CAMP graduates three former scholars and accepting applications

May 10, 2018

CONTACT: Mireya Jacuinde, 806-651-5312, mjacuinde@wtamu.edu

COPY BY: Brittany Castillo, 806-651-2682, bcastillo@wtamu.edu

CAMP graduates three former scholars and accepting applications

 

CANYON, Texas--Every May, more than one thousand students walk across the stage to receive diplomas from West Texas A&M University.

Some are receiving their first degree, others are completing graduate school, but for David Acosta, Karla Espinoza and Dania Hernandez, they are completing a successful college career launched by the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP).

CAMP is a federal program designed to assist students who are migratory or seasonal farmworkers enrolled in their first year of undergraduate studies. Serving approximately 2,000 participants annually, 43 higher education institutions participate in CAMP nationwide. WTAMU is the only institution with the program in a 300 mile radius.

Acosta, a mathematics major, joined the program in 2012. That year, he represented the University in Bolivia as a Readership WT Ambassador, which became an experience that impacted his budding teaching career.

“I will be a teacher that instills a passion for learning and understanding of what an education can do for my students’ lives,” Acosta said. “As a first-generation student, the CAMP program is the only reason I was able to pursue a college education. I received support for every step of my freshman year and alongside 29 other hardworking students, who were influential, smart and supportive like a family.”

Since 1999, CAMP has been serving the Texas Panhandle at WTAMU. Approximately 530 students have benefited from personal tutoring, academic advising, community support and financial assistance that has totaled more than $2 million dollars.

“The majority of students that go through the program develop lifelong friendships,” Martin Lopez, executive director of Special Programs at WTAMU, said. “Every CAMP student will tell you that they’re not the same person graduating as they were as a freshman. It’s a transformative experience, and a major part of helping a person thrive in college is giving them a network to belong to. This is a pretty exclusive one.”

Along with Acosta, Espinoza, a social work major, and Hernandez, a nursing major, are the newest members of the WT CAMP alumni network. Others include Dr. Nancy Garcia ’09, who earned her doctorate in higher education administration from Texas Tech University and is an assistant professor in the department of communication at WTAMU, and Mireya Jacuinde, recruiter for CAMP and fellow Readership WT Ambassador, is also a CAMP alumna.

“Being a part of CAMP is like being a part of a family; we look out for one another and walk together through one of the toughest years of their academic journey,” Jacuinde said. “CAMP students can expect to find a home within our space. We try to provide a quaint environment for them to come study, work on homework or even grab a snack. The scholarship money is great, but the program itself is much more than that.”

The 2018-2019 CAMP cohort is currently accepting applications. If you or someone you know is attending WTAMU for the first time in fall 2018 and has participated in seasonal farm work or been eligible for the Migrant Education Program, you may qualify for CAMP acceptance and thousands of dollars in financial aid. For more information, visit https://www.wtamu.edu/student-support/camp-home.aspx.

 

—WTAMU—


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