It might have taken the entire year, but first-year CAMP student Alondra Torres has found her place at MSU.
“The biggest accomplishment for me this year was finishing up my first year of college. There was many times where I felt so out of place, and I felt that I wasn’t going to be able to finish what I started,” Torres said. “Until one day I finally came to realize that I have so much love and support surrounding me, that it is what drove me to finish strong here at MSU.”
The College Assistance Migrant Program or CAMP is a residential educational program that assists students with migrant or seasonal farm work backgrounds in a variety of ways. Housed within Migrant Student Services, CAMP has been in existence for almost 20 years. Whether it be academic, social or financial support, this program provides a multitude of resources to help these students complete and succeed during their first year of college at MSU.
Coming from Lake Placid, Florida, Alondra has just completed her first year in CAMP and has accomplished quite a bit during her first year. Studying abroad in Mexico with the program, International Engagement in Mexico along with her fellow CAMP scholars and interning at McLaren Hospital were some of the highlights but Torres attributes her successful first year to the CAMP staff. ”Without the CAMP program I more than likely would not have made it through my first year,” Torres said. “Besides my friends, the CAMP staff was very supportive of anything and everything I decided to do. They have helped me become a very independent and courageous young lady and I cannot thank them enough.” Alondra studies kinesiology with a minor in Spanish and will be taking courses this summer, along with working to save up money for next school year. During her sophomore year, Alondra will serve as a CAMP mentor for the next cohort of scholars during their first year.
For almost twenty years CAMP has produced some of our most accomplished Spartans. Selena Huapilla-Perez, a recently graduated senior, was elected to give the student address at her commencement ceremony and completed an internship with the U.S. Department of Education for The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics in the summer of 2018. Mario Gutierrez, class of 2015, was awarded the Richard Lee Featherstone Endowed Prize, a prize that identifies the most outstanding graduating senior and to grant an award, without limit or bounds, to be used for future growth and development, travel, graduate study, or meditation. We look forward to seeing what the next 20 years of excellence looks like for the CAMP scholars.