Perkins Grant helps TSTC students with expenses

(SWEETWATER, Texas) – With help from a Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Grant, Texas State Technical College student Rebecca Fortuna does not have to worry about gas money.

Through the grant, Fortuna is able to travel from Rotan to Sweetwater to study Wind Energy Technology. Without the grant, Fortuna said she might not be able to complete school.

“If it was not for this grant, I would probably have to work more just to pay for gas,” she said. “I saved a lot of money driving back and forth, even with gas prices fluctuating. Every little bit helps me.”

Michael LeRoux, coordinator of Retention Services for TSTC’s West Texas campuses, said helping with transportation costs is not the only benefit of the grant. The Perkins Grant also allows nontraditional students to receive funding for child care.

“We also have a lending library available where students can borrow books or tools for their courses,” he said. “We wanted to dedicate our money to our assistance programs.”

Fortuna, 35, learned about the grant opportunity by talking to her classmates.

“It was not a difficult process. With a lot of grants, it is a large essay, but this was not that way,” she said. “Michael helped me through the entire process.”

She has even paid it forward by telling other female classmates about the grant program.

“I wanted to help get the word out that this is available,” she said.

LeRoux said funding helps relieve some stress on students.

“I hope people take advantage of this program. One of my main goals is to get as many students to apply for funding as possible,” he said. 

To receive funding, the student must be in good academic standing, be classified as full time, and take classes on campus.

“We accept applications each semester, and students are eligible to reapply,” LeRoux said. “It is rewarding because it helps a lot of people.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.