U of I's CAMP Program Making College Education Possible

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Updated: 11/26/2013 6:47 pm
Monday we told you what the University of Idaho is doing to attract more eastern Idaho students to the Moscow campus.

One of its many selling points may be a program that's giving some high school graduates a chance to be the first in their family to go on to college and get a degree.

Matt Gittins met a future law school student from Rupert who is already more educated than his parents who were forced to abandon their books in the 3rd grade.

"I would have never changed that for anything in the world," Fredy Olmos said.

Fredy is a Political Science student who couldn't be more happy about his decision to come to the University of Idaho.  Getting a college degree is something he hardly considered just a few years ago.  That is until he met a new friend.

"A guy named Jesse Martinez came to our school and talked about the CAMP program they offer here at the University of Idaho," Olmos said. "I had never thought that I had the money or that my parents had the money to afford to come over here."

Every year the CAMP or College Assistance Migrant Program recognizes 35 students, like Fredy, who otherwise may not have a chance to go on and get a college degree.

CAMP is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and provides financial and academic help to students with migrant and seasonal work backgrounds.

"The youngest of five siblings..." says Jesse Martinez, Asst. Director of CAMP. "The first one to go to college. My parents didn't have any education. So, first hand, I lived it. So, for me to actually be doing this for a living, I love it."

Remember Fredy's Friend, Jesse Martinez?  Not only does he recruit students to the CAMP program, he's also a graduate. And this chance to give back to a program that changed his future is something he relishes.

"It doesn't even feel like a job," Martinez adds. "It's really an opportunity to give back to a program that gave me so much, that opened up the doors for me to see there's a big world out here. So, for me to go back to the communities and share about what we have at the University of Idaho through this program is phenomenal and to see the success we have is just that much more rewarding."

Now Fredy, and other CAMPers, can look forward to a much brighter and limitless future than even his parents had with just their third grade education.

"I was able to intern at a law office in South Carolina and that completely opened my mind and reassured me that that was the path that I wanted to go into," Olmos said. Without CAMP, I don't think I could have done things like that."

As of Tuesday, U of I's CAMP program has served about 500 students since 1999 when it was first funded in Moscow. If you'd like to learn more about the CAMP program and how you can get involved, log on to http://www.uidaho.edu/studentaffairs/camp/apply.
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