Student Support Services Banner

Happy First Gen Day Transcript
Paige Dio- Am I supposed to look at the camera?
Joey Foso- You're a little bit less serious.
Megan Brozik- Hi, my name is Megan Brozik.
Morgan (no last name given)- I am Morgan.
Brooklyn Anderson- My name's Brooklyn Anderson.
Katelyn Vocu- My name's Katelyn Vocu.
Joey Foso- I'm Joey Foso, and I'm from Benkelman, Nebraska.
Zak (no last name given)- Rapid City, South Dakota.
Seth (no last name given)- I'm from Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Unnamed- Faulkton, South Dakota.
Brooklyn Anderson- I am first.
Morgan (no last name given)- I am first.
Unnamed- I am first.
Paige Dio- Hi, my name's Paige Dio. I'm from Newcastle, Wyoming and I'm a first generation student.
Brooklyn Anderson- It's definitely exciting, but it can definitely be challenging as well because you just don't know what you're getting yourself into.
Megan Brozik- I was really nervous about making friends when I came here.
Katelyn Vocu- I had a lot of irrational fears. I was- every college movie I've seen, I've never seen anyone have a backpack on, and I was worried about if I should bring a backpack.
Seth (no last name given)- I think it's- it's good to have change. I think with change it kind of gives yourself new challenges to overcome, which in turn kind of make you a better person.
Paige Dio- Just take advantage of everything- all the opportunities, go to all the games, make all the new friends.
Kayla (no last name given)- Give it a shot and you're not going to realize what you're capable of.
Zak (no last name given)- Have those people in your network whether it's an advisor or other friends through Trio. That no one understands what it's like to be a first generation student because you're not alone.
Brooklyn Anderson- With a small campus, it's so nice that when you walk into a classroom, they know you name, and that is something huge to me because I just feel like, "oh, they care about my learning and me as an individual."
Morgan (no last name given)- Like, if you feel that because no one in your family's done it before that you can't do it, just be that first person to do it and it starts a completely different cycle that's way more rewarding than you realized at the time.
Madisyn (no last name given)- College is kind of talked down upon, especially in today's world. It's just expensive, but I think there is a lot of value that comes with the experience of it.
Megan Brozik- I'm always excited to see first gen students here because, you know, they're starting their own journey.
Zak (no last name given)- It's big and scary, but you're bigger and scarier.
Joey Foso- I've always stuck by this philosophy and I had to realize it kind of later in college, but it was to seize the opportunities your ancestors didn't have. You know, if you're a first generation student, more than likely, you know, your grandparents didn't get these opportunities, your parents didn't get these opportunities, and now it's your turn
Happy National TRIO Day Transcript
Carissa Deming, BHSU TRIO Professional Advisor
February 24th is National TRIO Day, a celebration of educational opportunity and achievement. TRIO grants federally supported student services programs are dedicated to serving limited income and first generation students, as well as students whose disabilities impact their academic success, so that they can overcome barriers and succeed in higher education. Today, we shine a spotlight on TRIO programs across the nation, and right here at home as Black Hills State University celebrates our Student Support Services TRIO program. The BHSU Student Support Services TRIO grant has been making an impact on BHSU students for over 50 years as it was first funded in 1971, and has been rewritten for and rewarded on a five year cycle ever since. At Black Hills State University, TRIO isn't just a program, it's a community dedicated to fostering excellence and personal growth. Our TRIO program offers a range of services- from academic advising, to tutoring and mentoring, to financial guidance- ensuring that ever student has the tools they need to succeed. Each year, TRIO SSS serves 200 eligible students, and in the 53 years of TRIO SSS at BHSU, we've served nearly 3,000 students in total. Since 2005, 680 TRIO students have completed their bachelor's degrees. And although we don't have all the records, we estimate that in the years prior to 2005, nearly 300 additional students earned their bachelor's degrees. National TRIO day isn't just a day. It's a celebration of potential, resilience, and the pursuit and the attainment of dreams. Today, we recognize the importance of access to education for everyone. Happy National TRIO Day, whether you're a participant, parents, supporter, or a fellow TRIO professional. Today, we thank you for being a part of this empowering journey. Together, we make education accessible, and dreams achievable.


Student Support Services (SSS) is one of seven federal TRIO programs, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, for students who are serious about graduating from college. SSS helps students to stay in college until they earn their baccalaureate degrees. If you are willing to take advantage of academic, financial, and other services to achieve your goals, contact us today at 605.642.6824.

Students can qualify for SSS if they meet one of three eligibility criteria identified by the U.S. Department of Education. Congress authorized TRIO programs to serve students who qualify under the following guidelines:

  • Low Income:
    Taxable income (adjusted gross income minus deductions and exemptions - line 10 of the 1040 Tax Return) falls below the levels in this chart. (Students must supply a copy of the 2019 federal income tax return for parents if dependent or themselves if independent.)
  • First Generation:
    Neither parent (natural or adoptive) has completed a 4-year bachelor's degree.
  • Disability:
    Documentation of a physical, psychological, or learning disability that may limit the student's ability to participate in educational experiences and opportunities in college.

Students who meet one or more of these criteria and who are U.S. citizens (or nationals of the U.S. or meet the residency requirements for federal student financial assistance) are eligible to apply. 

Students who are selected must demonstrate academic potential and academic need, as indicated by ACT scores, high school grades or class rank, possession of a GED, instructor recommendations, previous college attempts, and other factors.

Ready to Apply: Fill out the application online at the link above or visit the SSS office in Woodburn Hall Office #139 or send an email to Ashley Kirchner to get started.

SSS Makes a Difference...
'I have fought every step for a better education. TRIO has helped on the journey of not only finding the perfect place to earn my degree but to help find myself in the process. I have never been happier than I am right now. I am working toward what I love and having a great time in the meantime. TRIO has helped with school [and] with social problems - they are like a family away from home. I feel comfortable going to anyone in the TRIO office about any problem I may have. The people in TRIO are caring people and [it] does not matter...who a person may be or what has happened. It is a close group of amazing people that will stand together to help each other succeed. Anyone who has been part of TRIO is truly blessed. TRIO is much more than just another program on campus.' - Amanda, 2nd year student