Two New Trinity Students Who “Beat the Odds” Will Attend White House Summit Hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama

Two New Trinity Students Who “Beat the Odds” Will Attend White House Summit Hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama

Two incoming freshmen at Trinity Washington University, Allison Barrera of Capitol Heights, Maryland, and Ingrid Melendez of Washington, D.C., will be among the 140 students selected nationwide to participate in the White House’s 2015 Beating the Odds Summit, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, on Thursday, July 23. Part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, the Summit will represent a mix of youth who have overcome substantial obstacles to persist through high school and make it to college.

According to the White House, “This event will focus on sharing tools and strategies students can use to successfully transition to college and the resources they will need to complete the next level of their education.” Students were nominated and then selected to participate in this very special Summit. Read more about the Summit and the Reach Higher Initiative.

Allison Barrera was nominated by TheDream.US, a national organization that provides scholarships to Dreamers and an important Trinity partner. According to TheDream.US, Barrera was “born in Honduras, and is a role model in her family of five. She made her parents incredibly proud by graduating from Bladensburg High School and now has her sights set on a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Trinity Washington University, starting in the fall. As a DACAmented Dreamer, she is overjoyed to be continuing her education and wants to show her younger brothers that it is possible to beat the odds and succeed regardless of status.” TheDream.US announced participation of Barrera and another Dreamer Scholar and noted, “We are beyond thrilled for Allison and Ilder, not only to have this opportunity to meet with the First Lady and ask her specific questions regarding higher education and the many challenges facing students in this present time, but to represent the community of undocumented students, called DREAMers, across the United States.  Read more about Allison Barrera.

Ingrid Melendez is a graduate of Bell Multicultural High School in Columbia Heights in D.C. She juggled taking all AP classes in her senior year; waking up at 6 am for her daily commute from east of the Anacostia River to school; practicing soccer in the afternoon followed by five-hour shifts at restaurant far from her home; completing school assignments without a computer at home. Soccer, and the support of DC Scores, kept her focused. This fall, when she begins her classes at Trinity, she will be the first member of her family to continue her education past high school. She will study forensics and, of course, try out for the soccer team. She will be representing DC Scores, another important Trinity partner and one of the largest after-school programs in DC with an innovative, award-winning model of soccer, poetry, and service-learning. Melendez has been involved with DC Scores for more than 10 years and, for the past four years, has coached young girls to play soccer. Read this inspiring profile of Ingrid Melendez posted by DC Scores on July 22.

Trinity is committed to expanding access to higher education to those students who are under-served: A majority of its students are first-generation college students; 95% of Trinity’s students are African-American or Hispanic; 90% of Trinity’s full-time students are low-income; and more than half of Trinity’s students are D.C. residents and another one-third of its students are from nearby counties in Maryland. Trinity educates more D.C. residents than any other private university in the city or the nation. Watch this Chronicle of Higher Education video feature on Trinity to learn more about Trinity’s commitment to educating women.

Tune in to the Summit on Thursday, July 23, at 11:00 am at and get updates from the Summit on Twitter @ReachHigher and #ReachHigher.