte (Mount Vernon); Katie Levesque (Fort Kent); Michelle Paul (Ellsworth); and Stephanie Thomas (Stockton Springs).
TRiO Helping TRiO Recognition: Joseph Belanger (Springvale); Kimberly Esancy (St. Agatha); Blake Farnsworthy (Gardiner); Hannah Mikkonen (Peru); Russ Mortland (Presque Isle);Travis Norsworth (Fort Fairfield); Steven Pelletier (St. John Plantation); Ivon Portellez (Fort Kent); Devvan Powers (Fort Kent); Nina Theriault (Fort Kent); and Josh Whalen (Exeter).
The following student was recognized for her exemplary participation in the Student Support
Services program, as well as on-and off-campus involvement, has shown skills in leadership, teambuilding, communication, as well as persistence towards her academic goals and success as a student.
Student of the Year Award: Kapricemari Thompkins (Woodville)
Kapricemari Thompkins is a sophomore nursing student. She is committed to academic excellence. Thompkins is active on- and off-campus. Kapricemari is a resident assistant, a Student Senate representative, the TRiO Game Night coordinator, and participates in the TRiO After-School Mentoring program. She is a member of the Woodville School Board, Schenck Booster Club, Medway Community Association, and Girl Scouts. Kapricemari also works as a CNA at Colonial Health Care in Lincoln. Thompkins would love one day to be a neonatal registered nurse.
The following TRiO students, who will graduate in May, were recognized and presented with their Student Support Services cords, which they can wear at graduation. The graduates-to-be who were honored include: Patrick Aldrich (Springfield); Yoshives Belizaire (Mattapan, Massachusetts); Samantha Blanchette (Fort Kent); Corey Boucher (Grand Isle); *Lauren Calbi (Fort Kent); Alicia Daigle; Leah Dufour (Augusta); *Mitchell Folsom (Mars Hill); Alisha Gould (Oxford); Jeremy Harper (Bath); Macie Laplante (Van Buren); Vickie Lavertu (St. David); Kristen LeClair (Fort Kent); Elise Levesque (Waterville); Katie Levesque (Fort Kent); Hannah Mikkonen (Peru); Kristy Morneault; Russ Mortland; Beatrice Nadeau (Winterville); Jamie Nadeau (Madawaska); *Alan Pelletier; Amanda Pelletier (Caribou); Andrea Pelletier (Fort Kent); Blair Pelletier (St. John Plantation); Steven Pelletier (St. John Plantation); Judith Pimental (Fort Kent); Joshua Plourde (Anson); Troy Spinney (Bristol); Lisa Sutton (Mars Hill); Stephanie Thomas (Stockton Springs); Ashlee Turgeon (Rockland); and Quintina Young (Westbrook) *associate degree candidates
Aaron Tolbert, Student Support Services writing specialist, shared a motivational reading to add to the tone for the evening ceremony and Stephanie Thomas shared her experience as a nursing student and the obstacles she faced and persevered throughout her four years at UMFK.
UMFK Vice President Rachel E. Albert closed the evening's ceremony with her inspirational words of wisdom.
TRiO is a nationwide, federally-funded organization committed to providing educational opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, ethnic background, or economic circumstance.