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STC Foundation Makes $7k Donation To STC Ascender Program

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Nearly 30 South Texas College Ascender Catch the Next program students will be headed to the University of Texas at Austin (UT) this summer for the 2024 Transfer Motivational Conference, and STC’s Foundation recently presented the program with a $7,000 contribution to help cover travel costs. STC Image
Nearly 30 South Texas College Ascender Catch the Next program students will be headed to the University of Texas at Austin (UT) this summer for the 2024 Transfer Motivational Conference, and STC’s Foundation recently presented the program with a $7,000 contribution to help cover travel costs. STC Image
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By Amanda Sotelo

Nearly 30 South Texas College Ascender Catch the Next program students will be headed to the University of Texas at Austin (UT) this summer for the 2024 Transfer Motivational Conference, and STC’s Foundation recently presented the program with a $7,000 contribution to help cover travel costs.

“The STC Foundation is identifying the needs of our students and through this contribution, a first for the program, we are fulfilling our mission…the first of many,” said Rodney Rodriguez, Ph.D., STC vice president of Institutional Advancement and Economic Development.

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The Ascender program has been at STC since 2012 and is focused on a marginalized student population with the goal of helping students obtain a degree and transfer to a four-year university.

“We aim to build a holistic college experience for our students,” said Christopher Nelson, Ph.D. dean of STC Liberal Arts. “Our program is embedded with culturally relevant methods of teaching, we host community outreach events, like our annual Noche de Familia,or Family Night and provide networking and conference opportunities. We believe greatly in our students. They all go on to great success.”

Jasmine Lozano, a recent STC Criminal Justice graduate, is one of those students who has participated in the Ascender program over the last year and will be attending this year’s Transfer Motivational Conference. She also serves as the STC Ascender chapter president, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and plans on transferring to a four-year university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

“The mentorship and support I have received through the Ascender program is invaluable. It truly motivates us, as students, to keep pushing forward with confidence in ourselves and what we bring to the table,” said the Starr County native. “This donation is a huge help because it takes a lot of fundraising to be able to get as many of us as we can to this conference. It takes a weight off our shoulders, and we are appreciative to STC and its Foundation for this help.”

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The Transfer Motivational Conference is designed to introduce community college students to the university experience and to motivate them to transfer to a four-year university through speakers, panel discussions and workshops. Conference goers also get an exclusive college experience by lodging at the UT dorms and utilizing the campus cafeteria for all meals.

Topics covered during the conference include admissions processes, financial aid, transfer resources, financial literacy and career planning.

“This conference is instrumental in the development of our students and I’m incredibly grateful that our STC Foundation sees the value in this for our students and for their help,” said Nelson. “I would never ask for money for something I didn’t believe in and I’m positive our students will return with an expanded sense of the possibilities that are available to them and a willingness and drive to share that with others.”

Bonnie Gonzalez, STC Foundation Board chair, said this donation is a testament to the mission of the STC Foundation and she is honored that they can help these students attend a conference that will be life-changing for themselves and future generations.  

“It is an honor to meet these wonderful students and to make them aware that the people at STC, from President Solis and the Foundation to the vice presidents and their deans, are committed to our students and the vision that STC has for our students’ futures,” said Gonzalez. “We take the Foundation’s mission very seriously and that is to continue bringing in funds that will continue to support students and build futures for them. This is just the beginning.”

For more information on STC’s Foundation or to donate, visit southtexascollege.edu   

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