Two young, black women are dancing while listening to music

TRIO Student Support Services students Francesca Stewart and Makiya Golden enjoyed a trip to the African American Music Museum in Nashville, one of the many activities SIU’s TRIO program has participated in. (Photo provided)

June 21, 2024

Hundreds of participants coming to SIU for Illinois TRIO Conference June 28-30

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — More than 200 high school and university students from across Illinois will be converging on Southern Illinois University Carbondale June 28-30 for the 2024 Illinois TRIO Student Leadership Conference, celebrating the golden anniversary of the state chapter of the TRIO Programs.

The theme of the conference is “Leadership Renaissance: Bridging the Past, Building the Future.” As participants enjoy workshops, panel discussions, guest speakers and a variety of special activities, they will recognize the innovative federal TRIO outreach and student services programs created to help disadvantaged students navigate challenges and succeed academically and in life, organizers say.

“The 2024 Illinois TRIO Student Leadership Conference is not just a gathering of TRIO programs, but a catalyst for inspiring innovation, driving impactful change and shaping our future leaders,” said Victoria Taylor, assistant director of TRIO Student Support Services at SIU. “We are thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments and the 50th anniversary of the Illinois TRIO programs with the SIU Carbondale community. TRIO students and staff will also enjoy learning more about SIU and visit hometown favorite restaurants and businesses.”

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are invited to cover the TRIO Student Leadership Conference June 28-30. Opportune times to capture appealing videos, photos and interviews include:

  • Welcome and kickoff event – Friday, June 28. Participants will enjoy bowling, billiards and e-sports at the Student Center from 5-7 p.m.
  • Panel discussions – Saturday, June 29, 2:45-3:30 p.m. at the Student Center River Room, featuring successful student-athletes, entrepreneurs, and medical and law professionals sharing their stories. Group activities including tram rides, and a visit from an ice cream truck will follow 3:45-4:45 p.m.
  • Dance and karaoke night – Saturday, June 29. Join participants in the upper level of Grinnell Hall 9-11 p.m. for karaoke and dancing.
  • Participants will enjoy a continental breakfast together from 9-10 a.m. Sunday, June 30, at Neely Hall and packing up to head home.

For more information or details about other possible options, contact Victoria Taylor at or 618-203-1820.

The conference begins with games and a welcome and event on Friday, June 28, and continues throughout the weekend. There will be enriching learning activities covering a wide range of topics to help participants hone their leadership skills, enhance strategic thinking and decision-making abilities, build meaningful relationships, collaborate, set goals, leverage strengths, learn to navigate challenges and much more. They will also enjoy fun, interactive activities to help them get acquainted with one another and the SIU campus and community before heading home on Sunday.

SIU’s TRIO Programs, including Project Upward Bound, McNair Scholars and Student Support Services, is hosting the Illinois TRIO Student Leadership Conference.