Joe Wyatt
Published January 31, 2017

Amarillo College’s commitment to addressing poverty was hailed nationally on Jan. 31, when AC was presented with a prestigious Bellwether Award at the 2017 National Policy Summit and Futures Assembly in Orlando, Fla.

BellwetherinThe College emerged from a field of 3,000 Bellwether applicants to capture a Bellwether in the “Planning, Governance and Finance” category for AC’s No Excuses Poverty Initiative.

“Our commitment to students, especially those living in the war zone of poverty, changes lives and our shared community,” Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, president of Amarillo College, said. “This award singles out the commitments of our faculty and staff as being among the best in the nation.

“The Bellwether Award goes to an institution that is innovating and redesigning higher education. We are so honored and proud,” he said. “This means we will travel the country sharing our No Excuses 2020 plan and help others follow our lead.”

AC’s poverty initiative has five primary components: Social Services, Food Pantry, Mentoring Program, Career and Employment Services, and Predictive Modeling of individual student success.

The Bellwether Awards were established in 1995 by the Community College Futures Assembly to recognize outstanding and innovative programs and practices that will serve to springboard community colleges into the future.

A delegation from AC, led by Board of Regent’s Chair Michele Fortunato, attended the National Policy Summit and Futures Assembly and showcased AC’s No Excuses Initiative before a panel of judges. Winners were announced at the awards luncheon.