(ROSENBERG, Texas) – On Valentine’s Day, Texas State Technical College helped spread the love at the Fort Bend County campus’ annual resource fair, which connected participating TSTC students with some community resources.
TSTC strives to help break down barriers to students’ success in their education. While many needs can be met with on-campus resources, the local Fort Bend County community also can provide needed support. The goal of the resource fair was to meet some specific needs that students at the Fort Bend County campus might have.
“We are very intentional about what the students actually need,” said Larissa Moreno, coach for the TSTC Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC) at the Fort Bend County campus. “We take what we’ve learned through interacting with the students and then find resources in the community that can serve those needs.”
This was the second year that Moreno had been in charge of the fair. Last year, the number of booths that businesses had set up totaled around eight. This year, the number of booths was 24, only six of which were affiliated directly with TSTC.
“Last year I was on my own,” Moreno said. “But we have a team now. That’s why we were so successful.”
Resources from the community included financial aid, affordable housing, military and veteran affairs, voter registration, and medical help. Booths were set up offering various services such as COVID-19 vaccinations, and blood pressure and diabetes screening.
Moreno stated that event planning had begun in December of last year. While the date lining up with Valentine’s Day was just a coincidence at first, the team at ARC decided to run with it and theme the fair “Sweet on Resources.” As such, nearly every booth was valentine themed with candy and small games for students who stopped by.
Talking with the community members running the booths revealed a successful turnout. Each had multiple students stop by and learn about their resources and available options. For most of the members, this was their first time attending the fair, though many stated their desire to return next year.
“Bridging the gap between students and community resources is my role,” Moreno said. “Each team member really pulled their weight and made the event successful.”
The ARC is designed to assist students with nonacademic barriers and help them to get back on the path toward graduation. Its services are available at all of TSTC’s campuses.
For more information about TSTC, go to tstc.edu.