Reps. Cuellar, Gonzalez, and Vela Announce $2M in Federal Funds for UTRGV

Washington, D.C.—Congressmen Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), and Filemon Vela (TX-34) announced $2,124,000 in federal funds for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley through the Department of Education’s College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP).

In the Fiscal Year 2020 Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Education House Appropriations Bill, Congressman Cuellar secured $50,000,000 for High School Equivalency Program (HEP) and CAMP, an increase of $5.4 million from FY19.

Henry CuellarAccording to a Thursday press release. These federal funds will support students enrolled in higher education on a full-time basis in their first academic year who are employed, or whose parents are employed in migrant and other seasonal farm work.

“As one of eight children born to migrant farm workers in Laredo, and a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, I have worked hard to ensure that higher education is accessible for everyone regardless of socioeconomic status or background,” Congressman Cuellar stated in the release. “Initiatives such as College Assistance Migrant Program give migrant students a greater chance at higher education opportunities. These federal funds will be an investment for our students, for our local workforce, and for our country. I will continue to support programs that open doors of opportunity for all students.”

In the release, Cuellar thanked UTRGV President Guy Bailey for his commitment to expanding educational opportunities for his students Congressmen Gonzalez and Vela for working to help migrant workers and their families obtain quality, affordable education.

“A quality education should never be out of reach,” Gonzalez stated in the release. “We have a responsibility to provide avenues for all people to earn a higher education or workforce training. These federal funds will create an opportunity for migrant students in the Rio Grande Valley to have a better chance to succeed in our country.”

The Edinburg UTRGV campus will use these funds to serve seventy migrant and seasonal farmworkers children. UTRGV will conduct outreach, identification and recruitment in three counties, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy, who combined have over thousands of eligible students. The University will provide students with access to a higher education, support services for completing their first year of university studies, and activities to help them complete a college degree.

“It is imperative that we continue to invest in our next generations, and UTRGV is leading the way to ensure that all young people have access to education,” Vela said. “I look forward to continuing my work with my colleagues in Congress to support federal programs that expand access to educational opportunities.”

With the help of these federal funds, the University will ensure that 86% of the CAMP students complete their first year of college, with 25% of those same students completing a 40-hour CAMP internship. The University will also ensure that 90% of CAMP students will enroll for a second year of university studies.

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