Migrant students aim to harvest educational success

About 1,000 migrant students attended From Harvest to Harvard conference in Edinburg today.

The conference focuses on encouraging educational success in migrant students from Laredo to Brownsville.

The middle and high school students all come from migrant families who travel across the United States following agricultural work.

They have this fragmentation of class work and curriculum and with the absence of that teaching they get behind, Noemi Ochoa, CEO of Migrants in Action, said.

Nearly half of all migrant students in the state of Texas live in the Rio Grande Valley.

School Districts provide migrant student programs to keep them on track to graduate but the statistics are stacked against them.

More than 60 percent drop-out before finishing high school.

But students like Devon Nunez are working hard to no become another statistic.

There is a lot more out there than just being a migrant and moving around everywhere, he said. I want to be somewhere stable.

Nunez is a senior at Edcouch-Elsa High School and has his sights set on the University of Pan-American.

He plans to major in business marketing.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Lisa Ramirez, told students they don TMt have to let where they come from decide where they are going.

Choice plus choice equals the direction of your life, she said.

Ramirez grew up in a migrant family and eventually joining the military.

She has found success as an author and works in the countries capital at the Federal Office of Migrant Education.

We can TMt deny that there are still some very real challenges, poverty is still rampant and we can TMt turn a blind eye to that, she said.

Although there are many obstacles that remain, she feels migrant students now have a better chance of achieving educational success.

By sharing her journey to success, at least one student is motivated to achieve his dream.

It makes me feel like I TMm not alone in this, like I can get through this, Nunez said.