Amarillo has the first No Limits, No Excuses Univ. in the country

Amarillo, TX - It's the first No Limits, No Excuses college in the country and it's right here in our area.

Amarillo College is now providing help to students outside of the classroom.

"A couple months ago I was on a skiing trip with a few of my friends. I just fell tumbling down and I felt my leg move in a way it was not supposed to move," says Hoz Fierro, Blue Blazer, Amarillo College student.

To make matters worse, Hoz Fierro wasn't insured at the time.

"When I turned nineteen they took away the Medicaid I had," says Hoz Fierro, Blue Blazer, Amarillo College student.

At that point, he didn't know who to turn to.

"A lot of my classes suffered I was doing poorly," says Hoz Fierro, Blue Blazer, Amarillo College student.

He ended up receiving more support than he could have ever hoped for.

"From the people at Amarillo College, helping me and doing everything they can, got me in to get checked within less than a week. I had my MRI and I got to see an orthopedist finally," says Hoz Fierro, Blue Blazer, Amarillo College student.

In the past when Amarillo College saw students not performing well, they tried to offer them more academically, until they learned that's not what most people needed help with.

Sixty percent of their students are living in poverty.

"It was the life issues outside of the class that were having a bigger impact in their academic set skills in class. So we put a system into place that connects students to services in the community, connects them to financial aid, transportation support, child-care support," says Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Amarillo College.

"When students come in and they're having a problem, or if they tell a faculty member or their teacher or the professor something...what we're going to do is have a streamline process where it comes to me and we're going to try to find resources for those students. We want to make sure they're a success," says Trudy Banner, social service coordinator, Amarillo College.

Resources ranging from food to medical costs to clothing.

"We also implemented a mentoring program starting in the Fall. So, we are working one-on-one with our students based on Donna Beegle's navigator neighbor, role model," says LuLu Cowan, Special Assistant to President, Amarillo College.

Hoz is one example of how obstacles can sometimes stand in the way of a student's education.

"A lot of my classes suffered, I was doing poorly when this happened and now I'm getting A's. I think having been in the situation without the help, I would have been struggling a lot more and probably thought it would be best to drop classes," says Hoz Fierro, Blue Blazer, Amarillo College student.

His advice, never give up hope.

"Now I'm here standing, still in a leg brace but I'm standing and I feel good. I mean there's just tons of services you can find here at Amarillo College. There's really no excuse not to graduate from here," says Hoz Fierro, Blue Blazer, Amarillo College student.

If you want information on how you can receive help call the Amarillo College Advising Office at 806-371-5441. Ask for Trudy Banner, social service coordinator.