The Maryland Educational Opportunity Center Helps Displaced and Underemployed Adults Continue Path to Higher Education

In September 2021, the Department of Education announced that Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. would once again receive a federal Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) grant of $1.1 million to fund our Maryland Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC). MEOC helps unemployed workers, low-wage workers, and returning high school and college students enter or continue a program of postsecondary education.

The Sorority has received federal funding for more than 50 years to serve Baltimore City, first in 1968 as the Direct Search for Talent Educational Talent Search program until 1979, when it became the current Maryland Educational Opportunity Center, which also serves residents in Howard County. Since its inception, thousands of high school students and adults have gained admission, secured financial aid, and graduated from colleges across the nation because of the services provided through MEOC.

The Maryland Educational Opportunity Center, a federal TRIO program, is one of 139 Educational Opportunity Centers in the country. MEOC provides counseling and information on college admissions and services to improve participants’ financial and economic literacy. Among comprehensive services are academic and personal counseling, tutoring, mentoring, career workshops, information on postsecondary education opportunities, student financial assistance, and help in completing applications for college admissions.

“Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is elated at being funded to continue the journey we embarked upon 53 years ago,” said National President & CEO Beverly E. Smith. “MEOC has given much to the communities in its service area. The dedicated staff remains committed to undertaking this next five-year segment of work with the same zeal, to empower this underserved population.”

MEOC welcomed its second Director, Daphne Snowden, at the end of September, after the retirement of Ellen Howard, who served in the position for 50 years. Director Snowden brings to this role twenty years of experience as a higher education administrator, serving in multiple capacities: dean of academics, director of operations for workforce Development, contracts and grants coordinator, budget analyst, dissertation content expert, quality matters peer reviewer, criminal justice adjunct faculty, GED instructor and tutor. In previous roles, she has developed viable partnerships and an extensive, diverse Maryland network that will support her duties at MEOC. She is an expert with succession planning and has launched a plethora of mentor and scholarship programs. Director Snowden is a United States Army veteran and a proud Baltimore city public school graduate. She earned her Doctorate of Education from Morgan State University and both Masters of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees from Coppin State University. She was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 2002 through the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter.

To learn more about MEOC, visit