NIC student to attend congressional briefing on opportunity in education

North Idaho College student Janette Jackson, of Pinehurst, can testify to the value of federal education opportunity programs to help adults attain an education. And on April 12, she will.
Jackson will share her story with the Council for Opportunity in Education while attending a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C.
“I am very excited,” Jackson said of her selection to speak to the before the nation's congressional leaders. “I just want people to know that it's not impossible to attain an education and I want to let Congress know the value of these programs.”
Jackson, a 41-year-old mother of eight children ages 5 to 21, was working at the Super 8 Motel in Kellogg when the opportunity arose through her employer to return to school.
“It was a lifetime goal of mine to raise my family first and then get my education,” said Jackson, who is studying business administration while still working as the assistant manager of the Silver Valley hotel. “With one child left at home, I decided it was Mom's turn. I took the opportunity and connected with the Educational Opportunity Center, which started me on the right path.”
Select members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, who co-chairs the council, will hear from Jackson and other students from across the nation in support of TRIO programs, which were initiated by Congress 40 years ago to provide free resources for low-income and first-generation families to pursue postsecondary education.
The NIC Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) of Northern Idaho was established in 2002 with funds from a $950,000 TRIO grant awarded to NIC from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education.
EOC's mission is to assist eligible adults in Idaho's five northernmost counties to enroll in a college degree or certification program by providing academic advising, financial aid information and career assessments.
EOC has helped Jackson and hundreds like her since its inception, according to NIC EOC Academic Adviser Doug Burr.
“Janette is a wonderful example of the difference we can make in the lives of the people in northern Idaho,” Burr said.
Jackson has also received several scholarships through the college programs and utilized services from NIC's Student Support Services, another TRIO academic assistance program focused on helping participating students stay in school and successfully graduate from NIC and transfer to a four-year institution.
Jackson was one of two TRIO students from NIC who attended the First Annual Idaho TRIO Leadership Conference in Boise in February.
“Since attending, she has become quite an advocate for TRIO in general and for saving the two pre-college programs, Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound from a proposed elimination,” said NIC Student Support Services Director Barb Lundberg.
The first congressional briefing on TRIO programs was in December. The goal was to facilitate communication between congressional offices, other organizations, and the U.S. Department of Education and to help other members of Congress understand the importance of expanding educational opportunities for all Americans. The aim was to showcase the TRIO programs and ensure the programs' continued success.

For More Information
NIC Educational Opportunity Center Academic Adviser, (208) 769-5971, or NIC student Janette Jackson, (208) 691-9944

Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2005

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