The scholarship awarded $26,000 to Alamo Colleges’ students and guarantees a two-year tuition and fee scholarship for a child.
By LUCIA ESPINO
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) awarded 26 $1,000 Parent/Child Scholarships to Alamo Colleges’ students Sept. 9.
The scholarship awards the parent a $250 per semester scholarship for the fall or spring, within four consecutive semesters at any Alamo College.
They must complete a certificate, an associate degree or the first part of a transfer program before their child is entitled to a two-year tuition and fee scholarship for the Alamo Colleges, said Bertha Castellanos, student success professional at the women’s center.
Castellanos explained the participants for this scholarship must be a parent with only one child age 6 or younger, have completed a parenting program in high school or a minimum of four hours of parenting at a community site, have completed 30 or fewer college-level hours, a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA, and enrolled by fall 2012 at an Alamo College, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete an interview with the scholarship committee.
“This scholarship helps with re-entry (to college) and retention. The fact that they have a scholarship, it motivates them. If you compare this students’ GPA with students who are not in this program, their GPA is a lot better,” said Dr. Helen Vera, chair of women’s center and nontraditional students.
Dr. Bruce Leslie, chancellor of Alamo Colleges, explained how, since 1997, the LULAC Council No. 2 partnered with the Alamo Colleges Foundation and this college’s women’s center, to provide an opportunity for two generations to see that there is a future for whatever they choose to become.
“We believe, sincerely, that once you educate somebody, they never go backwards,” Leslie, said.
The students and their families were welcomed by President Robert Zeigler, who also recognized the scholars for their commitment to earn the scholarship and being role models for their child.
“This scholarship is extremely helpful, especially for underprivileged people who don’t have money to pay for college,” said Stephanie Caloca, nursing student taking classes at Northeast Lakeview College.
“I am a career-oriented woman who has her goals set very high, and this scholarship will help my son further his education,” Caloca said.
Clarissa Mercado, nursing student at St. Philip’s College, said, “I am an active duty soldier in the Army and this scholarship will release some of the stress and anxiety of having to pay for college for my daughter.
I hope for her to follow my footsteps and to have the same opportunities that I am having with this program.”
Counselor Carolina Treviño awarded the scholarship to public administration student Gabriela Portales for her determination to further her education.
Castellanos said 384 scholarships have been awarded since 1997, 159 have completed a two-year program or degree, and nine second-generation scholars have attended Alamo Colleges since fall 2011.
Zeigler closed the ceremony saying “Education is really the key to almost everything, and people that recognize that are to be commended.”