Every year the counselors from South Texas College’s Americans with Disabilities Act Department visit high schools throughout Hidalgo and Starr counties with the message that disabilities are not a barrier to achieving the dream of a higher education. This year, the ADA counselors felt they needed to the go the extra mile and hold the first ever ADA Awareness Day/ Transition Fair, bringing more than 150 students to the college’s Pecan Campus in McAllen.

“We noticed that even though we talked to the students at their high schools, once they graduated some still didn’t pursue higher education or if they did attend STC, some of them would get lost in the shuffle so to speak,” explained Jorge Solis, STC coordinator of ADA services. “We wanted to show them the facilities first hand. Walk them through some of the procedures and let them talk to faculty and students on campus. It all worked to alleviate their concerns and show them they can achieve anything.”

The fair was kicked off at STC’s Cooper Center, where the visiting high school students congregated for a brief introduction from the college’s president, Dr. Shirley A. Reed. Students were then broken up into four groups and proceeded to go to scheduled breakout sessions.

At the breakout sessions, students were taught, step-by-step, how to go through the admissions process, sign up for financial, the advising process, as well as how the ADA services team can help them in achieving success in college. Students were then given a tour of the campus and spoke with a variety of students, faculty and staff along the way.

“I thought the fair was great because it allowed me to see what my options are and not only did they show how ADA services can help me, but they taught us about the admissions process, and financial aid,” said Scott Garza, a student from Mission Veterans High School. “It’s taking away quite a bit of my concern about attending college.”

For more information about STC’s ADA services contact Jorge Solis at 956-872-2530 or at jls262@southtexascollege.edu.