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TRiO Students Meet Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

A group of TRiO students was front-and-center as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan kicked off the U.S. Department of Education's annual Back-to-School bus tour at Sequoia High School last week.

TRiO students with Mayor Aguirre
The theme of this year's bus tour, "Education Drives America," highlighted the urgency, opportunity, and challenge of improving the country's education system and strengthening the workforce.

"The event was well attended by Sequoia High School students faculty and staff, various educators from the local community, including students and staff from Cañada College," said Romeo Garcia, Director of Student Support and TRiO Programs. "We had an opportunity to hear from the panelist about innovative approaches to online learning and how technology can enhance education."

As an internationally recognized hub of technological innovation Silicon Valley provided the ideal backdrop for the event, which explored the way that technology can support and enable powerful teaching and learning. Secretary Duncan moderated a panel discussion that included Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, an online education platform that offers a library of more than 3,000 free educational videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics; Andrew Ng, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab and co-founder of Coursera, an online education platform designed to support top universities world-wide in offering courses online for free; and Catlin Tucker, a high school English language arts teacher in Sonoma County and author of, "Blended Learning for Grades 4-12: Leveraging the Power of Technology to Create a Student-Centered Classroom."

In addition to Garcia, Maria Huning, Lina Mira, and six TRiO Upward Bound students and six TRiO Student Support Service students were in attendance along with Ricardo Flores from CIETL.


TRiO students with Secretary Duncan
"The TRiO community wanted to welcome Secretary Arne Duncan and encourage his continued support of our program, demonstrate that TRiO works, and request for increased funding to address the rising costs of implementing the Federal TRiO programs that aims to ensure success of first generation, low income, and students with disability," Garcia said.

TRiO Students were greeted and supported by Redwood City Mayor and Cañada College Professor Alicia Aguirre, who serves as  a strong role model for first-generation students. Prior to boarding back onto the Department of Education Tour Bus, Secretary Duncan invited TRiO students to take a group picture with him; which was another major highlight of the event.
“Being a part of attending the Education Drivers America Bus Tour was a great experience," said Lorena Ruiz, a Cañada College TRiO participant and Psychology Major.  "It gave us an opportunity to share our voice and message that TRiO works. We hope that Secretary Duncan increases our funding so that more students will have an opportunity to succeed in their educational goals and receive continued support from faculty and staff.”

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