Ouachita Baptist University’s Academic Enrichment Center (AEC) has named Jason Wells, a senior social studies major from Gurdon, Ark., to the TRIO Hall of Fame for his participation in the Student Support Services (SSS) program. Wells will be honored Friday, Feb. 12, at the TRIO Celebration Luncheon on OBU’s campus, and will represent OBU’s AEC at the State TRIO Day Celebration on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Saturday, Feb. 27.
“I am very thankful for this honor. It is a privilege to have been selected from all of Ouachita’s participants, and I am extremely grateful for those who took part in my selection,” Wells said. “This honor shows that any American student can come up from a rural school district to one of Arkansas’ finest universities preparing for a wonderful career.”
Wells has been acquainted with TRIO since his sophomore year of high school when he became a member of Upward Bound, a program that provides support to students from low-income families and potential first-generation college graduates in their preparation for college entry through opportunities to succeed in pre-college performance and higher education pursuits. The program’s goal is to increase the rate of participants’ completion of secondary education and enrollment in and graduation from post-secondary institutions. Wells was named to the TRIO Hall of Fame in 2006 for his participation in Upward Bound.
Upon reaching Ouachita, Wells immediately became a member of the AEC and has worked in the TRIO offices for over three years. With the help of the SSS program, designed to help eligible students transition successfully from high school to the university, Wells will be a May 2010 graduate and plans to pursue a career in secondary education.
Frances Nelson, director of Ouachita’s Academic Enrichment Center, noted that Wells “became very active in the SSS program through the AEC office.” She added that he “took advantage of the services and worked for the TRIO offices as a student worker.”
“The OBU TRIO programs have meant the most to me because they are the reason why I am graduating this upcoming May,” Wells said. “Every time I need help with school or just encouragement to make it through a project or finals, they have been there. It was great to have someone there to support my dreams and help me reach graduation.”
OBU has hosted TRIO programs since the summer of 1966. The AEC (SSS) is a federally funded TRIO program that helps students overcome class, social, academic and cultural barriers to higher education. The AEC offers free peer tutoring, academic and personal counseling, financial aid assistance, career and graduate school counseling and tickets to cultural events on campus. Supplemental grant aid is available to qualifying first- and second-year students.
Wells said he believes, “It is important for Ouachita, as a Southern Baptist institution, to lead the way in making a difference in the lives of Arkansans and Americans through these programs.”
For more information about OBU’s Academic Enrichment Center or the TRIO SSS programs, contact Frances Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-4163.
By Rebecca Stone