ACE program helps students

Jasmin Ruiz, Reporter

Kase Wilbanks worked at the ACE Giving Day event on Nov. 20, 2014.
Kase Wilbanks worked at the ACE Giving Day event on Nov. 20, 2014.

West Texas A&M University currently has a partnership with a scholarship program in Amarillo known as Achievement through Commitment to Education. ACE was established in 1994 at Palo Duro High School. In 2002, ACE was implemented at an additional Amarillo area school, Caprock High School. Recently, ACE added Tascosa High School to their programs and will have the first ACE graduating class in 2016. ACE strives to guarantee that every student has access to a college education while improving high school graduation rates and academic performances.


On Nov. 20, 2014 ACE celebrated its 20th Anniversary with an event called ACE Giving Day. During this event ACE aimed to raise two million dollars in just one day. Although the goal was not reached, ACE did receive $630,000 in donations that will help local students in Amarillo receive their education.


“I believe in education,” Dr. Emily S. Kinsky, Assistant professor for the Communication department, said. “And I think that it can make a huge difference in someone’s life and I was really excited about the program and what it does.”


Kinsky was recruited for ACE Giving Day event through a friend and did not refuse the offer. Since WT is one of the universities that provide an education to these students, many have volunteered on ACE Giving Day to help raise money. Part of their volunteer tasks were to set up tables at many Toot n’ Totum locations in Amarillo


“I had a lot of college options,” Jose Esquivel, Sophomore environmental science major, said. “But I choose WT because it was cheaper in price and close to home.”


Esquivel was an ACE student from Palo Duro High school and graduated in the top ten in his class. ACE helped him with his book costs and other financial expenses.


. “I believe that the program is helpful,” Katie Laddavong, Freshman Graphic Designer major, said. “The program has helped me with my financial situations.”


Katie is also an ACE student who graduated from Palo Duro High School and like Esquivel continued her education at WT. According to The Amarillo Area Foundation, 1,113 students from Palo Duro High School are in the ACE program this year while Caprock High School has 1,218 students and Tascosa has 168 students. Caprock High School also made High School History by having 100 percent of their students apply for college this year.


People can still donate to the program by logging onto the Amarillo Area Foundation website. Donations can be made anonymously and can have the option to which school they want to donate to.



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