Feedback from GI program students who graduated from UTSA.
“I was kept informed about new staff and helpful advice.” – Andrea Perez
“They helped me every step of the way in my last semester.” – Anonymous
"…met and talked with people who obviously cared about helping you graduate and help alleviate stress.” – Ruben Gutierrez, Jr
“It allowed me to worry less and work less and be able to focus on my degree and bring up my GPA. It gave me hope to continue and finish at faster pace.”
“I was connected with GIA for my last semester, but for this one very important semester the GIA has helped me be aware of the things I need to do before I finish. The staff has always been open to questions and been very nice and friendly. It’s comforting knowing I have an office specific to go to when I feel overwhelmed with what to do when and where for grad. Also, available links for when I just need a quick check of dates and times.” - Tiffany
“It helped me get money for my final semester that lessened the load off my shoulders in finding money.” – Rene Martinez“The extra financial help really lowered my stress about money and work.”
– Estrella Colon
“I thought that every person from the graduation initiative were very helpful by giving me a call to make sure everything was in order and providing advice.”
"I was completely unaware of this organization. It has been a great help in these last couple of steps. The work required for these final classes provide a great deal of stress and require much time. Receiving this support at this stage of the journey helped relieve some stress. It is a great form of encouragement in the final stretch."—Anonymous
"The Graduation Initiative guided me down the path towards graduating from UTSA. They were like a mentor that provided me with the information I needed to be successful. I am very appreciative to all in this team for being so helpful towards my goal!" —Adriana Nelly Molina
"Made me not want to let them down." — Daniel J. Villanueva
"I can't thank you enough for helping me and keeping me up-to-date with everything, I know it's your job but I've never had anyone whole heartedly interested in helping me out at school before."—Mandy Benavides
"I am both honored and surprised to receive the scholarship from your organization. I have made myself aware and informed of some of the things your organization does for graduating students and the college community, predominantly for our education.This comes at a critical time in my college career, seeing that as of a month ago I wasn't sure how I was going to pay for the rest of school. I appreciate your confidence and willingness to contribute to my future education. Your work, efforts and the program will benefit me and my future. I am working towards a degree in Human Resource Management and this has given me a boost of confidence that I will get to finish my degree and become a successful individual in our striving society." —Marie Martinez
"The GIA really helped me get focused on organizing my degree plan and actually setting a graduation date. It was a really great surprise to receive a phone call about being eligible to receive a grant to go towards my tuition. Linda's assistance was very helpful." —Allison
"The financial award allowed me to take summer classes." —Cherelle
"It gave me the confidence and motivation I needed to succeed in my education."
"Working with the Graduation Initiative was a very positive experience. Assistance went beyond financial support; GI staff (Kristi, in my case) was there to offer help with matters related to meeting degree requirements and to provide reminders about deadlines. Knowing that such a 'safety net' is in place can be comforting; it also alleviates some of the stress that is intrinsic with pursuing a college degree."
"Less stress and was able to focus on classes better." —Georgina
"It helped me get more focus with school again instead of just focusing on work. I learned to manage my time well with working and going to school full time. I realized it was about time that i jump on the ball and finish what I started. Also, my point of contact Linda Chalmers was great! She always answered all my questions in a timely manner." —Alli
"Motivation to finish with financial help." — Linda
"Made the semester less stressful, money helped purchase things needed for school to go my homework." —Mandy Benavides
"To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. Here we have a division of UTSA that is dedicated to providing support to students that are putting out every effort to graduate; some of whom may have difficulties (monetary or otherwise) in doing so. The knowledge that there is a group dedicated to providing additional support is quite comforting. A big, heartfelt thanks goes out to Kristi and the rest of the staff in the Graduation Initiative Office. It's great knowing that you're there for us, thanks!" —Tim Jones
"I didn't have to worry as much about financial aid, didn't have to get an emergency loan for books." —MonicaTrevino
"Helped me stess a little less about funds." — Danté Holmes
"Helped me graduate much sooner than I thought possible due to funding school and balancing work hours." —John Atkinson
"To be honest, I was struck with relief. Before I received information on this, I was worried sick about paying tuition for my final year at UTSA. Had it not been for this, there could have been a good chance that i would not have finished this year or finished at UTSA." —Ivan Avila
"I was very pleased with the experience. The people I was in communication with from the Graduation Initiative were very supportive and helpful."—Anonymous
"Thank you very much for everything you have done in helping me attain the plan of graduating the summer of 2009. I do not think I could have done it without your help. After years of being at UTSA and changing my major 3 times, the Graduation Initiative Program has helped me realize my dreams and successfully following my destiny in life. Thank you so much once again."—Tudor Alexandrescu
"This award helped me financially, so I could devote more time to my course work."
"I was definitely pleased to find out there are people like Jinny on campus doing what they can to help students graduate with financial assistance. Jinny was very kind and I am thankful she was able to help me with everything she did!"
"I would like to first start off by expressing my deepest gratitude to those that made this program possible. Over the semesters, I have always had to struggle financially to meet payment dead lines and purchase all the supplies and materials that were needed for my courses. With graduation right around the corner, I knew that the number of obstacles would grow and become more challenging. The finish line to graduation was in sight, but I was doubtful that I would be able to cross it. With the assistance that I will be receiving from the Graduation Initiative program, I am more confident than ever that I will meet my goal and graduate. I will be able to focus most of my attention to my studies versus my check book. Thank you for helping me achieve my goals and assisting me with graduation."—Elias Flores IV
"The Graduation Initiative is wonderful. For me this opportunity couldn't have come at a better time. My course plan had just changed dramatically due to a change in summer courses available and my stress level had really compounded. I would have no other option but to take my 3 most challenging classes in the fall while working to maintain myself. This unexpected opportunity is really going to help me get to graduation. I am extremely appreciative...."—Laura
"Thank you for helping me finish school in a timely manner, I don't know what I would have done if it weren't for the graduation initiative team. Keep up all the support you all give students helping them graduate on time. Thank you again."
"The Graduation Incentive Award Program essentially made it possible for me to graduate. Without the extra financial help, I may not have been able to complete my degree requirements. Along with financial help, the mandatory accurate Course Plan ended up being extremely helpful in choosing class schedules for each semester, as well as making it so I always knew exactly what needed to be done in order to fulfill my degree requirements in a timely manner.
Another aspect of the GIA that made it particularly useful was the staff. Diane Elizondo was who I worked with specifically throughout the program. Not only was she always extremely nice, she was very informative whenever I had a question, and (of particular importance to me) made me feel as if I could ask her anything wihtout feeling embarrassed or as if I was taking up too much of her time. All in all, the GIA and the Graduation Initiative Team made graduation possible and a much more pleasant experience than had I been left to complete it on my own."
"Graduation Initiative has put the spark back into being able to finish my senior year and graduate." —Donielle Justus
"I appreciate all the assistance you've given me these past few semesters. The money I have received from the GIA has allowed me to stop stressing about how I'll pay for school. I probably would have put off graduation for a bit longer to work and earn my tuition money with out it." —Janis Gonzalez
"The GI has helped me be determined in my graduation. To take the initiative and become ready for the business world. Being away for the winter break, they make sure that I had everything ready before the start of the semester."
"Thank you for all your time and effort in helping me out. You all were like big brothers to me."—Walter Gamboa
2008 and 2007 graduates:
"Thank you sooo much for your time and for being so helpful!"
"Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it. It's nice to have the school and professionals like you help students like me, who may have needed that nudge to push through to finally graduate...I just wanted to thank you and your department and all the grant writers for helping me to be the first to graduate college in my family."