Youth Programs

Celebrate Our TRiO Alumni (Youth Stories)

Celebrating National TRiO Day!

On February 24th, 1986 a congressional resolution declared that Saturday February 28, 1986 should be designated as National TRiO Day, to commemorate the annual achievements of the federal TRiO programs in communities across the country. Every year since, the TRiO Community has reserved the fourth Saturday in February as National TRiO Day. In honor of our TRiO Programs here at the Gary Comer Youth Center, We are celebrating National TRiO Day today, February 23rd, 2024.

Gary Comer Youth Center is home to two of the federal TRiO Grants, Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search. Learn More.

Alijah Abdullateef

I can say for certain that Upward Bound gave me a lot of useful information when It came to public speaking and networking with other people. With their help, I was able to do well in interviews and career fairs that were held on campus. Upward bound also helped me with my people skills and feeling more comfortable to talk with others. Upward Bound broke down my shell allowing me to be more open, which helped me get out onto campus and meet new friends and mentors that I think will stick with me for the next four years. I thank Ms. Ashley, for all her help in mentoring me while I was still in high school. I'll carry these lessons with me for a very long time.

—Alijah Abdullateef, Class of 2023

Ta'Niah Parker

I'm currently a Junior at the University of Michigan studying film with the intent to pursue minors in art and design and performing arts management. It's been almost 2 years since I graduated high school and transitioned from Upward Bound to Utmost U, and looking back, I can still see how much my programs have done for me. From our sneak peek into the interviewing process from the opposing perspective to weekly prepping of new ways to better engage and inspire our formerly middle school-aged mentees, being a part of it has taught me so much.

—Ta'Niah Parker, Class of 2022

Kamorra Varnado

This program helped me tremendously with recognizing that college was the path I wanted to go to. It was never pushed onto me like other programs do, I was able to find my path figuring out if I wanted to go to trade school or not. With the HBCU college tours through the summer and being able to see what black excellence looks like, I now go to an HBCU called Fayetteville State University located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I am flourishing in the black pride and with the beautiful community of black women in STEM. I am currently majoring in Biology with a concentration in Pre-Med. And with that, I am planning to become a Biomedical Engineer. This program and Ms. Ashley gave me the strength to be able to be proud of who I am, and always be able to speak about all the things I think should change. And with that, I think the Program gave me the boost of confidence in my education and my personal life to be the excellent black woman I am today.

—Kamorra Varnado, Class of 2023

Bobbi Bailey

Upward bound has helped me understand the process of adjusting to adulthood. Being able to confidently speak in front of others and standing out with leadership. This program has also helped me emotionally be able to express any kind of feeling good or bad and understanding healthy mindset habits. Currently I am working and enrolled in a program for phlebotomy.

—Bobbi Bailey, Class of 2023

We are beyond proud of all our TRiO Alumni!