President's Corner

Hello IL TRIO Family!


I am so honored to serve as your 2019-2020 Illinois TRIO President!  As I reflect over my journey as a TRIO Alumni and 11 years as a TRIO professional, I know that there is no better timing than now for me to serve as your President!  When people ask me, what does TRIO mean to me?  I always say two things, “Transforming Roadblocks Into Opportunities” and “Family”, because TRIO has been both to me.  To follow after so many strong, dedicated, and passionate members and leaders, I’m elated to stand on the shoulders of so many LEGENDS who paved the way for me today!  The legacy and talent that we carry within IL TRIO is like none other and I promise we are going to continue in those footsteps.


Through my experience as a student at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and professional experience at Joliet Junior College (JJC), there have been some very instrumental TRIO professionals that contributed to my passion for this work.  All of the individuals that I encountered were strong advocates, connectors, and transparent throughout everything that they did.  I believe this to still be the case with all of you! Know that we are all representing and carrying on the legacy that was passed down to us as TRIO professionals.  As I have been thoughtfully thinking how we are going to spend this next year together, our IMPACT as an association is what stands out. 


Collectively, we are effortlessly impacting so many lives that it should be abundantly applauded for all the great work that we continue to contribute.  I ask, how can we share and tell our stories better while continuing to build relationships and expand our impact?  This year’s theme is “Securing Our Legacy, While Expanding Our Impact”. 


My vision is to continue to carry the torch with telling our stories and building upon it with all the wonderful things that you are doing throughout the state, region, and nation.  While assisting students, young professionals and the TRIO Family with “Transforming Roadblocks Into Opportunities” through continuing relationship building, growth development, and clear pathways to success.  


We are all TRIO and I thank you all for believing and supporting me in this journey! 

DeAndre R. Butler, M.Ed., M.H.S.