Feb. 22 is National TRiO Day, a day set aside to celebrate the positive impact of federal programs that help low-income and first-generation students enter college and earn degrees.

At CSU Monterey Bay, it’s also an opportunity to give back to the community.

Gently used clothing will be collected to help the homelessSponsored by TRiO Student Support Services, students are collecting clothing throughout the month of February to be donated to the Clothes Closet, which is affiliated with First United Methodist Church in Salinas. The church provides services to the homeless.

“It’s always good to give back to the community and what better way of doing it than to gather clothing for those in need,” said Cynthia Arias, a TRiO peer mentor who has played a key role in planning this year’s National TRiO Day at CSUMB.

“TRiO programs work to reach out to those in need and encourage the CSUMB community to be involved and contribute,” she said.

All kinds of gently used clothing – except undergarments – will be accepted.

Until Feb. 19, donations can be deposited in bins located in the Alumni and Visitors Center, Student Center, library café, Dining Commons, Otter Sports Center and EOSP office in Building 47.

Community members are also invited to participate in the drive. Anyone who would like to contribute can contact Kyrstie Lane at 582-4451.

On Feb. 21, TRiO programs from Northern and Central California will head to the state capital in Sacramento as part of a day of advocacy in the name of educational equity. Seven CSUMB students and several staff members will attend the event. As well as advocating for the programs, the trip provides an opportunity to learn about the advocacy, legislative and policy-making processes.

Students in other CSUMB-based TRiO programs are involved in service projects as well. High school students served by Educational Talent Search are doing a beach cleanup on Feb. 15, and Upward Bound students are working on the clothing drive.

TRiO began with the Upward Bound program, started in 1964 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Educational Talent Search was added the next year, and a third program, Student Support Services, was added three years later. By the late 1960s, the term “TRiO” was coined to describe these federal programs.

Over the years, the TRiO programs have been expanded and improved to provide a wider range of services and to reach more students. All are federally funded.

Learn more about TRiO and other outreach and support programs at CSUMB.