Migrant students set their sights on college

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Migrant students may not always live conventional lifestyles, but that doesn’t mean they don’t share the same dreams as other young people—such as getting a college education. That’s why HISD students who qualify for assistance through the district’s Migrant Educational Program have spent the past few weeks touring Lamar, Texas A&M, and Sam Houston State universities in order to learn more about the college application process. They concluded their tours, which were organized by the Office of College Readiness, with a trip to Stephen F. Austin University (SFA) in the East Texas piney woods on June 30.

Children of migrant workers often move with the seasons, and English is the second language for many of them. So Josie Treviño, a manager at the Office of College Readiness, has been supervising the tours, occasionally translating, and making sure the students gain as much knowledge as possible about universities.

“Our goal was definitely to make sure that the students are aware of what a university looks like,” said Treviño. “You don’t know what it’s going to feel like unless you step into a university and say, ‘This is my place. This is where I see myself going to school.’”

Upon arrival at SFA, the students were greeted by a tour guide holding the distinctive SFA axe handle. The students were then shown the library, the advising center, the recreation center, and the student center. Through such tours, students are able to develop firm ideas about their futures. Aldair Ascenzion said he wanted to go into nursing, while Eduardo Puac is aiming to become a police officer.

“This is the goal,” said Puac. “This is the way for someone who wants to grow, who wants to change his own life. They bring us here to know what we are going to do after high school.”