EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Housing Authority of the City of El Paso’s (HACEP) scholarship program is giving residents the opportunity to achieve their goals and dreams.

Since she was a child, Patricia Castillo had always dreamt of being a teacher, and because of the HACEP scholarship program, she made that dream a reality.

“I saw a flyer in the community, and I thought, ‘Why not?’” , Castillo said in a release.

Castillo says in the release that when she learned about the scholarship program she was already enrolled at UTEP, however, this opportunity not only gave her a financial boost toward achieving her goal but also boosted her motivation.

“The scholarship motivated me to work even harder,” she said. “Before the scholarship, I was unmotivated and taking my time with school. I would recommend for anyone in my position to go to school and apply for the HACEP Scholarship and to take advantage of the resources around you,” Castillo said in the release.

Castillo lives in HACEP’s Marmolejo Community in the Lower Valley and remained on the Dean’s List until graduation. Castillo graduated from UTEP with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Bilingual Early Child Education, the release said.

“It was a big accomplishment to be the first one in my family to go to college and to complete my bachelor’s degree,” Castillo said. “Now I can set the example for my siblings so that they know finishing school is possible for them, too.”

Castillo is currently a substitute teacher and is pleased to be giving back to the community that gave so much to her.

The Housing Authority of the City of El Paso says they are proud to support the dreams of residents like Patricia, especially if they are first-generation graduates.

HACEP encourages all residents who qualify to apply for the scholarship program and begin their journey to higher education.