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The ASPIRE Region's Newsletter

ASPIRE 2021 Conference, Cascading Impact

 ASPIRE 2021 - Oct. 11-13 
The 45th Annual ASPIRE, Inc conference will be held virtual. The ASPIRE Board voted to host the annual conference in a virtual format due to the unknown circumstances related to the pandemic. The ASPIRE Conference Committee is working hard to plan for a great conference. The conference was scheduled to be held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Registration for the conference is now open! The tentative agenda will be posted online soon. 

We are busy working on what we plan to send each registered participant in their swag box that will arrive shortly before the conference in your mailbox. Please make sure to provide your preferred mailing address when registering. 

We just held the first pre-conference for the Upward Bound Proposal Writing Workshop.  We are working on possibly providing a few more helpful opportunities as a service to our ASPIRE members as part of the annual conference and a benefit of your membership to ASPIRE.  

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Register Now

TRIO Achiever nominations needed 

Please submit your nomination for TRIO Achiever for 2021-2022. Nominations can be submitted at

The TRIO Achiever candidate must:
  • be a former TRIO project participant who was enrolled in and successfully completed a TRIO program in the ASPIRE region;
  • have enrolled in and successfully completed a postsecondary program of study resulting in a bachelor’s or terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education;
  • be a person of high stature within their profession or have received recognition for outstanding academic achievement;
  • currently be employed above the entry-level baccalaureate level;
  • have made significant civic, community, or professional
Participation in a TRIO project must have had a significant impact upon the candidate in obtaining their professional objectives (as acknowledged by the participant).
PLEASE NOTE: TRIO Achievers who are selected should be prepared to present a five minute address to the ASPIRE membership during the TRIO Achievers’ Recognition at the 2021 conference. 
Submit Nomination

Submit your proposal for the 2021 conference 

We are still seeking proposals for concurrent sessions. If you have any best practices for your program please consider submitting your presentation.

- Accepted presentations will be delivered via zoom. If you need training on presenting via zoom, or if you have any questions about submitting your proposal or presenting, please contact

- Proposal submission is for volunteer presenters ONLY. If you are interested in being considered for a paid speaking opportunity please contact

- This form does not allow you to save your progress and return later. So, before starting you should be prepared with: Presentation title, full presentation description(document upload), presentation abstract (50 word limit), picture(upload) and short bio(document upload). 

- Submissions due by August 27, 2021

Thank you for volunteering to share your expertise with ASPIRE! 
Submit your Proposal

Submit a donation for the Silent Auction 

Please consider submitting an item for the all virtual silent auction. 

You can submit a new or used item. Please be aware that the seller will be asked to pay for shipping of the items, so it’s probably not the best idea to get rid of that old couch unless you want to pay for shipping it to North Dakota or Utah. 

Things like a gift card to a national chain or a basket of goodies from your area or a unique piece of art would make a great donation.

To submit your items please complete the form found here: 

Please submit your donation before October 8th.
Submit your Donation

Message from the President

Can you believe it is August! For me, this summer has flown by and dragged on endlessly. It’s amazing how Upward Bound summer program can completely warp time in that way.
I hope you all had successful summers and that you are ready for a great new year.

The ASPIRE Regional Conference is barely two months away. Please register now! We have some amazing plenary speakers, some great opportunities to network with one another, and some good fun sprinkled throughout. I want to give a huge shout-out to the conference planning committee and all the work they have done. It’s going to be phenomenal!

If you haven’t yet, please consider submitting a presentation proposal for this conference. We also need your nominations for our many awards. All information can be found on our website

We had several applicants for the inaugural year of the Andrea Reeve Degree Advancement Scholarship. I am excited by the response and about the future of this scholarship. We didn’t receive applications from every state. So, we hope to be able to grow this program in the future.

Can’t wait to see you at the conference. May you finish the summer and start the school year strong!

All my best,
Rachel Lund

ASPIRE 2021-2022 Memberships can be purchased now 


The 2021-2022 ASPIRE membership year has officially begun. As we look forward to another great conference in October and other opportunities provided by this regional organization throughout the year, it’s the perfect time to renew both your personal and project memberships.

Professional Membership is your personal membership which affords you discounted pricing on both fall and spring conferences, inclusion in the membership directory, opportunities to get involved with leadership opportunities within your state and/or the region, and voting rights at both state and regional levels.

Project Membership entitles your project staff exclusive benefits including access to pre/post conference workshops and trainings designed to keep your project successful.

The link to renew your memberships is now live:

Questions about membership? 
Please contact:

Dawn Eckhardt regarding personal membership questions

Jami Bayles regarding project membership questions

Dawn Eckhardt
ASPIRE Membership Chair
Assistant Director
TRIO Talent Search
University of North Dakota

P 701.777.4373 | C 701.331.3804

Purchase ASPIRE Membership

Government Relations 

The US House of Representatives passed its funding bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022.  Under this bill, the Federal TRIO programs would receive a record increase of $200.8 million or a 18% increase, for total appropriation of $1.3 billion for FY 2022 (program year 2022-2023).  This appropriation would be the same level as the Biden Administration’s request.  TRIO FY 2022 funding will support the upcoming competitions for Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math and Science, Veterans Upward Bound  and the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Education Program, as well as continuation awards for all current grantees.  The house bill also included an increase for maximum Pell grant and an increase for Gear Up programs.  The appropriation process now moves to the Senate.  Their bill is expected sometime this month. 

Ben Shapiro
TRIO Upward Bound Director, Assistant Director TRIO
North Dakota Chapter of ASPIRE Past-President
ASPIRE Governmental Relations Committee Chair 

South Dakota ASPIRE Update 

South Dakota is excited to host the upcoming virtual ASPIRE Conference! Many members have been hard at work planning the conference agenda, logistics, and entertainment for this wonderful conference. We hope you all can attend! Even though we are saddened that we will not be able to showcase our beautiful state in person, we look forward to sharing pieces of what makes South Dakota special throughout the virtual conference.
In addition, South Dakota had a number of summer programs takes place recently and we wanted to highlight the Northern State University Upward Bound program. The NSU Upward Bound program was lucky enough to receive permission to offer an on-campus summer component with limited travel in-state. In order to decrease the spread of COVID-19, they split the program into two three-week sessions. The students were able to engage in all the typical activities they usually see including academic classes, and social and cultural enrichment. They added a robust community service aspect, dedicating up to four hours per week to local organizations to enrich both students and the community. Each session had a different 'focus', the first being on Career Exploration where they discussed various careers and their earning potentials, worked with local employers for facility tours, and worked on key skills such as resume building and interviews. The other session was focused on Life Skills and ranged anywhere from making large purchases, to home repair, to personal care. Overall, the students and staff found this summer's program to be highly valuable and enriching!
Director, Upward Bound


Colorado Chapter of ASPIRE Update

The Colorado Chapter of ASPIRE (CCA) had a successful business meeting in April at the WYCO Workshop Series with many announcements and updates from the CCA board. Additionally, we were excited to have six Colorado attendees for the Emerging Leaders Development Institute to continue to move our membership forward and provide professional development opportunities. Thank you Gloria Cueva, Colorado Mountain College Upward Bound, for leading and supporting a small group of students to represent Colorado at the National Student Congress Leadership hosted by COE. We’re glad that so many TRIO professionals were able to dive into their summer programs and take time to enjoy summer to rest and rejuvenate. The CCA board is focused for 2021-2022 academic year.

Leticia Treviño, M.A.
Director | TRIO Talent Seach
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Denver Scholarship Foundation | a 501(c)(3) Public Charity
789 Sherman Street, Suite 610  |  Denver, CO 80203
O: 303.870.5719 |

Wyoming ASPIRE Update

The Wyoming ASPIRE board held a successful joint online spring workshop and conference with Colorado in April.  We held 3 separate workshops on Fridays from 10-12 with speakers and breakout sessions. Our fourth Friday, we held our normal conference and state meeting.   The 3 workshops was open to all TRIO and outside entities.  We had an amazing turnout and was very thankful for a successful conference and workshops.  This quarter took a turn as Wyoming’s state president had to stepped down in June and so our president-elect moved up 4 months early.  We are still doing elections for two offices, secretary and member at large.  The board will select the past president per our operating guidelines.
Wyoming has 2 EOC grants from the University of Wyoming that have wrote and anxiously waiting news as the end of their grant cycle is August 31st.   We also had one TS program from Central Wyoming College that rewrote and just received news that they were successful! 
University of Wyoming McNair Program
-Students recently presented their summer research projects at the 29th Annual McNair Summer Research Symposium. (see attached photo). 

-A previous McNair graduate, Kevin Fettel, was accepted to Harvard Medical School and recently began the program. 

-Recent graduate Madison McConnell is set to begin her PhD program in Chemistry at the University of Utah this fall 
-Recent graduate Riley Thomas will begin an Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program at the University of North Dakota this fall. 
-Recent graduate Carlos Gonzales will begin his PhD in Sociology at Penn State this fall. 

-Current McNair Scholar Alec Wallen received a $12,000 grant from the Shlemon Center for Quaternary studies to continue his research in the upcoming academic year. 
Teffany Fegler
EOC TRIO Coordinator
705 Fairgrounds Road
Riverton, WY 82501
307-851-0847 cell


2245 Oak Ave NE, Emerado, ND 58228

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