EDINBURG - More than 50 UTPA freshman and faculty gathered Thursday (Sept. 9) at The University of Texas-Pan American Xochtil Room for the launching of the UTPA College Assistance Migrant Program.
"This marks the very first meeting of the UTPA College Assistance Migrant Program," said Dora Martinez, CAMP director at UTPA. "Our number one goal is to help these students succeed in the pursuit of a college education."
The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) is a federally funded program designed to assist migrant college students during their first academic year of instruction.
According to Martinez, assistance is offered by way of intensive support services that help ease the transition into college life.
Jessica Villarreal, an 18-year-old UTPA freshman from Santa Maria said she joined the program to increase her chances of success in college.
"It's just a really good opportunity," Villarreal said. "I know a lot of students who have entered college and have ended up having to drop out because they weren't prepared. I just want to do everything I can to make sure I succeed."
David Torres, an 18-year-old UTPA freshman from Las Milpas agreed with Villarreal.
"I'm hoping to get all the help I can with my studies," Torres said. "Being a migrant student I know I have a lot of catching up to do and I plan on doing whatever it takes to make sure I catch up."
According to Martinez, CAMP offers students benefits such as academic advising, personal counseling and career development, housing assistance, tutoring, job search assistance and financial aid.
Persons interested in applying must have worked as migrant or seasonal farm laborers or in other agricultural related jobs for at least 75 days within the past two years.
Applicants are also required to have earned a GED or graduated high school and cannot have earned more than 15 hours of college credit.
For more information on the program or to apply, contact Martinez at 956/381-2521.