North Idaho College | TRIO Student Support Services
My name is Kem, and had it not been for the TRIO Student Support Services program at North Idaho College I would not have continued my education. I came to college after a 34 year absence from school with only an 8th grade education. I felt like I didn’t deserve an education because I had been in prison. As if all of these things didn’t present enough challenges for me, one week before my first semester at NIC I lost my husband to suicide. Eight months later, I needed to be my mom’s strength as she lost her battle to cancer.
Joining TRIO was like joining an extended family. We bonded by participating in many different events, studying together, and campus clubs activities. My advisor walked me through the terrible pain of my personal losses and helped me cope with my feelings of disconnect from family and my feelings of not being deserving an education. She inspired me to move forward and encouraged me to volunteer in events and clubs to strengthen my networking skills and build friendships. She never judged me; only encouraged me. She became my strength when I had none, and spoke hope when I didn’t see it. I want others to know that TRIO students are capable of being overcomers and getting beyond our fear and challenges. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work May, 2018. My passion is to work with the elderly population. Because of the skills I received through participation in TRIO, I have a new outlook on life. I can see my career path and believe that I can accomplish whatever goals I set for myself.