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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Fifty-three percent of migrant students earned an A on courses toward high school graduation during a summer camp held at Texas State Technical College Harlingen (TSTC). The students celebrated successfully earning two credits toward high school graduation during a recognition ceremony July 18 for the Migrant Academic Achievement Residential Summer Program (MAARS). Seniors who participated in the camp will remain connected with the program in their final year of high school as they complete college admission forms and financial aid applications, MAARS Director Adan Treviño said. “We get them prepared for college,” he told 65 students, several school officials, and many of the students’ families and friends. “Somebody had to push you students, but after a while I did not have to push because you began to push yourselves.” Francisco Navarro of San Juan said that he will take home two big lessons. “I learned how to be independent and work hard to accomplish my goals,” he explained. Elva Guerrero of Sharyland High School in Mission said that MAARS credits in government and economics will allow her to graduate from high school at the end of fall semester and enter classes at the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) for spring semester 2013 to begin studying toward a career in health care. Most students overcame homesickness and became accustomed to a new environment at MAARS, she said.
“I got to be independent since I was away from my parents and I had to stay within my spending budget,” she added. J.C. Muñiz of Raymondville said that he enjoyed the social atmosphere. “It was fun just hanging out with seniors from around the Rio Grande Valley and getting to know each other.” The high school juniors and seniors from San Benito, Harlingen, Weslaco, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, Sharyland, Mission and Laredo lived in student housing for six-and-a-half weeks. College projects in the MAARS curriculum included Automotive Technology, Auto Collision Technology, Building Construction Science, Business Management Technology, Architectural Design & Engineering Graphics, and Machining Technology. Students also took tours of UTPA and the University of Texas at Brownsville. Jose L. Martinez, college access specialist in the Migrant Education Program with the Region One Education Service Center, said that some MAARS students represent the first generation from their families to attend high school. He told students, “You are leaving TSTC today, but you know you can complete high school and you know you can succeed in college because you did it here.” MAARS Activity Coordinator Alexis Martinez said that students should be proud of the team building, leadership and community service progress they achieved together. “We all made adjustments and adapted to the new environment and routines. We definitely became a family,” she said. Each student that earned passing scores and achieved a good behavior record received $900 as a financial incentive. Federal funds paid for the MAARS Program and it’s the first year the summer semester program was implemented by the college’s Center for Science & Math Education. For more information about MAARS contact the TSTC College Readiness & Advancement Department at 800.852.8784, extension 4562, 956.364.4562.
© 2010 Texas State Technical College Harlingen