The Valley Outreach Center, an initiative of The University of Texas-Pan American Department of College Access and Support Programs has opened a community Go Center at the Boys & Girls Club of Edinburg. The Go Center is an initiative from the Texas higher education coordinating board to help get an additional 650,000 students into higher education by the year 2015.
The Go Centers will provide resources to help students find their interests when choosing a college major. University brochures, college catalogs, financial aid information, scholarship information will be some of the resources that will be found at a Go Center.
“This is identical to a career center, but the difference is that we have students helping students,” Vaquera said. Vaquera said that a student might be afraid to contact a counselor for college information because they might think they don’t qualify, but with the Go Center students are helped by CGF Mentors, which are students that can provide information to their peers.
Judi Flowers, chief volunteer officer for the Boys & Girls Club of Edinburg RGV, said students will be able to obtain college information easier. “With the Go Center project,” Flowers said. “College awareness and enrollment will increase for students.”
Sabrina Walker-Hernandez, CPO for the Boys & Girls Club of Edinburg RGV, said programs like these are crucial because it is an opportunity for students to attend and be prepared for college. “Some students wonder about how they will pay for college or they don’t know how to navigate the system,” she said.
“The Go center at the Boys & Girls Club has 10 computers with Internet connection that will allow students to research what they need to prepare for college,” she said.
Petra Lopez-Vaquera, sirector of Special Programs for Valley Outreach at UTPA, said most of the high schools have Go Centers, but this center will be at the community level.
UTPA recently launched another community Go Center at the Boys & Girls Club of Pharr. Other Go Centers are located at the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library and there are plans to open two more at the McAllen Libraries and McAllen Boys & Girls sites.
The Boys & Girls Club of Edinburg services over 16,000 students in Edinburg and surrounding area and has over 13 clubs.