TRIO Student Support Services


Eboney JonesShae LillyXavier Scruggs

Check out what some of our Alums have been up to:

Briana McDade (’16):

I am in the middle of applying for graduate school for a Master’s in School Counseling. Immediately after graduating I took a gap year with AmeriCorps and served with Impact America in Alabama. It is a very hands-on program and I was glad to serve each community I touched. I was often all over the State of Alabama everyday, I even did some work in Knoxville, TN. I was privileged to be a part of each initiative Impact America had. I served as a Debate Coach at W. J. Christian Middle School in Birmingham [SpeakFirst], I conducted eye screenings for children 6 months to 5 years old across Alabama [FocusFirst], I managed a tax site in Montgomery, while also doing taxes (in addition, to teaching college students how to do taxes before the season began [SaveFirst], and I was a class manager for Summer AP Classes [CollegeFirst]. As a sub, I teach everything. I try to stick to P.E., English, & Social Studies, but I’ve taught Health and Math. I am currently working as a substitute teacher for grades 4th through 12th at varies Shelby County schools.

Greg Roth (’14):

Over that summer, I worked as an intern in DC for Jacques and Associates. They are essentially a lobbying firm for Defense contractors.Then I came back to Alabama and picked up a job as a page at the Hoover Public Library. I spent almost a year there before being selected, via the Federal Government’s “Pathways” program for recent graduates, to go to work for the Social Security Administration. I have been with the SSA for two and a half years as a “Legal Administrative Specialist” or “Benefit Authorizer” (depending on who you ask). I essentially compute benefits and adjust/maintain the master records for the SSA beneficiaries of the Southeast region. I also occasionally hop on the 1-800 number line to answer the questions of the American public.I had no formal training in social insurance benefits, but fortunately my high GPA meant that I was considered competitive against the other two thousand applicants for the position. I spent 9 months in a training class, went through an on-the-job training cycle, and now I am working a stable job with an incredibly flexible schedule and great benefits.

In that span of time, I also somehow managed to convince someone to marry me and raise two beautiful kittens.

Jamila Benson (’13):

From February 2014, I’ve been residing in South Korea, working as a NET (Native English Teacher). In my free time here, I’ve been learning the language, traveling around and volunteering with an orphanage. It has all been a wonderful experience and I wouldn’t have had the extra push to come here if it wasn’t from the awesome TRIO SSS ASPIRE team! Thanks!

Jamila Benson

Candyce Hughston (’10):

I graduated from the University of Montevallo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family and Consumer Sciences in 2010.  I graduated in 2012 from The University of Alabama with a Masters degree in Social Work! I currently work at Bibb County DHR.

Candyce H

Madison Hilley (’18):

I am working at Thrive Behavioral Services as an ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) Program Implementor working with children with autism and related disabilities and I’m loving it so far. I’ll be working basically full time there through the summer and hopefully do home visits on weekends during grad school in the fall. I’m doing so to gain experience working with children in preparation for graduate school to become a speech-language pathologist.

I couldn’t have made it this far without TRIO SSS’s support! I struggled my first semester just doing the basic stuff like registering, getting involved on campus, and finding a job. For me, being a first-generation college student meant having no one in my family who was able to help with these things and I felt alone and anxious that I couldn’t make it. After joining SSS, I felt like I was meant to be there and not like an outsider anymore because there were kids just as clueless as me and three awesome women who were always happy to help. I look forward to coming back in the fall knowing TRIO, and specifically Bree, will be there to give me the support and encouragement I need to continue to succeed.

KJ Dancer (’18):

I was admitted into the graduate program for Education at the University of Montevallo and I will start this in the Fall.

Kimberly McDade (’17):

After graduation, I enrolled as a graduate student into the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Under this program, while pursuing my MLIS, my concentration is in Academic Libraries with an emphasis in Archival Studies. I was honored to receive the McNair Scholarship which provides me with full tuition, I was also awarded a graduate assistantship for 2017-2018 to support an assistant professor with current research. I recently found out I am also a recipient for the assistantship for 2018-2019. In April of this year, I applied to the Emerging Archival Scholars Program. I was accepted and will be attending the Archival Education and Research Initiative conference in July, with year-long mentoring and research opportunities throughout the following year.

Kim Mc


Zach Miller (’15):

After graduation, I started working for a printing company in Birmingham. I have worked my way up to a client manager. Because I speak Spanish, I handle our accounts in Puerto Rico.

There was a lot in between; I started in production, working nights and weekends and also some other part-time jobs. My advice for graduates: hang in there!

Zach M