The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana TRiO Program has selected Brandy Lyn Flowers as the 2018 TRiO Hall of Fame recipient. Flowers was chosen for the award by the program staff. She was honored at TRiO Day on February 24, 2018, at Arkansas State University in Beebe.
Flowers was born in Texarkana, Texas and raised in Columbus, Arkansas. She is a wife of twenty-two years and has two children, ages seventeen and five. “Growing up I did not ever think about attending college, in fact, I barely made it out of high school,” said Flowers. “I never dreamed of going back to school at the age of forty-three, but I did, and I have done pretty well.”
The Arkansas TRiO Hall of Fame was implemented as a way to honor outstanding current TRiO participants. The Hall of Fame provides an opportunity for programs to showcase the participant to the Arkansas Congressional delegation during the Policy Seminar visits in Washington D.C., in March of each year. Flowers stated, “Business has been a passion of mine for years, but I believed that I was too old to go back to school. However, now I am in college earning my Associates Degree in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting. The first thing I did when I began attending U of A Hope-Texarkana was join the TRiO program. That was one of the best decisions I ever made. After joining TRiO, I quickly became a tutor, which gave me the ability to help other students, and that brought me even more joy.”
Flowers continued, “Through all the hard work and pushing through the tough times, I have made the Vice Chancellors list four semesters and been awarded the Hope Water & Light Scholarship three semesters. In the spring of 2018, I was appointed President of the TRiO Club. I had had times when I just wanted to give up, especially when my mom passed. During those times, nothing seemed possible, but I had such a good support system between family, my instructors, and the TRiO staff that I was able to endure. It has just been wonderful to be a member of TRiO at UAHT. They helped me to see that I was doing a great thing, that I was able to overcome obstacles, that I was helping others, and that I could do it. And I must say, I did it!”
“I simply cannot believe this has happened to me,” said Flowers. “If someone had told me thirty years ago that I would be where I am today, I would have laughed and said, ‘No way, not me!’ Well, look at me now! TRiO has become an extension of my family, and that is the greatest feeling in the world. If I could give one piece of advice to students getting ready to start college, in any state, it would be to find out where the TRiO department is located on campus and go there.”
The Federal TRIO Programs are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.
For more information about TRiO at UAHT, call 870-777-5722.