29
June
2020
|
04:36 PM
America/Chicago

$25K grant offers aid to students who stopped attending prior to graduating

Summary

Pictured (left to right) Miguel Carranza, Interim Dean of Enrollment Services, South Texas College; Judy Martinez, Coordinator of Scholarships, Student Financial Services, South Texas College; Aron Peña, Sr, Board Member, Rio-South Texas Education and Community Development Foundation board member; Patricia Beard, Chief Executive Officer, Rio-South Texas Education and Community Development Foundation;James Moore, Chairman of the Board, Rio-South Texas Education and Community Development Foundation; Dr. Shirley A. Reed, President, South Texas College; Paul R. Rodriguez, Chairman, Board of Trustees, South Texas College; Keith Patridge, Board Member, Rio-South Texas Education and Community Development Foundation.

Community leaders need to come together to give every individual an opportunity to complete their education if they so desire.

That was the message by board members with Rio-South Texas Education and Community Development Foundation, Destination Graduation Program who were on hand to present South Texas College with a check in the amount of $25,000 at a special ceremony June 25.

This award is set to provide financial assistance for up to 50 students who have earned a significant number of semester credit hours, but have stopped attending prior to graduating with their Certificate, Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees. The funding period is from June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021.

In attendance at the check presentation on behalf of Rio-South Texas ECDF was Patricia Beard, Chief Executive Officer; Chairman James Moore; and board members Aron Peña Sr. and Keith Patridge.

STC Board of Trustees Chairman Paul R. Rodriguez and STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed were on hand to accept the award on behalf of the college.

“The Foundation is committed to expanding not only the quantity but the quality of the region’s upcoming workforce,” said James Moore, Foundation Board Chair. “As a community, we need to come together to give every individual an opportunity to complete their education if they so desire.”

The mission of the Rio-South Texas Education and Community Development Foundation is to ensure residents acquire skills and knowledge and have access to economic opportunities to enable them to pursue meaningful careers and live prosperous lives in South Texas.

The Foundation was organized in April 2018, stemming from the dissolution of the former South Texas Higher Education Authority, which since 1975, helped hundreds of thousands of individuals across our region and the United States, achieve a higher education.

Interim Dean of Enrollment Services, Mike Carranza
“We aim to provide scholarships to reengage adult students who have earned a significant number of semester credit hours, but have stopped attending prior to graduating with their Certificate, Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees.”
Interim Dean of Enrollment Services, Mike Carranza

Since inception of the Authority, and even more recently with the new Foundation, its Board of Director’s say members support a passion for education, and act with the understanding that it is beneficial not only to an individual’s personal advancement in life but instrumental in advancing economic development for the region.

In preparing the path forward for the Foundation, the Board of Director’s say various studies were performed on the region, and reflected a profound disconnect between education and the workforce.

The region has lost and continues to lose bright minds to other areas of Texas and the country due to the lack of job opportunities and quality of life issues throughout the region, according to the Foundation’s findings.

“We’re hoping by joining with STC on their Destination Graduation initiative, it will serve as a catalyst for other businesses and organizations to come together to help individuals in our community achieve the goal of a higher education or advanced certification,” Moore said. “Helping one individual at a time will prove to be instrumental in advancing the economic development of our region.”

The award aligns with STC’s Strategic Goal #4, Foster Student Success, by providing students with accessible pathways and effective support structures that promote persistence, educational attainment, academic achievement, as well as personal and professional growth.

“We aim to provide scholarships to reengage adult students who have earned a significant number of semester credit hours, but have stopped attending prior to graduating with their Certificate, Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees,” said STC Interim Dean of Enrollment Services Miguel Carranza. “Financial assistance in the form of scholarships plays a critical role in encouraging adult students to re-enroll and ultimately provides them with the confidence to finish what they started.”