(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Ray Carrillo, a Texas State Technical College Diesel Equipment Technology student, opened a cabinet tucked away in a storage closet on the second floor of the Brazos Center, the home of TSTC’s Lending Library.
Inside were boxes of tools and equipment neatly sorted and labeled. Beside the cabinet, textbooks lined a shelving unit, spines out, organized by subject.
A hand truck had already been filled with items from the Lending Library for a student who needed them to complete their training, Carrillo pointed out.
“Growing up, we all have struggles, but I grew up in a school system that offered stuff like this,” he said. “When I needed school supplies, they were there to help me.”
Carrillo has been a student worker for TSTC’s Advocacy and Resource Center at the Fort Bend County campus since March.
“When I came here and I learned not everyone has money to pay out of pocket for their tools and equipment, I figured I might as well give back now because I was helped through elementary, middle and high school — up until my early adult life,” he said. “We’re trying to add — obviously we don’t have everything for every program because there’s so many. But if there’s something we’re able to get, we’ll find a way to get it for you.”
Students who find they need some extra assistance with obtaining materials for their classes should contact Larissa Moreno, an Advocacy and Resource Center coach at TSTC.
“She’s always willing to help anyone,” Carrillo said. “She’ll go out of her way to help someone.”
The Lending Library is one of the many initiatives organized by the Advocacy and Resource Center to provide support to students during their studies and training at TSTC. Students can use tools, equipment and textbooks from the Lending Library as long as they meet eligibility requirements that include a minimum GPA and minimum number of credit hours. At the end of the semester, students return the materials to the Lending Library.
“The more students we get to help, the better, and it’s a free resource to them,” Moreno said. “Why not take advantage of it?”
While there are some tools that students may want to purchase outright because they will continue to use them in their future careers, Moreno is ready to assist students with other needs while they are attending TSTC.
“We’re a culture of caring, so we want to make sure our students are just focusing on their education,” Moreno said. “If we can take some of that financial stress away from them — whether it be books, tools or helping them fix that flat tire — we’re going to do that.”
For resources like the Lending Library, priority is granted to students who are nontraditional, out-of-workforce individuals, single parents, veterans, and students with disabilities.
“If our students aren’t eligible for the Lending Library, then we’ll find some other type of funding to assist them,” Moreno said. “Again, we want them to focus on their studies — come here, get their education, and go get that great job.”
Students who would like to explore their eligibility for the Lending Library and other Advocacy and Resource Center initiatives can contact Moreno at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about TSTC Student Services and the Advocacy and Resource Center at tstc.edu/student-life/student-services/.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.