East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood program gives students a better chance at college

Source: KCBD Video
Source: KCBD Video
Updated: Jul. 19, 2018 at 9:44 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood program, ELPN, hosted their fourth-annual Keeping the Promise event, Thursday evening at Estacado High School.

In 2012, Texas Tech, LISD, and the East Lubbock community were given an almost $25 million grant to support and advocate for kids who may not have the opportunity or have not been encouraged to go to college.

It's not just about education though. The program helps allocate resources for kids in areas like medical care, nutrition, and early learning.

Thursday night's event, Keeping the Promise, was described as a report card of sorts.

"The whole purpose of this event is accountability to the citizens of East Lubbock," said Katherine Austin-Beltz, a faculty member at Texas Tech and the Data Director for ELPN. "We come here and we tell them the good, bad, and the ugly with regard to our results. What we've done well in this last period and what we've not done well in. What are our plans for the next six months?"

Some of the positives are increased access to medical clinics, rising graduation rates, better attendance, a decrease in in-school suspensions, and more family programs available.

One of the bad reports: standardized testing still isn't where it needs to be.

One of the biggest benefits of this program; however, is that it provides a college-level education to students at Estacado.

"Again, the biggest change is this - the Estacado Early College High School," explained Bill Stubblefield, a Trustee for LISD - District 2. "You've got a program where the students here have an opportunity to walk away from... they can enter in as freshmen and walk away as seniors with 60 hours of collegiate credit. Now I'm not talking about community college credit, I'm talking about Division 1, Tier 1 university credit for the first time."

This began two years ago, meaning those who will graduate with college accreditation from Estacado are currently juniors.

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