rootEd Alliance partners with citizens for Educational Excellence Grant to improve postsecondary outcomes for Alice HS students


Citizens for Educational Excellence (CEE), a local nonprofit education organization, is partnering with rootEd Alliance, Inc. to address the most challenging obstacles to success for rural students attending Alice, Aransas Pass, and Sinton high schools. Dedicated college and career advisors have been placed on the high school campuses to provide advice and support for postsecondary and career opportunities.

CEE Executive Director Dr. Janet M. Cunningham stressed the importance of postsecondary education in the Coastal Bend, given that today nearly two thirds of jobs require some type of education or training beyond high school. Despite this, just one-third of young people living in rural communities enroll in college and only 26% of students graduate with a bachelor’s or associate degree. “rootEd Alliance and CEE are committed to making meaningful improvements in rural student outcomes by increasing postsecondary enrollment from our partner high schools over the next three years,” said Cunningham.

The program will be administered through Education to Employment Partners (E2E), the regional P-16 council. E2E Director Jeff West commented, "Two high-quality, experienced advisors, Maria Garza and Blas Ibanez, are excited to be working with Alice High School seniors. In addition to providing postsecondary education support, they will also provide early exposure to education pathways and careers, as well as strengthen connections between education and local industry." Students will also be connected with sources of financial aid and opportunities for internships.

“Now, more than ever, it is critical that we invest in the potential of rural students,” said Noa Meyer, President of rootEd Alliance. “Over the past two years, we have seen success through the rootEd model across Missouri and Tennessee, and we’re excited to share what we’ve learned with rural communities in the Coastal Bend, in partnership with Citizens for Educational Excellence.”

About rootEd Alliance

rootEd Alliance, Inc. is a collaborative philanthropic effort to clear the path to a stronger future for students in rural America. With its network of partners, rootEd provides advice, exposure and access to college and career opportunities to students in high school and college. rootEd Alliance

partners with local and national organizations working to meaningfully improve postsecondary and career outcomes, so that all students in rural areas and towns can pursue their dreams. Together, these organizations form a holistic model that supports students starting in high school through college and beyond.

About Citizens for Educational Excellence

Citizens for Educational Excellence (CEE), works in partnership with education, community, and workforce organizations, to increase educational and job attainment in the Coastal Bend by connecting citizens with information, supports, and resources. CEE programs include the following:

Coastal Compass Education and Career Resource Center - a free source of education and career information and assistance, located at La Palmera Mall (

Recapture Your Dream program - assisting adults with some college and no degree to complete their education (

Education to Employment Partners Regional P-16 Council - promoting a seamless educational continuum that ensures postsecondary and career readiness by providing conferences for students and professional development for educators (

Emerging Professionals Internship Program - preparing and placing high school seniors in internship positions with local employers ( internship-program)