2008 Back to School Fiesta Champion for Education Named

Texas Tech University’s Back to School Fiesta Committee has named its 2008 Community Champion for Education.

Written by Cory Chandler

Texas Tech University’s Back to School Fiesta Committee has named local educational assistance agency LEARN Inc. its 2008 Community Champion for Education.

The title honors individuals or entities for championing the cause for education in and around Lubbock and will be awarded Aug. 16 at the Back to School Fiesta in Texas Tech’s Student Union Building.

LEARN is a non-profit agency providing free educational services to help disadvantaged students and adults attend college. Services include enrollment assistance, academic advisement and career guidance, and the agency operates two federally funded outreach programs: Educational Talent Search and Educational Opportunity Center (EOC).

Back to School Fiesta Committee Chairwoman Janie Ramirez said that LEARN members have volunteered for the outreach event since 2000.

“They give tirelessly of themselves and go beyond expectations in every regard,” said Ramirez, who herself benefitted from LEARN counseling while in high school.

Talent Search has served students grades six-12 in Lubbock and surrounding counties since 1969, and LEARN EOC has served adults at least 19 years old since 1991.

The programs serve a diverse mix of at least 2,650 students and adults each year. Last year, 73 percent – or 1,892 – of participants enrolled in post-secondary education programs and attended through nearly $8 million in financial aid dollars – or an average $4,227 per student.

The Back to School Fiesta is an annual outreach event to help thousands of K-12 students prepare for fall classes. The three-hour celebration – a collaboration between Raiders Rojos National Alumni and Texas Tech University – spans much of the Student Union and offers free school supplies, lunch and activities intended to entice young adults to pursue higher education.

CONTACT: Rosa Gallegos, senior administrator, The Office of Institutional Diversity, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-8682, or rosa.gallegos@ttu.edu.