Reporting Susie Jones
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The wife of Vice President Joe Biden knows very well what life is like on a community college campus, and she seemed to feel right at home at North Hennepin Community College.
Biden is a community college teacher. She talked about the importance of making college more affordable.
“They’ve doubled funding for Pell grants and fought to make sure student loan interest rates don’t go up,” she said. “And they’re giving students the rights to pay their loans, at a fixed percentage of their income so their loans are never more than they can afford to pay.”
She also urged the students to get out and vote. Biden will spend the weekend campaigning in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Jill Biden was invited to North Hennepin by several student groups, including Trio, a group that’s been around since the 1960s helping low income, first-generation students.
“Their parents didn’t graduate with a bachelor’s degree, or in some cases the students are homeless, and have disabilities,” said Shelly Siegel, the executive director.
Siegel says those students get academic support, such as tutoring and advising.
“Trio is not an acronym,” Siegel said. “It’s the first three programs that started out of the civil rights movement.”
The program has been very successful.
Awale Osman is a student at the community college. He’s grateful for the program, and for the visit from the wife of the vice president.
“You know it’s hard to navigate the process, so I want to make sure Trio continues to be funded,” Osman said.
Biden then stopped at a coffee shop in Hopkins before heading to Macalester College in St Paul.