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Scholarships Help Student Realize her Dream of Becoming a Teacher

AUGUST 26, 2013
When Yvonne Salinas was a little girl, she played teacher with her sisters and friends. Now entering her senior year at The University of Texas at Brownsville, Salinas is realizing her dream; she will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in early childhood through sixth grade bilingual education in May 2014.
Yvonne Salinas
Salinas said she has been fortunate in numerous ways, such as receiving the Young Alumni and Greater Texas Foundation Endowed Scholarship.
“Scholarships really help so much,” she said. “The Pell Grant doesn’t cover everything, and it seems like the more advanced you get in school, the higher the prices of the textbooks. Scholarships helped me with my books, and I was able to concentrate more on my studies without that financial pressure.”
Salinas and other endowed scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to meet scholarship donors at the annual endowment luncheon on Friday, Aug. 30 to be held in the Student Union El Gran Salón.
“Too often our students leave school not because they are not academically prepared for the university, not  because they are not willing to put in time to be good students but simply because of financial constraints in families,” said Dr. Juliet V. García, UTB President. “We have had the help of many generous community members who have worked to ensure students are financially able to reach for their dreams.”
Once Salinas realized she was college-bound, she set her sights on attending UTB. She wanted to stay close to her family, and she knew living at home would be economical.
Salinas feels she was also fortunate to become a student in CAMP, the College Assistance Migrant Program.
“CAMP helped me so much,” she said. “Everybody in the CAMP office is so nice. The program is designed to help freshman migrant students get a good, solid start to college, and that is what they did for me in my first year. The following year, I became a work-study CAMP mentor to help guide the incoming students.”
Salinas said her family is proud of her accomplishments in school, and she knows they are looking forward to the day she becomes a certified teacher in her own classroom.
“Attending UTB has really changed my life,” she said. “I will be the first person in my family to graduate with a college degree. This degree will help me obtain a good paying job which will help me have a bright future.”
Salinas said she is also fortunate to have grown up in a migrant family.
“I am happy to have had that experience,” she said. “We all worked hard, and yet the family was together, with lots of my cousins, aunts and uncles working at the same place in Willard, Ohio.”
Salinas said working as a migrant was a good lesson, and it made her appreciate the opportunity she had to reach for an education – to not only graduate from high school, but also continue on to college.
“Migrant work is honorable, yet it is hard, physical labor outdoors in the heat or cold,” Salinas said. “Also, it is insecure; not only is it seasonal work, but depending on weather conditions, the work might decrease if the crops don’t do well.”
Salinas said she looks forward to employment in a comfortable environment with more security.
“I will be a great teacher,” she said. “I love working with young children, and I feel I will be able to help them get a good start so they can go on with their educations.”
To learn more about giving to UTB, contact Laurie Howell, Executive Director of University Relations, at 956-882-4334 or


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