- San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas - http://smmercury.com -

SOAR procures large grant


Texas State and its educational partners have expanded the “College Bound” initiatives for the San Marcos CISD with a grant of $164,000 to the Seeking Opportunities Achieving Results (SOAR) program from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The “College Bound,” initiative evolved from P-16 effort that brought many diverse partnerships together to develop SOAR, which includes among its educational partners members representing Texas State, San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce (SMACC), San Marcos CISD, the City of San Marcos, San Marcos Hispanic Chamber, Austin Community College, San Marcos Education Foundation, and United Way of Hays County.

With this funding, “College Bound” will provide pre-college services for area students by establishing a community satellite Go-Centers encouraging high school students to apply for college.  During the cycle of the grant, SOAR will provide campus wide outreach information and services to the greater San Marcos community.

The grant will provide intensive services to 60 current and upcoming seniors. The seniors selected for intensive services will consist of high school students who will be the first in their family to go to college and who come from low economic backgrounds.

“We will begin a series of community and district activities this spring and summer that will target parents and students of first generation families,” said Sonya Lopez, the grant coordinator and co-investigator of the grant. “It is our hope that students and parents will know as much as possible about college life, financial aid, and possible barriers and pitfalls to avoid.”

SMACC President Phyllis Snodgrass said the project is key to achieving the educational attainment goals in San Marcos.

“The Chamber of Commerce is very invested in the educational attainment of all San Marcos students,” Snodgrass said. “We believe that educational attainment is a key component of our community’s economic future.”

Said San Marcos CISD Superintendent Patty Shafer, “We are excited about the many possibilities of this grant to our students. It will provide another opportunity for SMCISD to close the gaps in educational achievement for all children in our district.”

For more information about this initiative or the newly funded “College Bound” grant individuals, contact Sonya Lopez at (512) 245-3838.