A-Z Index

News Release

Oct. 2, 2019

Northwest student is state winner of TRIO scholarship

By Grace Niemeyer, communication assistant

Northwest Missouri State University student Lauren Earnest is the Missouri recipient of the 2019 Educational Opportunity Association (EOA) Foundation Scholarship.

The EOA awards $1,000 scholarships to eligible TRIO students from each state in the EOA region.

Earnest, a junior from Platte City, Missouri, who majors in political science with an emphasis in global affairs, is a supplemental instructor in the history department and both a student and a peer mentor with Northwest TRIO, a federal program providing opportunities while assisting students with earning a higher education degree.

Niki Richardson, TRIO’s financial literacy coordinator, nominated Earnest for the award.

“Lauren richly deserves the EOA Foundation Scholarship because she is a representative of the TRIO population, she selflessly serves others in the TRIO program, and she is an amazing example of how college access and success programs allow talented students to achieve success,” Richardson said. “Lauren excels academically but, more importantly, she excels in strength of character. I am excited to see the amazing things Lauren will accomplish in the future.”

EOA awards the scholarships to students who are attending two or four-year institutions and are from a first-generation or low-income background or have a disability. Recipients must maintain a grade-point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Unlike traditional financial aid programs that help students overcome financial barriers to achieve a higher education, TRIO programs provide valuable, supportive services to students from low-income families so they can successfully enter college and earn degrees.

“My TRIO family has always been there for me and they really have helped me through a lot of difficult challenges,” Earnest said. “Things have been really hard and they’re always right there behind me cheering in my corner and so I really just want to be that for someone and be their cheerleader and be in their corner.”

After completing her bachelor’s degree at Northwest, Earnest hopes to work in intelligence research for a government agency. She grew up in a military family and moved throughout her life.

She says Northwest’s affordable cost and a good friend brought her to the University, but she stayed because it feels like home.

“I just love where I’m at, and I love that Northwest has provided me this opportunity to find out who I am,” she said. “It’s helped me find out what I’m good at and what I’m not so great at and how to grow as a person both professionally and personally. Having that experience just makes me happy and it makes me feel like going to school and paying all this money is worth something.”

For more information about the TRIO programs at Northwest, visit, or contact the TRIO office at 660.562.1862 or


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215