The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded UNM’s College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) more than $2.3 million that will ensure students receive services for years to come. 

Throughout its tenure the program has served 587 students—many of which have gone on to complete their graduate and doctoral degree. 

With the current renewal, the program will serve 150 students from rural New Mexico who may not have considered UNM as an option due to cost, distance and exposure to higher education. Brenda Ramos Villanueva, CAMP alum and president of the UNM CAMPerinos Student Organization said she remembers being in high school as an unaccompanied youth farmworker and feeling like the possibility of going to college was almost impossible. 

“Without the proper guidance, I was about to make a mess out of my life, until I saw UNM CAMP at a college fair,” Villanueva said. “The CAMP recruiter saw the potential in me to become a selected scholar.”

CAMP Program Director Ivan Olay said CAMP students come from hardworking families with dreams that align with UNM’s mission of providing endless opportunities for all its students. He said this award will impact current and future generations of students from the state’s rural populations changing the earning potential and overall quality of life for the students and their families.

CAMP was established to identify, recruit, admit and enroll migrant and seasonal farm worker students and provide them with the academic, social and financial support to enable completion of their first year of college. 

“I thank the universe for bringing into existence a program like CAMP—a program which helped me complete the most challenging phase of my career: freshmen year, and which created a space of opportunities for me which traced my whole future,” Villanueva said. “I was recently accepted into the UNM MARC program and plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Bioengineering, something that my high school senior self would only dream of."

Funding for this new grant begins July 1.

For more information on the program, visit CAMP or call UNM CAMP recruiter, Tania Delgadillo at 505-277-2182.