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College Assistant Migrant Program

College Assistant Migrant Program

The University of North Georgia has awarded over 1,000 scholarships and programs created for specific students with unique qualities. They created an organization named the College Assistant Migrant Program (CAMP), only offered on the Gainesville campus. 

CAMP has served 40 students with all types of benefits in the past years, but now and for the upcoming four years, they can only help 35 students. 

The program states that its mission is to provide financial, technological, instructional support, and supplemental educational opportunities to help students reach their goals at the University of North Georgia and beyond. 

Thalia Escobedo, the CAMP program coordinator, agrees with the goal. “My personal purpose in CAMP is to help students build a firm foundation so that they can continue their education. For me, this foundation includes academic skills as well as interpersonal skills,” Escobedo said, “I believe that figuring out who you are is as important as choosing a major for CAMP students, and therefore, I emphasize students’ mental health as part of the curriculum.”

The coordinator considers it a niche program, which is why many students don’t know about it. She added, “We can only serve students who meet particular criteria; therefore, many students cannot be part of CAMP. If a student is a first-year (has earned under 24 credits) and has worked or has had a family member work in qualifying migrant or temporary farm work, they could potentially qualify for the program.”

There are other ways to be part of CAMP; students can attend meetings and events sponsored by the Migrant Student Union. They also hire peer mentors and federal work-study assistance every year.

Britney Casas, CAMP alumni, said that the program did a lot that assisted her in her first year; she said they helped her get out of her comfort zone to achieve success. She used many resources they offered, such as getting to pick her classes a week earlier. Casas had to keep constant communication with her professors for the semester’s requisite evaluations, which led to her ending with all A’s and her professors spreading a good word about her. 

“ It offered a scholarship as well as guidance for first-generation students that many college students need during their first year.” – Britney Casas.

They helped her make connections in the school that facilitated access to many things. Casas was able to rely on CAMP for any problems or struggles that she faced, such as not having a laptop or filling out her FAFSA, not only with the coordinator’s help but also with her assigned peer mentor. 

Although it’s an organization that is there to help with school-related activities, she says they also had fun moments, and what she enjoyed most was being part of the housing program with CAMP. They helped pay for her first year of housing at the apartments at Hawks Nest.

She said, “ Having roommates in your first year of college is honestly one of the most beneficial things; we helped each other out throughout the year, and all passed with A’s and B’s. The emotional support they offered me was also comfort during hard times.”

She recommends upcoming college students or anyone to be part of this program because it’s an opportunity for students to take advantage of and offer guidance to succeed throughout college.

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College Assistant Migrant Program