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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South program’s podcast TRIO vibez says ‘tune in’

TRIO vibez hosts Lo Dominguez, Ana Ledezma and Johnny Sifuentes stands in front of the TRIO sign at the South campus. Ariel Desantiago/The Collegian
TRIO vibez hosts Lo Dominguez, Ana Ledezma and Johnny
Sifuentes stands in front of the TRIO sign at the South campus.
Ariel Desantiago/The Collegian

campus editor

Every Thursday four TRIO students meet in the TRIO lab to record a podcast about what it means to be a modern student at TCC. This podcast is called TRIO vibez.

The TRIO program at South Campus was established 25 years ago through a federally-funded grant. The program serves first-generation college students from income-eligible families and students with disabilities.

“We are a one-stop shop,” South Campus TRIO student support services coordinator Eliana Thomas said. 

She connects students with anything they might need including career counseling, mentoring, tutoring and financial literacy. 

“The goal of the program is to help students be successful through advising, academic tutoring and cultural enrichment,” says South Campus TRIO programs director Trichele Davenport. 

She said she doesn’t just want to help students academically but wants to build leaders that can connect with the community. 

“I wanted to give the students a voice,” Davenport said.  

She sent out a QR code to invite TRIO students to sign up and the podcast was born. 

South students Ana Ledezma, Johnny Sifuentes, Lera McDaniel and Lo Dominguez are the students who currently host the TRIO vibez podcast. This was a new venture for all of them. 

“The only experience I had with podcasts was just listening to them endlessly,” Dominguez said. 

She said the whole experience was new to her so she had to learn on her feet. 

“I learned that I actually love public speaking a lot more than I thought I did. I found different strength in myself figuring that out,” Dominguez said. 

 “I used to be nervous, one of my personal goals was to be able to talk to anyone about anything,” Ledezma said.

TRIO vibez had their first ever interview with South Campus president Daniel Lufkin. 

“That was really nerve-wracking but if I could do that, I can do anything,” Ledezma said. 

“It was hard, even though we’re not speaking to a live audience it was hard to record in the beginning,” Sifuentes said.

He said he has been hooked ever since. He said he likes being in control of what they get out of each episode, and he does that by editing.

“I really like editing the episodes, my creative side comes out,” Sifuentes said.

McDaniel has also gotten to learn something from her time as a host of TRIO vibez. TRIOvibez has given her an outlet to express herself.

“Doing the podcast has gotten me out of my shell,” she said. “I am usually reserved and stay to myself.” 

“The podcast was born so students could share what matters to them,” Davenport said.

She says she is proud that the TRIO vibez hosts have taken this project into their own hands. 

“Being part of the podcast is being able to express thoughts and feelings,” McDaniels said.

McDaniels said her favorite part is coming up with topics that don’t usually come up in normal conversations. 

“I think at the end of the day any type of broadcasting or public speaking is a way for people to reach out to one another,” Dominguez said. 

She wants to be able to relate to any TRIO vibez listeners. 

“I hope they feel like they have a friend or someone who understands. If they laugh at the same time then we’re winning as a group,” Dominguez said. 

“We have four members who are drastically different in terms of what it means to be a modern student,” Sifuentes says. 

He said TRIO vibez wants to show people that being a student in 2022 doesn’t have to be defined as one thing. 

“Most of the students on campus have stress,” Sifuentes said. “For students that have more than school stress this can affect their mental health.” 

Sifuentes said it is important to highlight this because it is a common struggle among students. 

Ledezma said that even though the TRIO vibez podcast had humble beginnings, it has grown so much already.

“We first started with a little mic from Walmart, now we have a real one,” Ledezma said. “It was a big mess, since then the mood has changed. We’re an actual podcast, not just people talking around a table.” 

The future of TRIO vibez is in the hosts’ hands and they hope to bring in more listeners. 

“My goals would be to expand our podcast even more for others to listen,” McDaniel said. “To be able to have our podcast reach different platforms would be cool.”

Davenport stresses that it has truly been a team effort on the part of South campus TRIO administration. The advisors over the podcast are Thomas and South education partnerships coordinators Toia Phillips, Deshun Jackson and Professor Natalie Johnson. They facilitate and support the TRIO vibez podcast.

TRIO Vibez streams on at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

 Sifuente says one of the goals TRIO vibez has is to pass down the torch when they leave TCC. 

“We want students who are listening to think ‘I wanna do what they did’ and keep this thing going,” she said.

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