Skip to Content

My.Army.Mil. Learn more about your Army media. How you like it.

Fort Hood Press Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: May 9, 2013 10:14:12 AM CDT

402nd FA recognized for mentoring Partners in Education students

Soldiers with the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade lead students wearing night vision goggles around the darkened classroom during one of the brigade’s Partners in Education program visits to Dr. Sue Shook Elementary School last month. For its dedication to students, the Socorro Independent School District presented the brigade with the 2013 Education Empowerment Award at its Partners in Education Recognition Luncheon in downtown El Paso, Texas, recently. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Patricia Deal, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West Public Affairs)

By Staff Sgt. Patricia Deal, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West Public Affairs

FORT BLISS, Texas — The 402nd Field Artillery Brigade’s dedication to the students at its adopted school earned the brigade the 2013 Education Empowerment Award from the Socorro Independent School District at the district’s Partners in Education Recognition Luncheon in downtown El Paso, Texas, recently.

Throughout the school year, the 402nd Soldiers and civilians volunteer their time to mentor the at-risk students in the PIE program at Dr. Sue Shook Elementary School. Soldiers help out at school assemblies and activities, tutor students and hold special-themed events.

“I am so excited that the 402nd won. We all appreciate the hard work they do. The time they spend with the students really does make a difference,” said Rosy Vega, Dr. Sue Shook Elementary School principal. “About 30 percent of our students have a military background and seeing the Soldiers at the school shows them that the Army does care about them.”

Soldiers with the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, tutor Dr. Sue Shook Elementary School students during one of the brigade’s Partners in Education program visits last month. For its dedication to students, the Socorro Independent School District presented the brigade with the 2013 Education Empowerment Award at its P.I.E. Recognition Luncheon in downtown El Paso, Texas, recently. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Patricia Deal, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West Public Affairs)

“We have definitely seen an improvement in the students’ behavior and grades,” Vega added. I look forward to another successful year with the 402nd, and I hope we can expand the program so more students can benefit.”

Monica Dominguez, school counselor, also praised the 402nd’s work with the students, adding that the Soldiers are great role models for them.

“It’s just amazing how much of a positive change we see in the students. Not only have we seen an improvement in their grades, but their attitudes have changed for the better. They are motivated to come to school now because of the mentors,” Dominguez said. “The students look forward to their time with the Soldiers because with the tutoring and the different activities, they make learning fun for the students.”

The students still talk about the time the Soldiers brought Meals Ready to Eat for them to taste and the night vision goggles to try, said Dominguez.

The Socorro Independent School District presented the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade with the 2013 Education Empowerment Award for its dedication to the students at Dr. Sue Shook Elementary School at its Partners in Education Recognition Luncheon in downtown El Paso, Texas, recently. Pictured are: (from left to right) Rosy Vega, principal; Lizeth Pinòn, school counselor; Sgt. Matthew Brewer; Sgt. 1st Class Evelyn Veal; Sgt. Guadalupe Romero; Capt. Kiet La; Elaine Spencer; Monica Dominguez, school counselor; Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Toledo. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Patricia Deal, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West Public Affairs)

Capt. Kiet La, the 402nd Field Artillery Headquarters and Headquarters Battery commander, said he is appreciative of the recognition.

“With our demanding schedules, it’s not always easy to carve out time to spend with the kids, but it is rewarding to see that what we do does make an impact on the students,” La said. “Not only do programs like this benefit the students, but the Soldiers benefit from giving back to their community.”  

The brigade has been supporting the elementary school for three years and has been recognized before for its efforts with the students. The 402nd received a Fort Bliss Outstanding Unit Award and an Impact Award — Character Education from the SISD in 2011.

For more information contact:
First Army Division West Public Affairs
First Army Division West
(254) 553-5003
Fort Hood, TX 76544
[email protected]