University receives donation to help students graduate

Updated: Sep. 14, 2017 at 7:24 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - Texas A&M University Texarkana received a generous donation from a nonprofit organization in hopes it will lead to a reversal of a nationwide trend.

It is expected to provide a big help to certain students to help them stay on track to graduate.

"The P.A.T.H. program is very important to us because it helps increase the number of African American males graduating from college," said Director of Admissions Toney Favors.

Favors continues to say African American males make up 19 percent of students on the Texarkana campus, but a large portion of the student population will not graduate, a problem confronting colleges nationwide.

The university received a check of $183,750 from the Texas Pioneer Foundation.

The funds will be used to provide mentors to African American male students during their time at A&M Texarkana.

"Working in getting their degree, we are going to aid them in providing resources. When we say resource, we mean scholarships as well in addition to mentorship they are going to get," said Favors.

The target goal is to provide mentorship services to 25 students a year.

"We just need the extra motivation and anything that we can do to help further us a people," said A&M Texarkana student Cameron Jones.

"To have someone showing me along the way to help me guide me keep me accountable for my actions is something I think I would need," said A&M Texarkana student Phillip Barns.

The Texas Pioneer Foundation is a private nonprofit organization that focuses on education in the state of Texas.

Fred Markham is president of the foundation and says Thursday's check presentation is more than just a gift to the university.

"An investment will provide a return through that investment we suspect bigger thing will come of it," said Markham.

University leaders say the new program could also serve as a recruitment tool for African American men to attend the university.