Ouachita Baptist University’s Academic Enrichment Center (AEC) will honor junior Christian studies major Timothy Stringfellow during its annual TRIO Celebration Luncheon on Friday, Feb. 25, on the OBU campus.
Stringfellow, a native of Kingsland, Ark., will be named to the TRIO Hall of Fame for his noteworthy participation in the Student Support Services program (SSS) of the AEC and will then represent Ouachita at the Arkansas TRIO Day Celebration at Pulaski Technical College on Feb. 26.
The SSS is federally funded through the TRIO program as an educational program to support students who are first-generation college students and come from low-income family backgrounds. Stringfellow, a non-traditional student, was a self-employed carpenter before returning to school and is also a single parent and pastor. He earned his GED in April of 2008 at age 35. “For me, claiming the GED was an epic milestone in my life,” he said. “Neither of my parents had acquired their high school diploma, nor had my siblings.”
Stringfellow became acquainted with the TRIO program during his first semester at Ouachita and has been an active member for three years.
“I absolutely love the TRIO program at Ouachita Baptist University,” Stringfellow said. “I know that the teachers, administrators and staff have a sincere care for the participants. They have taught me valuable, fundamental learning methods I know have had a positive impact on my current academic status and will continue to go with me throughout my life.”
Frances Nelson, director of Ouachita’s AEC, and former president of the state TRIO association, said of Stringfellow, “We know he will be successful and do for others what we have tried to do for him.”
The Hall of Fame luncheon is in its 10th and final consecutive year since the Ouachita TRIO SSS program did not receive federal funding for the upcoming five-year grant term. Nelson’s response to the news was, “When you believe in the power of God, He never forsakes us. He has something in store for us.”
Nelson said the AEC will plan to reapply for funding in five years and until then hopes that the 160 students it currently serves will continue to remember and apply the skills and lessons they have been able to receive through the program.
“It means a lot to see evidence that the people working in the TRIO program care about me,” Stringfellow said, “but it means even more to see that they likewise care for each individual TRIO participant. I have personally experienced their genuine love, and the level of impact they have had on my life is irreplaceable. Because of their love, I feel like I am not just a participant in the TRIO program, but a part of the TRIO family.”
For more information, contact Frances Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-4163.
By Whitney Crews