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TRiO educational program to host eighth annual Fr. Ted’s walk, run

| Friday, September 15, 2017

TRiO, an organization dedicated to improving the South Bend educational community, will host the eigth annual Fr. Ted’s 5K Walk, 5K and 10K — named for University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh — on Saturday. All students are invited to participate in the event, which will provide supplemental resources to students of TRiO’s two Notre Dame chapters, Upward Bound and Talent Search, Ethan Zagore, director of TRiO Programs said.

Zagore said both programs dedicate their resources to college preparation services for low income and first generation high school students in South Bend.

“The two programs are completely separate divisions, yet they both facilitate growth in college readiness levels for high schoolers in the broader South Bend area,” he said.

Upward Bound serves 104 high school students from four schools, Zagore said, all of whom receive the opportunity to benefit from a variety of academic resources.

“Once a week, the students come to Notre Dame’s campus and receive standardized test preparation, academic workshops hosted by Notre Dame students and one-on-one mentoring and tutoring sessions with on-site TRiO staff,” he said.

He said Upward Bound also finances four college tour trips and a summer session for additional college preparatory services.

“Exposure to many different universities is very important for our students, because it gives them concrete goals to work toward,” Zagore said. “We can tutor students all day, but if there isn’t a visible incentive to strive for, it’s very difficult for them to understand the purpose of their academic focus.”

Talent Search, the second TRiO program funded through Notre Dame, serves a much larger scale of students in South Bend. With 899 students spanning grades six through 12, Zagore said Talent Search participants can choose to join the program at any time.

“Our Talent Search staff travels to each school we provide services for, offering workshops that teach time management skills, college application prep and enhanced writing capabilities,” he said.

Zagore said Notre Dame students are always encouraged to volunteer as tutors for both Upward Bound and Talent Search services.

“Students at Notre Dame who tutor for us develop a dual role as both friend and mentor for our students,” he said. “Notre Dame students form peer relationships with our students and simultaneously watch them grow in their academic skill set and educational aspirations.”

Nijinsky Dix, assistant director of TRiO programs, leads race day relations, and explained that the race itself emulates TRiO’s greater values and goals.

“The ‘i’ in the organization name ‘TRiO’ is lowercase because we believe that in order to spread good, it is necessary to remove the ‘I’ — or the self — from importance,” she said. “Instead, we must emphasize everything else that surrounds the community. This line of thinking will ultimately create a positive effect that outsizes each of us as individuals.”

Zagore said Hesburgh initiated the TRiO programs at Notre Dame in 1966 — only one year after the Department of Education’s national launch of the program in 1965.

“When Father Hesburgh ushered in the TRiO programs, it was not a popular decision,” he said. “He was a visionary and made decisions purposefully to encourage the progression of racial and socioeconomic status.”

The Fr. Ted Race commemorates the mark Hesburgh left on both Notre Dame and South Bend educational standards, Zagore said.

“Without Father Ted, TRiO at Notre Dame would not be in existence,” he said.


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