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A Thousand Students to Tour Area Colleges, Hold March and Rally...

Cambridge, MA--High school students from all over New England will convene at Massachusetts Institute of Technology February 24-25 for a program that will expose them to New England area colleges and will lead them in a march and rally at Cambridge City Hall in celebration of the federal Educational Opportunity Program's 30 years of achievements.

The 1995 TRIO Day Celebration, held in Massachusetts for the first time, is a yearly gathering organized in conjunction with the New England Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (NEAEOPP). It brings together motivated and disadvantaged youths from across New England and provides leadership experiences and higher education information.

TRIO programs (named after the initial three programs) were established by Congress and receive funding through the U.S. Department of Education to help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education. Two-thirds of the students served must come from low-income families where neither parent graduated from college.

Friday, each student will tour two of 16 participating area colleges. On Saturday, after a welcome by MIT's Paul Parravano, assistant for community relations; Marsha Johns, president of NEAEOPP; and Ronald Crichlow, director of MIT's Office of Educational Opportunity Programs, the students will participate in a college fair with over 100 New England colleges and will attend a panel discussion on either college admissions or on "Life after TRIO," given by TRIO alumni.

About 60 of the students will participate in a special program called the ECLIPSe Challenge where they will work in teams to develop their own federal budget--setting fiscal priorities and cutting the budget deficit.

At 12:15 the students will march from MIT down Massachusetts Avenue to Cambridge City Hall to hear addresses by Mayor Kenneth E. Reeves, a representative from Congressman Joseph Kennedy's office, Brenda Dann-Messier, U.S. Department of Education secretary's regional representative, and additional remarks from Johns and Crichlow.

The MIT Office of Educational Opportunity Programs offers students college preparation through the Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound programs that serve 6th - 12th grade Cambridge students and 9th - 12th grade Somerville students. Over 85% of the program's participants have gone on to complete post-secondary education. Through the MIT Educational Talent Search Program, the office, including MIT undergraduate volunteers, provides 650 students with advising and academic support. The MIT/Wellesley Upward Bound Program supports 70 motivated Cambridge students by providing year-round intensive tutoring, counseling and instruction in study skills, science, social studies, language arts and math.

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