By Velma Crochet
Jean Colello is the program coordinator for Volunteer State Community College TRIO, student support services.TRIO is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Education that offers college planning, retention, graduation and four-year transfer. First-generation college students, pell eligible students and students with a disability may all apply for service at TRIO. She has been working at VSCC for 10 years, four as a part-time TRIO academic retention specialist and the last six in her current position as program coordinator.
Colello’s favorite part of her job is assisting students to reach their academic goals. Whether their goal is to transfer to a four-year school or go out into the workforce after graduation. She is ready to help students find a tutor, check out a laptop, transfer plans or just being there to celebrate a good grade on an exam.
Ayoub Abdulla has been a TRIO student working with Colello for two semesters.”Helping me get registered each semester and linking me to the right people I need to get help from is how Jean has helped me,” said Abdulla. He also said how Colello reaches out to other students to inform them of the services at TRIO and try to help as many students as she can reach.
Lisa Jacobs, administrator assistant at TRIO has worked with Colello, for almost a year. She said the passion Colello, has for helping the students at TRIO really stands out to her.” She is devoted to her students,” Jacobs said.
Colello grew up in Long Island, New York, and went to school at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. She moved to the Nashville area about 11 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, for her husband’s job. “I have really enjoyed seeing Nashville grow and develop. When you have lived near big cities most of your life, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, you like being able to spend the day in the city,” said Colello.
She has been married to her husband Michael Colello, for 33 years and they have two grown children Michael and Julia, with one very spoiled dog named Jack. Michael is from a big Italian family so they enjoy a big traditional Christmas Eve and Day celebration. It is all about the family preparing the meal and going to church.
Now that her children are grown they enjoy going downtown Nashville to a different restaurant each time. “One of our favorites so far is, The Chef and I,” said Colello