Washington State TRIO Association

Upward Bound

Talent Search

Student Support Services

Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Program

Educational Opportunity Center


WSTA Mission

WSTA is a group of TRIO professionals who provide a venue to support the success of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students to obtain a quality education. WSTA helps these underrepresented populations by promoting program development, disseminating best practices/high impact educational practices and collecting data on the students’ specific educational needs to assist our first-generation, low-income populations better. WSTA provides support services and opportunities not normally accessible to these students to help them reach their full potential and develop into professional individuals.

In order to best serve low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students and improve the changing needs of these populations, WSTA sponsors professional conferences, meetings, training, mentoring and other educational forums for its members throughout the calendar year. WSTA understands the contribution that low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students provide to our nation and believes in supporting these individuals as they pursue their higher education degree.


Student Highlight

Kainen Bell, 2017
University of Washington | Student Support Services

My name is Kainen Bell and I grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and have been supported by TRIO programs from middle school to college. My mother raised me and my sister by herself and did not have much time to explain the college process or take me to career fairs. However, TRIO filled that gap for me and provided hope and resources to apply to college. I later was accepted to the UW and received the Costco Diversity Scholarship which made affording college a reality. Within the first days of school, UW TRIO Student Support Services opened their arms and guided me through the campus.

With their support, I achieved my goals of being the first person in my family to go abroad, traveling to Brazil twice, and Germany. I also became heavily involved on-campus and served in as many capacities as I could including being a resident advisor, student ambassador for the Foster School of Business and Office of Minority Affairs, member of the student government board of directors, and mentor for the Foster School Young Executives of Color program. While working in these leadership activities TRIO staff helped me map out my goal of being the first person in over 10 years at the UW to graduate with double degrees in the School of Business (information systems) and School of Social Work. Thanks to their support and many others, I was able to successfully complete this goal. During my senior year I was honored as one of the recipients of the Husky 100 recognition, which selects 100 students from all 3 UW campuses who made the most of the UW experience. Along the way I also became a student with the Ronald E. McNair program because I wanted to be the first person in my family to attend graduate school, and thanks to their resources and training, I am currently finishing my Masters in Social Work degree at Columbia University. As far as next steps, I was recently named a semi-finalist for the Fulbright program, and if I receive the award, I will have the opportunity to return to Brazil and conduct research on non-profits. I would like to thank the TRIO program, staff, and its supporters because I am 100% confident that I would not be standing where I am today if it were not for them.

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