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Educational Opportunity Center participant given high honors

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Friday, March 7, 2008

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Media Contact: Susan Slupecki

ARLINGTON - Sandra Davila, a former University of Texas at Arlington Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) participant, and now assistant principal in Grand Prairie, was selected as a 2008 TRIO Achiever by the Texas Association of Student Special Services Programs.

Sandra Davila, a former University of Texas at Arlington Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) participant, and now assistant principal in Grand Prairie, was selected as a 2008 TRIO Achiever by the Texas Association of Student Special Services Programs.

Davila received her principal certification from UT Arlington’s College of Education in June 2007, and has recently applied for the College’s Superintendency Program, the largest such program in Texas.

A first-generation college student, she credits her parents with instilling the importance of an education in her. As she prepared for her 1992 graduation from high school, she sought the assistance of EOC Community Education Specialist Silvia Briceño, who helped her navigate the admissions and financial aid processes, resulting in Davila’s enrollment at North Lake College. She transferred, ultimately graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish and subsequently with her teacher certification from the University of Houston. Davila earned her master’s degree in teaching a second language from Bennington College in Vermont in 2005. She will be presented with the award April 1 in Galveston.

“I am the little girl from Grand Prairie who, despite the odds, achieved the American dream,” said Davila. “It’s hard to imagine what my life would have been had the EOC not assisted me in my educational goals.”

TRIO programs–established by Congress 30 years ago to enable Americans regardless of economic circumstance, race or ethnic background to successfully enter college and graduate–are designed to identify promising students, prepare them to do college level work, strengthen math and science skills, provide tutoring and support services to students once they reach campus and provide information on academic and financial aid opportunities. TRIO achievers are those who have taken part in a TRIO program and upon completion have excelled both academically and professionally. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Association of TRIO Programs at UT Arlington includes the Educational Opportunity Center, SOAR-McNair Scholars Programs, Upward Bound Program, SOAR-Students Support Services and Upward Bound Math and Science Regional Center.

The EOC’s free services help adults explore career options then apply for admission and financial aid to college, university or vocational school. Services are available to residents of Dallas and Tarrant counties who are U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents, age 19 or above.

For information about the Educational Opportunity Center call (817) 272-2506.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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