One in five adults in Amarillo lacks a high school diploma.

The rate of our local educational attainment is growing much more slowly than that of the state or the nation, and will not keep up with the emerging knowledge-based jobs of the 21st century global economy, or even our current workforce requirements.

Amarillo and the Panhandle rank below the state and national averages in the number of adults with a bachelor’s degree or above.

If current trends remain, the future workforce needed for a vibrant economy may no longer exist in the Texas Panhandle.

ACE provides a better-educated and trained skilled workforce through knowledge-based economy.

A Caprock High School and WTAMU graduate, Lauren Salazar recently returned to the area to join the Advanced Eye Care practice as a Doctor of Optometry after graduating from the University of Houston College of Optometry. She knew she wanted to become a doctor since she was a kid, and later realized that optometry was the perfect fit for her. And with the help and security of the ACE Scholarship Program, she was able to finish her undergraduate degree without any debt. During her down time, Dr. Salazar enjoys hanging out with her friends and family and staying active by playing sports, dancing, running, and vacationing.

“ACE was great because it gave me a wonderful foundation to start my career. The ACE staff supported me and encouraged me. ACE invested in me, and I will forever be thankful for that.”

Dr. Lauren Salazar