University awarded funds for migrant program

— The U.S. Department of Education has granted Washington State University’s College Assistance Migrant Program more than $2.1 million to continue its services for another five years.

The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) helps students from migrant and seasonal farmworker backgrounds to successfully transition and complete their first academic year of college.

It provides outreach and recruitment, academic support, personal and career counseling, academic advising, financial aid and follow-up services to 50 students each year.

According to statistics compiled by the Washington State Migrant Education Program, the state ranks third in the nation for its number of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, employing an average of 160,000 workers annually.

It is estimated that 44 percent of the 4,745 migrant students, grades 10-12, are not “on course” to graduate from high school.

The program reaches out to students in 36 school districts across the state, making contact with more than 5,000 high school students and 1,200 parents.

News of the grant renewal arrived much later than expected and caused anxiety among CAMP staff.

“After the feeling of just pure relief, what came to me next was excitement for the staff and students that we get to continue this important work,” said Lucila Loera, assistant vice president for the Office for Access, Equity and Achievement. “I feel extremely proud.”

It is estimated that 44 percent of the 4,745 migrant students, grades 10-12, are not “on course” to graduate from high school.

The program reaches out to students in 36 school districts across the state, making contact with more than 5,000 high school students and 1,200 parents.

Francisco Carriedo was one of the students contacted by a CAMP recruiter in 2010. A few weeks ago the WSU graduate stood before his peers as the elected student speaker during the University of Washington’s Law School Graduation Ceremony.

Carriedo exclaimed, “I didn’t look like you all, I did not speak like you all. Very often I felt like I didn’t belong.”

He is currently studying for the state bar exam and has secured a clerk position with Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima’s United States District Court.



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