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Cougars & Mustangs 

It’s brutally, utterly, totally, wholly deafening when you attune your ears for just a minute to the chorus of the century, the chorus of our lifetime, the chorus of gobs and gobs of terrified souls thrown under their riptides, trying to scream as they cease to breathe: “Please give me a chance! Give me a chance! GIVE ME A CHANCE!” It’s loud enough inside my skull already, but when the others of our town are an audible sound all around, can peace be found?

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It pleases me to hear that the U.S. Department of Education, through the TRIO Student Support Services Program, has granted 20 California State University campuses, among them Cal Poly, each grants that support academic tutoring, counseling services, financial literacy support, mentoring programs, and career counseling. This money, in all its $1.45 million, will be used to help provide first generation, low-income students with the support services they need for college success, just as the program has done in the past with that group as well as students with disabilities. 

Be it some form of handicap, the financial situation you were born into, or honestly any number of a great many personal obstacles—tackling schooling is profoundly difficult and will be impeded by something. It isn’t as straightforward or simple a situation to complete as so many are led to believe. Can you imagine how it would feel if you tried something very new, something very important, a thing that could change your life for the better, and realized as it began that you were you were doomed on arrival? That you weren’t even allowed access to the tools required to succeed? These are thoughts that are horrible enough for one person to have to deal with—and, as you can imagine, they are terrifyingly widespread.

Mercifully, as time goes by, the number of tools and programs to help those struggling with something increases, the aid provided by this grant being another example. According to Student Support Services, 92 percent of its participants continue into their next year of school, and nearly nine in 10 participants even have grades of C or better. Congratulations to these students and those whose hard work helps them to succeed. Dear readers, if you know of any programs that you believe could be helpful to another student, please don’t forget to send that information here, and I will do my best to get the information out there!

Contributor Chris White-Sanborn wishes you the best of luck with your personal journey. Send her your collegiate news via and protect your loved ones from the now unfettered tide.

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