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2023 - College Bound: TRiO coordinator helps students succeed

Tags: Staff Profile | Student Resources
Published 12/04/2023
LaShaunda Jordan, '15, a TRiO Upward Bound coordinator at ECC

LaShaunda Jordan, '15, a TRiO Upward Bound coordinator at ECC

When young students share their struggles with LaShaunda Jordan, ’15, a TRiO Upward Bound coordinator at Elgin Community College, she knows what they are going through. From academics to mental health concerns and lack of family support, Jordan understands their challenges. “I struggled in high school, not feeling academically worthy enough for college.

When Jordan had difficulties as a sophomore at Elgin High School, her mom encouraged her to enroll in ECC’s Upward Bound Program. The program changed her life trajectory. Instead of thinking college was not for her, she persisted and enrolled at ECC, where she thrived. Jordan served as the commencement speaker for her graduating class. She transferred to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, majoring in mass communications, and again served as the student commencement speaker. Jordan also earned a master’s degree from DePaul University.

To Jordan, her greatest accomplishment is that she is now intervening and helping high school students in the same program that helped her. This year, Jordan returned to ECC’s Upward Bound Program as an employee to work with college and local high school students. “I knew I wanted to work in education,” she said. “Students need guidance. As a product of Upward Bound, I know I’m in the right spot to help these kids.”

“The mission of TRiO programming is to encourage and assist traditionally underrepresented students in preparing for and attending college,” explained Lewis Rule, assistant dean of college transitions, who oversees the federally-funded TRiO Upward Bound and Talent Search programs at the college. “We equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and motivation they need before, during, and after college.”

Early intervention is the key. “Students participating in Upward Bound programs are more than twice as likely to continue to college,” added Rule, “and more than four times as likely to earn an undergraduate degree than their peers.”

Not only has Upward Bound impacted Jordan’s life, but it’s now benefiting her children too. Jordan’s daughters currently participate in the Upward Bound program at Streamwood High School. Through TRiO and Jordan’s leadership, her daughters and many other students will be better prepared and college-bound.


Read the entire fall 2023 issue of Impact magazine online here.