Marcus Trinidad, a recent graduate of Oregon State University (OSU), has joined Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative for the next year as a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA member.
Trinidad is one of 19 VISTA members who serve under the auspices of the City of Charleston Mayor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families, which manages the local AmeriCorps VISTA grant program. Organizations around Charleston county were invited to apply to the city and were chosen to host a VISTA member if they met the necessary requirements.
The AmeriCorps VISTA program, funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, mobilizes its members to fight poverty by focusing on education, health and economic opportunity. The program seeks to help organizations, agencies and nonprofits build sustainable systems, improve capacity and operate in an integrated and collaborative manner that allow them to better serve their clients.
Trinidad’s focus at TCCC will be to work collectively and collaboratively with Tri-County schools and relevant stakeholders to develop a comprehensive and sustainable strategy that supports a regional college-going culture. A main area of focus will be to improve knowledge and awareness of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) among school district staff and the community at large. TCCC’s FAFSA project seeks to increase the number of local high school students, especially from low income families, who apply for financial assistance for post-secondary education.
Trinidad graduated in May from OSU with bachelor’s degrees in mathematical economics and political science and a minor in statistics. He most recently served as the editor-in-chief for the national-award winning school newspaper The Daily Barometer.
Additionally, Trinidad gained government experience interning for U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and for Portland’s Black Male Achievement initiative. He also previously worked on community social justice issues and a first-year college student peer mentorship at OSU as a Community Relations Facilitator.
After his AmeriCorps VISTA service, Trinidad plans on attending graduate school to pursue a master’s in public policy.