FROM FOOD STAMPS, TO HARVARD
Tamam comes from a family with no educational background--his mother never went to school and his father has only a 4th grade level of education. He grew up in a low-income government housing with food stamps as one of their main sources of income. He graduated from one of the lowest performing inner-city high school and he was considered an "at-risk" student. Since he was the first person in his family to go to college, his first day of college experience felt like he was in a different world where everything seemed foreign. He spent most of his early freshman days questioning if he was a college material, if he had what it took to make it, or if he even belonged there. He thought about dropping out on numerous occasions. But the thought of becoming another statistic kept him moving forward, one day at a time, one course at a time, and eventually, through grit and perseverance, and the unwavering support from TRiO programs, he became the first in his family to earn his undergraduate degree and went on to also obtain his Master's degree from Harvard. Today, he is on a mission to helping those whom he once resembled: the first-gen low-income TRiO students.
SHIFTING MINDSETS TO DEFY STATISTICS
Over the years, Tamam has had the privilege of impacting the lives of thousands of first gen low-income students, through his training and speaking, across hundreds of college/university campuses. As a first gen former TRiO student, he has experienced many of the struggles that the first gen low-income TRiO students encounter on campus, and he has dedicated his life to helping them defy the statistics and reach their highest potential, one campus, one program, at a time.
"...It was definitely a day I will never forget, and I wanted to just thank you again..."
Trio SSS Student
University of Arizona
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