GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — The Colorado Migrant Education Program ensures that migrant children fully benefit from the same free public education provided to other children. Koreeña explains, “It’s truly to serve those who are working in agriculture and are moving to keep up with an economic necessity.”

The first step is finding them. Koreeña told us “First of all, everybody on our team is a recruiter. So, first, we have to find them, they don’t come to us, they don’t just walk in the door. They’re not going to come to our office.” They find migrant families on job sites, in orchards, on ranches, sometimes in churches, or even at grocery stores. 

After they find them, the process begins. Whether that’s getting them enrolled in preschool, head start, or K-12. Some of the individuals who qualify for the Migrant Education Program aren’t in school, but there’s still help available. Koreeña explains, “If they’re under the age of 22 our goal is to help them navigate educational options for high school completion. Whether that’s a GED program, or it could potentially just be learning English.”

There are many other benefits as well. Such as providing information and assistance with food, clothing, healthcare, housing, and other social and community services. Koreeña said, “Watching the joy on youth or the family when they get to either experience a new class that we’re offering, like a cooking class, or we had somebody sponsor us to go fishing and they bought all the fishing poles.” 

Koreeña is a D51 graduate herself, and while she didn’t come from a direct migrant experience, she is passionate about providing equal access to education and opportunity. She said, ”When you have opportunities to make life just a little better for anybody, epically those who are feeding us, I just don’t think there’s any greater joy.”