Success Stories

TRiO Graduates

Understanding that everyone's path is unique, here are some of our students' testimonial about their journey with the TRiO Scholars Program at University of California, Davis.

Carolina Banales

Carolina Banales

  • Class of 2019

"Trio played a huge role in my college experience. During my freshman year, I had a few terrible interactions with advisors, in which I felt unheard and pushed aside. With Trio, I felt heard and the help that I received felt genuine. The peer advisors were always very nice, approachable and created a comfortable environment. I was able to get one on one tutoring for many of my classes, which helped a lot. Overall, Trio helped me to ensure that I was successful in my classes and ultimately helped me to graduate."

Michael Diabali

Michael Diabali

  • Class of 2019

"As a non-traditional transfer student, starting out at UC Davis, thousands of miles away from home was overwhelming to say the least. Naturally, I searched for resources that could support me in reaching my educational goals. TRIO by far, was exactly what I needed. I gained a team of professionals who had my back and wanted nothing but the best for me. They helped me make sense of the confusion and even guided me in the direction of other campus resources when I needed them. Even something as little as a quarterly meeting, left me with the confidence and motivation necessary to continue onward regardless of how difficult things got. Panhoia and her team are exceptionally intelligent, resourceful and kind. I always knew that I could reach out to them for support and guidance. Now that I’ve graduated, I am going to miss having them in my corner but I am glad to know that they remain here to guide the many more students to come. With the utmost gratitude, Thank you TRIO. Go Aggies!"

Loata Fine

Loata Fine

  • Class of 2019

"The TRiO Scholars Program supported my growth at UC Davis from the start to the finish of my undergraduate journey. As a first-generation student from a low-income background, it was extremely challenging for me to transition to the university. However, my advisors were always helpful and willing to support me with my personal, social, and academic goals. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to work as a Peer Advisor for my last two years. It was one of the best decisions that I made during my four years in college. I enjoyed serving my peers and being a person that they can count on for advice and information regarding resources offered on our campus. It was amazing to be a part of a community of students that are motivated to make a positive impact not only in their family and communities, but in every space that they enter. TRiO have motivated me to work towards college access and educational equity for people from marginalized communities. I am grateful for everything that I have gained from being a part of this program, and will remain connected to my TRiO family."

Pha Yang

Pha Yang

  • Class of 2019

"The TRiO Scholars Program played a crucial role in my success at UC Davis. As a first-generation student, the educational experience I had during my first year was not enough to become the mechanical engineer I am today without the help from TRiO staff and their tutoring services. TRiO services minimized my stressors in math and English lower division courses.

I understand that it takes great determination to succeed but without a helping hand from a program like TRiO, the level of determination can only produce so little result. I am grateful and thankful to have TRiO as part of my success journey during my time at UC Davis."

Diego Palacios

Diego Palacios

  • Class of 2017

"Let me begin by expressing the utmost respects and gratitude toward the TRiO program of UC Davis. My journey through the UC Davis system has been filled with peaks and valleys and twists and turns. Without this program, I do not know if I would be here, in the Memorial Union, writing this excerpt. Entering this institution as an engineering major made me realize that I do not know all the answers and the path of the lone wanderer was not right for me. In reality we all need that safety net to catch us when take leaps of faith; this is what the TRiO program has provided. It is this program has been the secret weapon to navigating this institution with determination, fearlessness, and confidence. This program provided me with different academic sources, mentors and memories which I will treasure for the rest of my life. The level of support and encouragement goes beyond expectation and I am proud to say that I am a product of this program."

Dianne Vue

Dianne Vue

  • Class of 2017

"TRiO has always been there for me when I needed help or just someone to talk to. The advising sessions, the etiquette dinner events, the random talks have all helped me cope with the endless stress that I face in college. One of the best things about TRIO at UC Davis are the staff members. They all genuinely care about the well-being of their students and really do their best to help us in whatever route we choose to pursue. TRIO has also given me the skills to become more independent and to take the initiative in finding answers to my questions. Without TRIO and the wonderful staff, my experience at UC Davis would not be the same. I will always be proud that I am a TRIO member! Woot!"

Choua Vue

Choua Vue

  • Class of 2016

“I remember failing one of my classes during my freshman year of college and was stressed. I did not know who to talk to until my TRiO Peer Advisor reached out to me for a quarterly meeting. During the quarterly meeting, we discussed different techniques and ways to help me improve my grades before the quarter ends. My Peer Advisor told me about the resources [the] TRiO Scholars Program offers like tutoring and workshop support. After talking to my Peer Advisor, I made the decision to get a one-on-one tutor for the remaining weeks of the quarter. When the quarter ended, there was a drastic improvement to my grades and I was able to pass the class. From then on, I knew that TRiO truly care and support their TRiO Scholars. I truly appreciate and am thankful to be part of the TRiO Scholars Program at UC Davis.”

Joel Mendoza

Joel Mendoza

  • Class of 2015

“UC Davis was an intimidating experience for me as a freshman. Early on, I struggled with both my academic and personal life. I really had no idea what I was doing or where school would lead me. Luckily, I had the support of the TRiO Scholars Program. They helped me become part of a close-knit family and adjust to the fast-paced college experience. I graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences and can confidently say that my time at UC Davis was extremely rewarding. I currently work in the mental health field and strive to make an impact on the lives of others. Through lived experience, I understand that people from distinct backgrounds have tremendous potential and many times just need a support network to help them accomplish their goals. I'm forever thankful, as TRiO helped me achieve mine.”

Dharshini Nadarajah

Dharshini Nadarajah

  • Class of 2015

“TRiO was a set of many open doors that helped me before, during and after graduation. As an immigrant, a first generation college student and a teenager with anxiety, the program offered me support I needed to feel like my dreams were a possibility. ETS helped prepare me for my personal statement and FAFSA. They taught me the difference between subsidized loans and unsubsidized loans. STEP worked to address my anxiety by providing me a way to slowly transition to college life and to give me a head start in connecting with University staff and building friendships. Through STEP I was placed into BUSP, which helped me excel in my science and mathematics courses. The check-ins with my TRiO peer advisor helped keep me balanced and on track as I planned courses for each quarter. I received my Bachelors in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior after four years and a quarter. I am now a Case and Operations Manager for a homeless shelter for women and children in my hometown and I will be applying for my Masters in Nursing this year. The financial advice I received has helped me to be able to pay my loans off and now I am preparing for graduate school. Accept the good advice, enjoy the journey, believe that you deserve the opportunity and know that your education has purpose.”