NEOA LogoPromoting Educational Opportunity in New England  

Lyndon State College TRiO Students Attend National Policy Seminar

Two Northeast Kingdom TRiO Alums recently attended the 34th Annual National Policy Seminar in Washington D.C. Brian Dixon and Amanda Wright, both former Lyndon State College Upward Bound students represented Vermont at this year's event hosted by the Council for Opportunity in Education in support of the nation's TRiO programs. The students met with Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, and Legislative Aides from the offices of Senator Patrick Leahy, where they spoke passionately about how their participation in Lyndon State College Upward Bound impacted their college matriculation and completion. The alums traveled to D.C. with current Upward Bound program director Rick Williams and while there also attended workshops and heard from inspiring speakers and champions of TRiO.

Amanda Wright was a Lyndon State College Upward Bound program participant from 2005-2007. She graduated as salutatorian from Lyndon Institute, and attended Ithaca College where she graduated with a B.A. in Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. Ms. Wright was named a Phillips Scholar following her high school graduation, and was a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipient and spent a semester abroad in Argentina. She has recently begun working with Amherst College in Massachusetts where she is the Study Abroad Coordinator. Ms. Wright recently attended The 2nd Annual First Generation College Student Summit at Amherst College where she will work to support first generation students pursuing their educational goals. Amanda Wright is the daughter of Scott and Toni LaPoint of Sheffield, Vermont.

Brian Dixon was a Lyndon State College Upward Bound student from 2006-2010 who attended Pittsburgh High School in Pittsburgh, New Hampshire. Mr. Dixon was an excellent student at Pittsburg and was awarded the Bausch and Lomb scholarship that helped to fund his college education. He attended the University of Rochester and graduated in May 2012 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. After graduating from the University, Mr. Dixon accepted a position at Alcon as a manufacturing engineer in their Intraocular Lens (IOL) Division located in Huntington, WV. Currently, he is working as a Quality Engineer responsible for the final inspection and finishing of IOL lens models produced at the facility. Over the past year and a half at Alcon, he has been an active participant in their community outreach programs, including Habitat for Humanity and Kids Vision for Life a program that provides free vision screenings and glasses to children in low income households. Additionally, Mr. Dixon returned to Upward Bound as a tutor counselor and mentored students from his program for 2 summers. Bran Dixon is the son of Sherry O'Bara of Clarksville, New Hampshire.

The TRiO Programs (initially just three programs) are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as TRiO. TRiO students are first generation college bound and from modest income families and/or are students with disabilities. Vermont's TRiO programs are federally funded educational opportunity programs assisting just over 11,000 middle school, high school and college bound adults throughout Vermont. Vermont's 14 Federal TRiO programs include Talent Search, Educational Opportunity Centers and GEAR UP, all hosted by VSAC, and the college based Student Support Services, and Upward Bound. Combined, these programs bring over 8.5 million dollars in federal funds to promote access to and success in higher education for Vermont students.

Please see Attached photo (L - R):
Lyndon State College Alumni at Policy Seminar

Krystilyn Atkinson, Assistant Director of Johnson State College Upward Bound
Amanda Wright, Lyndon State College Upward Bound alumna
Senator Bernie Sanders
Brian Dixon, Lyndon State College Upward Bound alum

Rick Williams, Director
Lyndon State College Upward Bound
1001 College Rd.
Lyndonville, VT 05851