GOOD NEWS: First gen grads pay it forward for Hispanic students

Odessa College supporters Jose and Jaclyn Gaona, both first generation college graduates, contributed $2,000 through their company, Red Pixel Marketing, to help two Odessa College Hispanic students, one male and one female, in the pursuit of their educational career goals.

The Gaonas grew up in poverty and a college education changed their lives. Jose stated that he and his wife couldn’t have gotten through school without the support they received through scholarships and financial aid and the encouragement of their teachers and community members. “It’s always a great honor to give back and pay it forward … we are always touched by the students that we do help,” he said. “They’ve written letters to thank us for our financial support. Our scholarship isn’t performance-based, it’s need-based. We want to help somebody who has the financial need.”

Gaona added, “Growing up in poverty we saw that it was not all about grades, so our scholarship is not based on grades. Instead, it is based on work ethic and performance – we want our scholarship to help someone who is showing that they want to change their lives.”