Teaching students the importance of higher education is the primary goal of the Migrant University Summer Experience program at UTRGV.
“It’s the best program. People see us out here and they look up to us because we’re working, and we’re doing our high school classes, and some people are doing their college classes. It’s the best experience ever.” said Jose Sola, Mission High School student.
That’s the phrase we heard many of these migrant students use to describe the MUSE program. It’s a six week period where more than a hundred kids from across the Valley get a feel for what it’s like to be a college student.
Outreach Director Barbara Garza says, “They live here at the university, they’re in the dorms for six weeks. They have the opportunity to do a college track, which means they can obtain college credit, or they can do a high school track, which means they can obtain high school credits.”
The free program also allows students to receive work experience through internships.
Loreli Duran, La Joya High School, “I worked with IT Tech services, so I did get to get experience with the college students. I had interactions with the college students and I was able to build connections with them in that area.”
Juan Acosta, Edcouch-Elsa Early College High School, “I like it because it makes you build relationships with other students and build up confidence.”
Despite everything the MUSE program has to offer, students oftentimes find it difficult to make that decision to join.
“It’s hard for them to leave their families.”said Barbara Garza, “It’s hard for them to say I’m not going to go work up north this year because they’re so used to being those extra hands supporting the family.”
But to make up for the sacrifice, the program offers students a $1,200 incentive to make sure the students’ families are taken care of. Students interested in learning signing up for the MUSE Program can speak with the migrant counselor at their respective campus.