Tonya Willingham of Little Rock has been named acting director of the TRIO Scholars program at Pulaski Technical College.
TRIO Scholars, a student support services program funded by the U.S. Department of Education, aims to help students have a successful college experience and achieve their academic and personal goals. Participants much be first-generation college students, meet income requirements based on family size, and/or have a documented disability. Pulaski Tech currently serves 180 students through the program.
For the past year Willingham has served as the program's education specialist and was responsible for tutoring and mentoring services.
She has a bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Central Arkansas, a master of arts in counseling from Louisiana Tech University, and she is working toward a doctorate in juvenile justice from Prairie View A&M University.
She has previously worked with youth in residential facilities in Texas and Louisiana, managing a crisis emergency shelter for homeless youth in New Orleans and directing Project Pathways, a Welfare-to-Work grant at Montgomery College in Houston, Texas. She also has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.