(Feb. 18, 2010)--More than 150 middle and high school students who were eager to learn visited the UTSA Downtown Campus on Saturday, Jan. 30 for the G-Force Leadership Summit. The students will serve as peer mentors at schools across the city, along with 24 college students participating in the G-Force work-study program.
The summit included sessions on financial Aid, personal portfolio building, College 101, designing G-Force events and more. Summit participants will share what they learned with peers on their home campuses to encourage others to pursue a higher education. The event was hosted by the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives and the Office of Special Events with support from Communities in Schools of San Antonio, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the College for All Texans initiative.
G-Force is the peer education component of the GO Center, which utilizes students in grades K-12, college students and volunteers to deliver the message that attending college is important. Collegiate G-Force members mentor and tutor high school students and present promotional activities developed by VISTA members to draw students to the GO centers.
The AmeriCorps VISTA project focuses on creating and enhancing GO centers in low-income high schools and their feeder schools in San Antonio and Houston. The goal of the centers is to reverse a downward trend and increase involvement and success in higher education.
The programs and activities attempt to overcome the barriers of financial need and lack of social support for young people planning to pursue higher education. As part of College for Texans, the AmeriCorps VISTA project's goal is to involve 630,000 additional Texas students in higher education by 2015.
At the conclusion of the G-Force summit, an inspired student wrote on the event evaluation form, "... nothing can get in the way of my dreams."
"It was obvious to see the hunger that these students have to learn about higher education, and we are excited for these students to go back to their communities and share the opportunity with their peers and families," said Jennifer Pandya of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. "Partnering with UTSA to provide this opportunity to the students of Bexar County is a great example of efforts needed to close the gaps in student participation and success."
For more information, contact Belinda Saldana at 210-458-2904.
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