Malia BrownMarch 27, 2024March 27, 2024hillaryobrien
Photo of University of Idaho EOC student Malia Brown

University of Idaho | Educational Opportunity Center

Before finding TRIO, I had an 11th-grade education, was in an abusive relationship, and lacked work experience. I battled this situation for years, but was never able to create stability, which led to my daughter and I becoming homeless. Desperation led to compromised decision-making, which ultimately led to a felony conviction and incarceration in Idaho at South Boise Women’s Correctional Center.

During my time at SBWCC, I was introduced to TRIO through a pre-release course. They made a Zoom appointment with a TRIO advisor and we were able to create a plan of action for furthering my education upon release. They found colleges nearby, we explored my career interests, and planned next steps. Before the meeting ended, my advisor gave me a step-by-step plan to follow as soon as I was released, and for the first time as an adult, I had a future.

After my release, I made an appointment with my advisor and she walked me through the FAFSA, the college application, the admissions process, and created a plan for the upcoming term. TRIO provided the understanding and support that I had previously lacked. I am now in my second year at Linn Benton Community College as a Communications major on track for an Associate’s degree in winter 2025 and will transfer to Oregon State University for a Bachelor’s.

These events set in motion by TRIO Educational Opportunity Center have substantially changed my self-esteem, my self-worth, my family dynamic, and have given me an amazing way to support myself. I have never had a more positive life-changing experience with an organization. My gratitude is endless, thank you for this opportunity to express it.