Sept. 9, 2013
COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, firstname.lastname@example.org
WTAMU G Force Program Gets Fund Renewal from THECB
CANYON, Texas—For the past few years West Texas A&M University education major Mariela Mendoza has spent quite a bit of time at area high schools as a member of WTAMU’s Collegiate G Force, and the recent renewal of a Texas Workstudy Mentorship grant guarantees that she and other mentors will continue to play a role in preparing high school students for college.
WTAMU’s Workstudy Mentorship program was granted $200,000 for the next two years by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to enable Mendoza and other members of the G Force team to continue mentoring high school students at participating school districts. The University first received the grant in 2009 and in the past two years alone, more than 23,500 students and 4,000 parents have received assistance from the WTAMU G Force team. The current award continues through Aug. 31, 2015 and provides two years of salaries for G Force team members to supplement their financial aid.
“I learned about the program from my sister, and I love it,” Mendoza said. “It’s not like a job. It’s more like volunteer work and very motivating for me, the school and the students.”
G Force has played an active role at WTAMU since 2004. The team is a chartered student organization working together as tutors and mentors to let high school students in targeted areas know that college is possible. The G in G Force stands for the “gravitational” force that provides momentum to attract economically disadvantaged high school students to the idea of attending college anywhere they choose.
“Our students take on a role very much like a professional position at the high schools,” Julie Arias, executive director of University Outreach, said. “They get paid $10 an hour for every hour spent mentoring students, and we’ve found that our G Force students are very welcome at the high schools. The counselors love G Force.”
The WTAMU students not only mentor and tutor, but they also help high schools students with FAFSAs, housing applications, financial aid or anything they might need to go to the college. G Force members don’t recruit just for WTAMU but for any college or university the high school student chooses. G Force also participates in community events with the WTAMU Go Mobile Center.
For more information about WTAMU’s G Force, visit wtamu.edu/student-support/collegiate-g-force.aspx. G Force also can be found on Facebook and Twitter.