LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - More than $1 million of federal funding is going to three Cameron University programs that help underserved students in our community.
Three programs serving different ages of underprivileged students recently received grant money. Student Support Services received more than $460,000 to help students already on campus.
“This program works with students that are first-generation, low income or students with disability. We do academic advising, we do enrollment, we do tutoring, we do mentoring, we have our own math and writing lab, we do cultural events. We do workshops that cover every aspect of a student’s life,” said Student Support Services Director Doreen Thomas.
Open Doors also received more than $417,000, though that money will serve students much younger.
“We serve Lawton Public Schools 6th-12th grades and the goal with open doors is to get kids through high school successfully and on to some sort of post-secondary training, that can be tech center or trade school or it can be an associate’s degree or a bachelors degree,” said Open Doors/Upward Bound Director Beth Gregory.
Upward Bound received more than $350,000 and serves the same age range of students as Open Doors...just much more intensely.
“Our goal for these kids is actually a degree. They live with us in the summer for five weeks here on campus and then we go on a trip the sixth week, so we spend a lot of time with these students and their families,” Gregory said.
While the programs all are independent, they all have the same goal - to simply help students and their families.
“If you have a child who is looking at going to college and you haven’t been, you have no idea what an FSA ID is or what a FAFSA is or where you go about getting help for that. That’s where we come in, we just kind of fill that gap for these parents,” Gregory said.
“A lot of students come back and say we’re kind of their safety net here at Cameron. A lot of your first-generation students do not have a background with their parents going to college to kind of tell them this is what you need to do, this is what you don’t need to do. When we take a student in the program, we work with them all the way through until they get that first bachelor’s degree,” Thomas said.
All three of those programs are actively looking for students to join them. You can find more information about all of the programs by searching for them on the Cameron University website.