Migrant Students: Encouraged to Pursue STEM careers at the University of Houston

Migrant students from Yes Prep, Heights, Sterling, Milby, Chavez and Waltrip high schools had the opportunity to visit the University of Houston to learn more about the STEM programs offered.

The event hosted by the College of Education, College of Technology, HISD and Region IV  brought together nearly 50 migrant students from Pasadena ISD, Goose Creek ISD, Beaumont ISD, Galena Park ISD, Aldine ISD, and Houston ISD.

Scholars explored part of the 687-acre campus, attended admissions and financial aid presentations, met former migrant students who have now graduated or are in their final year, and had Q&A sessions on what steps to take to join the Cougar community.

Magda Galindo, Migrant manager in Multilingual Programs, explained that these types of events seek to “encourage students to graduate from high school and go on to a higher education degree either four o two-year programs,” she said.

U of H representatives like Dr. Laura Jacobs, from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, not only advised students to study in the STEM field but also gave them hope. “Don’t ever give up, focus on your school work, and you’ll see that this is the path to success,” Jacobs said.

Attendees were also informed about the process undocumented students should follow and were given specific links to access the information. “Students should know that there are opportunities out there for them, even if they are undocumented,” said Galindo.

It was an inspiring day for scholars because they also had the opportunity to meet fellow university students that were also in the migrant program at one time. One of the guest speakers was Efrain Torres. He graduated from the University and is now working for the health department. Luis Vasquez, another former migrant student, is currently enrolled at UH. “He participated in the summer program whenever we offered it and that led him to pursue that career,” said Galindo. “He would tell them that ‘school is the only way out’, and I think our students could relate to them. Their testimonies and how they overcame barriers were a great example for our kids.”

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