Students and professional staff members from TRIO and GEAR UP programs housed at the University of Wyoming and Wyoming community colleges will visit the State Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 20, to participate in Wyoming Educational Access Day.

The event will recognize Wyoming’s federally-funded TRIO and GEAR UP programs that assist first-generation and low-income students to successfully prepare for and complete college.

Activities will include proclamation signings by Gov. Matt Mead and Cheyenne Mayor Rick Kaysen. Sen. Floyd Esquibel of Cheyenne and Rep. Cathy Connolly of Laramie will introduce students and staff in the Senate and House chambers. During lunch, Wyoming State Treasurer Marc Gordon will speak to students about leadership and political advocacy.

Each year, TRIO and GEAR UP programs located at Central Wyoming College, Laramie County Community College, Northwest College, Sheridan College and UW assist high school and college students statewide by providing services and activities that promote academic and financial preparation for college; college entry, persistence and graduation; and admission to and completion of Ph.D. programs.

“We want more people to know about the services provided by TRIO and GEAR UP programs,” says Rachel Martinez, SAGE TRIO adviser at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne. “Wyoming Educational Access Day will hopefully increase awareness of the continued need for TRIO and GEAR UP programs to ensure that more low-income and first-generation Wyoming students achieve the college dream.”

TRIO and GEAR UP programs are funded through competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Education. Postsecondary institutions in Wyoming receive more than $7.35 million annually to support 14 programs that serve almost 7,000 Wyoming students and families.

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