In the spring of 2018, the Helena College TRiO program launched Necessary Narratives, a service that helps TRiO-eligible students write and record their personal stories. The narrative process starts with audio recordings that are then transcribed and revised into personal essays that participants can use in applications, scholarships, and interviews.

TRiO-eligible students are either income challenged, live with disabilities, or are the first in their families to pursue college—often, these students are all three.

As the project grows, we hope to extend services to the entire student population of Helena College to capture oral histories of this place and time.

Narratives serve to foster social belonging, celebrate student diversity, and raise awareness about adversity.