CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Students aging out of the foster care system went on a campus tour of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, taking an exciting opportunity to see the resources available to them in their journeys to higher education.
The tour took the group from the O'Connor Building through the Bell Library, the Dugan Wellness Center, and the other facilities that put a world of knowledge and growth at the fingertips of the students at TAMU-CC.
After this, the group were treated to a catered seminar at the University Center. After an hour or two of following the group through the balmy June heat, I'll give my editorial opinion that a little ice water and a couple of fresh subs go a long way in making these students feel at home!
The group was guided around the Island University by one of TAMU-CC's "Island Ambassadors", Hannah Velazquez. On her position with TAMU-CC, Velazquez went into detail: "We give tours, we do outreach... My favorite thing is just getting to meet the families, learning where they're from, and getting to share all the awesome things about the University!"
The group's charmingly-charitable chaperones were Preparation for Adult Living specialists - PALs. One such worker, Jesus de Leon, stated the following: "As a PAL specialist, we help youth transition into adulthood. We provide them opportunities to learn about employment, education... cooking, cleaning, finances, taxes." For foster children, such mentors are crucial to their natural growth into skilled and well-adjusted adults. You can learn more about the PAL program at the official website of Texas' DFPS.
I stepped out from the seminar with a couple of students to get their take on the whole event. Amber Dye, a young adult in Extended Foster Care, told 3NEWS: "I think it's really cool! It's really neat how many opportunities they have here in one University." Her fellow student Brielle Mattox agreed: "The tour was very informative." Mattox continued, "the campus is very pretty, there's a lot of detail, it seems very inclusive... It's very for-the-community."
At 3NEWS, we wish all of these youths good luck - and we look forward to their decisions on joining our Corpus Christi community!
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