Islander Students Recognized During 2nd Annual TRIO Awards Banquet

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The TRIO Islanders student organization, in conjunction with the Programs for Academic Student Support (PASS) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi held the 2nd Annual TRIO Islanders Awards Banquet on March 24, to honor more than 60 student participants from TRIO Student Support Services, Student Support Services (STEM, Student Support Services-TEACH, McNair Scholars Program, Upward Bound, Title V ), plus Project GRAD, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board GO Center program, First in the World STEM Supplemental Instruction Program and the TRIO Islanders. The banquet provided recognition to students who have excelled in their studies, who have been active members in the program and also recognized a select few who reached “superstar” status. In addition, TRIO Islander students and family members were acknowledged for their outstanding community service efforts.

“It is such a great experience to witness our students in the TRIO Islanders Organization and the PASS Department staff working together to bring to life such an amazing event,” said Emmanuel Guadarrama, TRIO Islanders Staff Advisor. “Our awardees were recognized for the academic and professional achievements with their loved ones and special guests in the audience.”

More than 200 people attended the banquet, including community dignitaries, campus administrators, staff, students, parents, family and friends. Students were given a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, a Texas A&M-Corpus Christi certificate and an award for their contribution to the PASS programs.

“It was so inspiring to see so many students honored for their hard work,” said Jessica Barrera, interim president of TRIO Islanders. “So much pride and dedication was put into our banquet and it showed.” 

PASS programs serve the needs of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students in Coastal Bend high schools and in higher education. One of the main goals of PASS is to increase student retention and graduation. Each of the PASS programs provides a pathway to student academic success.

“I am thankful for the wonderful opportunity to attend the TRIO Islanders Awards Banquet,” said Bianca Jorgensen, a parent of an awardee. “At the event, I learned about the various academic support programs and how they are instrumental in the lives of so many students. I could really relate to the guest speaker’s speech in so many ways and I was very happy my son was recognized.”

For more information on PASS programs and services, go to