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Monique Menefee of Cleveland was appointed to be a student member of the Kent State University Board of Trustees by Gov. John Kasich. Monique’s story is a great example of how TRIO Programs help students!

Our friends at WKYC reported in December of 2012 that after high school and serving in the U.S. Air Force, she became homeless with a baby daughter.

Monique said in the WKYC report,

“We were living in my car and it was really trying everyday. We were out in the cold, the winter, we ate where we could and we slept wherever we could.”


Before enrolling at Kent State, Menefee spent five years with the U.S. Air Force as a radio communications specialist. After her service, Monique fell on hard times and became homeless but was helped out by one of the federally funded Trio Program.

Moniquee’s success sky rocketed after help from TRIO programs and as an undergraduate student, Menefee studied abroad in Argentina, and went to Washington, D.C., to advocate for TRIO. TRIO is a set of five federally funded college opportunity programs that help students pursue a college degree.

Menefee will be one of Kent State’s 12 Board members, nine of those are voting members appointed by the Ohio governor, with the advice and approval of the state senate.

Kent State notes that their Board of Trustees is the governing body of and Kent State. The board of trustees may control just about every decision a university makes from budget to hiring.

Monique Menefee’s term begins on July 19, 2013, and will end on May 16, 2015.

Congrats to Monique inventing her future, salute to the Governor for his choice as well as Kent State University for having what I think is a pretty diverse group of senior leadership!