NCTC Stanley

Spreading a message of hope and opportunity, the Red River Promise is a last dollar scholarship program which seeks to reduce financial barriers and provide support for students to succeed in college, career and life. The scholarship pays any balance of tuition not covered by federal or state financial aid or institutional scholarships at participating Promise partner colleges.

Promise Scholars will also be matched with a Success Coach who serves as a mentor for students, beginning at the end of their senior year through college completion.

The mission of the Red River Promise is to build a stronger college-going culture that strengthens the local workforce. The program aims to increase opportunity for students and also for the school districts and communities they live in. NCTC is dedicated to stepping into a stronger and more supportive regional coordination role to support school district partners with data and tools to better serve students and collectively access more federal and state dollars to invest in our students, families, and communities. New initiatives and technological resources provided by the program will improve college readiness outcomes and streamline the college enrollment process.

Current seniors in Cooke and Montague counties and Graham Independent School District will pledge to be Red River Promise Scholars beginning Jan. 18 – March 1. When students pledge, they are committing to themselves, to their future. Students are taking a stand, as early as their freshman year, in recognizing opportunities available to them. The first step is changing the narrative – educating students on the options, encouraging them to act, and then guiding the students on how to navigate and capitalize on those options. Education is for everyone and it looks different for everyone and that is exciting.

Success in college is not only about access, and affordability, but also engagement and retention. NCTC has numerous programs and resources available to students; supports that have proven to improve student success. With the Red River Promise, there is a more intentional focus on high school students, particularly seniors, and providing more guidance and support during the challenging transition in their lives. Partnering with the success coach, students will be guided to various programs, services, and resources based on their needs.

Now serving as Director of the Red River Promise, I have accumulated over a decade of experience working with students at North Central Texas College in areas including tutoring, TRiO, disability services, advising, academic and career-technical dual credit, and academic coaching. My experiences provide a unique perception and understanding of the needs in our communities. My passion and purpose is education; helping others better themselves and achieve their goals no matter what that looks like.

A first-generation, low income student myself, I understand the challenges facing many students, I knew I wanted to go to college, I knew I belonged in college, but I had no idea how to get there or where to turn for help. With limited resources but the desire to pursue a degree, I started at NCTC where I earned my Associate’s degree before transferring to Texas Woman’s University and later Texas A&M University to earn my master’s. It was ultimately the best path for me to take. We complete many parts of life in stages, why should my educational development be different?

Honored to serve in this role, I’m excited to bring the Red River Promise to our rural communities and witness the positive impact it will have. The Red River Promise is an opportunity create real change and improve the lives and workforce for our students, parents, and communities. For more information, visit

Barbara Stanley is the Director of the Red River Promise Program for North Central Texas College. She has been at the college for 11 years, serving in various student service related roles.

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