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Samantha Rae EstradaSamantha Rae Estrada, 24, is a senior and plans to graduate August 2015 with a degree in psychology and a minor in marketing. As a former member of the American Marketing Association at UTPA, she participated in its 2013 and 2014 fashion shows and assisted at other events, such as the Entravision Soccer Cup and fundraisers. Estrada has also volunteered at the Bridges Nursing Home in Edinburg and the Edinburg Children’s Hospital. Currently, she is balancing school and two jobs, one as an information desk assistant at the Student Union, where she answers questions from students, parents and other guests and assists with Union events. This summer, she will participate in a Sherwin-Williams managerial internship in Houston.

Awards/Honors: Student Union Information Desk Team Member of the Year, 2015; Student Union Employee of the Month, January 2015; Civic Engagement Scholarship, 2010; Diversity Grant, 2009; and Social Justice Leadership Scholarship, 2009.

What are your plans after graduation? My goal is to continue my passion for marketing and work in the marketing department of a company such as Red Bull, Disney, or the NBA. I am particularly interested in event marketing and working with these companies will allow me to organize an array of events. In the future, I plan to continue my education and earn a MBA and Ph.D.

Do you plan to return to the Valley? There will always be room in my heart for the Valley. Coming back for the holidays or even just a visit to eat my mom’s amazing food is always an option.

What has your education done for you? My education has provided me with new insight on my determination to keep learning. My undergraduate career, which started at Kalamazoo College in Michigan and will end here at UTRGV, has empowered me to become a passionate, knowledgeable, and critical thinking individual. Academically, it has given me skills that have prepared me for life after graduation – the adult life. It has opened many doors of opportunities that seemed impossible to me when I first started.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My experience at UTPA has been rewarding and unforgettable. Moving back to the Valley from Michigan has made me realize how much I missed what the Valley offers. My professors in the psychology and marketing departments are insightful individuals and outstanding teachers who made learning exciting. Several professors encouraged me every step of the way and believed in my abilities as a student and marketer. Also, working at the Student Union’s information desk enhanced my leadership skills and ability to effectively help others. For that, I am forever grateful.

What is your best tip for success? To succeed, one must be passionate and patient. One can easily get overwhelmed with classes, working off campus, or even with problems at home. Getting involved with organizations on campus can help with stress that comes along with being a full time student. Lastly, do not be afraid of failing. Having passion and patience allows you to keep moving forward and get over any obstacles that come your way.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? There is nothing wrong with entering college not knowing what you want to do. Choosing a major can be frustrating and confusing. So, my advice is to choose something that you can become passionate about. Choose a major that inspires you to want to go to class and motivates you to apply it to the real world.

Veronica Cortez

Veronica CortezVeronica “Roni” Cortez, 22, plans to graduate in Spring 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in studio art. She entered UTPA with a scholarship from the De Arte in Harlingen after winning one of their art contests. At UTPA, she has been involved in the UTPA’s Artists Unanimous Group and currently works in the game room of the Student Union. Cortez also served as an illustrator for the student magazine Panorama, creating the front and back covers for its latest edition.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2012-Spring 2014; and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society inductee, Spring 2014.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan on pursuing artist residencies and raising money for my travels to whatever destinations I plan. If things go as planned I’ll be accepted to a residency and will be able to make art in a new and different environment, exposed to a collective of other artists; the residency could be in a different state or country.

Do you plan to return to the Valley? I haven’t planned that far ahead because art can be unpredictable just like the jobs. If there are jobs in the Valley, maybe as an art teacher, I would love to live here for a while but moving to other locations in the future seems like the best idea if you want to get your art out there.

What has your education done for you? My education has provided me with guidance from amazing professors and a facility like UTPA’s Art Annex, which has given me so many opportunities for learning and creativity. Most of my time has been spent off the main campus so the art building has become a second home for most artists and designers where we go to hone our skills and learn more about our artistic future. The Art Annex is also a space for us to critique and learn from each other, something that we would have not experienced outside of UTPA.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My experience at UTPA has been very memorable because of all the people I met here in the McAllen- Edinburg area. Many of my peers made my college experience an enriching one because of the friendships we created and the support we got from each other to create more artwork and to keep pushing when we felt discouraged for whatever reason.

What is your best tip for success? I would say to never give up, be excited about everything you do, and practice makes perfect. I believe I got some art jobs because I never stopped doing what I loved even if no one was paying attention to my art, but when people eventually started noticing my work, it felt great that my many years of hard work were paying off.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? A lot of the time students can lose track of time with friends so I would say it’s very important to make time for your work, and don’t fall behind. It’s so easy to put stuff off or procrastinate, but when projects take days to complete it can affect all of your classes.

April Leann Cartwright, 22, plans to graduate in Spring 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in studio art. She has been a member of UTPA’s Art Club (Artist Unanimous) and for two years was a member of the Student Union Advisory Board. Currently she is treasurer of the Feminist Alliance Club and a member of the 2014-15 Distinguished Speaker Series Committee. Cartwright has worked as an office assistant at the Student Union for almost four years. This year she was part of the UTRGV Student Leader Summit where students from UTPA and UTB discussed ideas to enhance the transition to the new university. She has volunteered with the Voto Latino Power Summit, a nonpartisan organization that empowers Latino millennials to seek brighter futures for themselves and their community through leadership training. Cartwright has also volunteered with the Advocacy Alliance Center of Texas, which works with other community groups to encourage voter registration and election day voting. This summer, Cartwright will participate in study abroad in Italy.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Summer I and II 2014, and Fall 2014; Association of College Unions International Leadership Conference attendee, 2013 and 2014; Student Union Employee of the Month, November 2013 and February 2015; and Tribute to Success honoree, 2014 and 2015.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan on attending graduate school at Texas State University to receive my master’s degrees in student affairs and ceramics. I would like to continue working in higher education.

Do you plan to return to the Valley? I will be leaving the Valley to receive my master’s degrees but would like to remain in Texas. I do not think I will make the Valley my permanent residence but will return frequently to visit my family.

What has your education done for you? Our university is so diverse and I have been fortunate enough to build long lasting relationships with so many people. Academically, my knowledge has grown tenfold but my education has also provided me with the ability to be socially aware. Possessing tolerance and empathy has perhaps been my greatest lesson.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? Working at the Student Union has given me a well-rounded experience at UTPA. I have been able to plan and attend numerous student events as well as participate in a variety of volunteer opportunities, fairs and summits. Encouraged by supervisors, I was able to participate in many student organizations and I’ve been able to hold positions of leadership. These mentors have provided me with invaluable resources and skills I will definitely put to use in my future career in student affairs.

What is your best tip for success? Be passionate! Whatever you do in life, be passionate about it. Completely involve yourself in your craft and you will succeed. It took me several years to give in to being a studio art major because of lack of job security and several more years to discover my love of student affairs. I am extremely passionate about both and that passion has given me more success than I could have ever dreamed of as a senior in high school.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Understand that failing may be a part of your journey but do not let fear immobilize you. There are so many resources on campus and your professors genuinely want you to succeed. So ask for help, try your best and keep moving forward.

Carlos Lopez

Carlos LopezCarlos Lopez, 26, is a senior at The University of Texas-Pan American and plans to graduate May 2015 with a fine arts degree with a concentration in graphic design. Lopez transferred to UTPA from the Universidad Mexico Americana del Norte in Reynosa. At UTPA, he created a concept design for the UTPA Library and a full promotional package for a Baptist church in Edinburg. Lopez also volunteered for a month at The Pan American student newspaper to help with video recording for the newspaper’s website. In addition, he designed a move-in manual for Residence Life and assisted many other departments with their graphic design projects, including Veteran Services, University Program Board, and the Office of the Dean of Students. Lopez currently holds the position of graphic designer for the Student Union.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring and Fall 2013, and Spring and Fall 2014.

What are your plans after graduation? My goal is to work at a graphic design firm, or advertisement company either on video games or computer components aimed at gamers. I’ve always been attracted to video games, and to advertisements, as well as promotional pieces for certain products. But my dream would be to create my own business, a place where I could have a lot of creative freedom to create and explore new styles.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? I would like to stay here in the Valley, but there are not many opportunities for my field of work, so I might move to Seattle or Los Angeles or San Francisco where there seems to be a lot more opportunities for creative majors.

What has your education done for you? My education has provided me with some challenges, but I feel that I learned the most out of my work-study position as a graphic designer at the Student Union. It was a really great complement for my studies, as well as a great opportunity to test out my skills in a “close to the real-world” situation.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? To be honest if I had the opportunity to start all over again, I would try to get more involved with student organizations and all the events that this university offers.

What is your best tip for success? Never stop learning. The world and technology are changing and becoming better at an incredible speed, so you really need to catch up and keep updated.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Take advantage of all the services this great university has to offer – visit the library, go to student union events, and most of all, have fun and make a lot of friends while you are here.

Ramiro Rios

Ramiro RiosRamiro Rios, 33, is a senior and plans to graduate with a mass communication degree with a minor in marketing in December 2015. As a member of the Advertising Club at The University of Texas-Pan American, he participated in the 2014 National Student Advertising Competition in Houston. He is also a writer for The Pan American newspaper’s Arts & Life section and has volunteered in Proyecto Azteca. Currently, Rios is the Student Union’s marketing assistant where he oversees the union’s official social media channels and also assists with the union’s monthly events. Last year, Rios won an essay contest to participate in the Association of College Unions International Leadership Conference in Baton Rouge, La. where he learned how to utilize his leadership skills and incorporate them at the Student Union. This summer, Rios plans to study abroad in Italy.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Spring 2014 and Fall 2014; and International Education Fee Scholarship, Summer 2015.

What are your plans after graduation? My goal is to work in a public relations or marketing department for companies such as Sony, Microsoft or Apple. I’ve always been fascinated with the emerging technologies these companies invest in and my dream is to be part of a team that wants to increase their share in the Hispanic market. An MBA may also be in the cards later.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? I would love to stay in a come-over-for-menudo radius of my parents who have lived here for over 30 years. Yet, I want to travel, experience other cultures and see what doors my education opens.

What has your education done for you? My education has provided me with great insight of how much I’m capable of, from being a critical thinker to helping me act independently. Ultimately, it has empowered me with valuable skills that have changed me for the better. I don’t see things the way I used to; everything I’ve learned here at UTPA has transformed me into a knowledgeable and critical thinking individual.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My experience at UTPA has helped me sharpen my skills in social media, event planning, marketing and public relations. Working at the Student Union has given me the opportunity to handle the union’s social media, which is a huge responsibility, participate in its big events and has served as a great launch pad for my future career in public relations and marketing. I’ve also had the great opportunity to work with the talented writers of The Pan American newspaper and the creative students in the Advertising Club. I honestly feel that I’ve met and worked with the journalists, advertising and public relations professionals who will shape the Rio Grande Valley in the future.

What is your best tip for success? Get involved. Whether you’re a biology, journalism or marketing major there is always an organization or group to join here. This is really the best place where you’re allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. You might not have that luxury in the real word.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? I know some students who pick majors depending on future salary. At the end of the day, it’ll end up being a regular 9-5 job. Pick something that inspires and motivates you, something that you enjoy doing, then you’ll have a job that you love and make money while doing it. Also, enjoy your time here. There is so much to do on campus. Live and breathe the Bronc culture, you’ll thank me later.

 

Bianca E. Saenz

Bianca E. SaenzBianca E. Saenz, 20, a senior at The University of Texas Pan American, plans to graduate Fall 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and minors in chemistry and psychology. In 2012, Saenz graduated from Mission High School as salutatorian of her class. Prior to entering UTPA, she has been a part of the Early Medical School Acceptance Program with UTMB-Galveston. She is a member of many student organizations and actively volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. Saenz has also been busy outside of campus. During her first two years at UTPA, she participated in dance competitions with her dance studio and has volunteered and performed with her dance team in community events for the city of McAllen. From Spring 2013 to Summer 2014, Saenz was a statistics tutor for the Math Learning Assistance Center (LEAC) department. She later became employed as a Bronc Mentoring Experience mentor and currently enjoys advising several college freshmen. As a hopeful medical student, Saenz has spent the past three summers shadowing at doctors’ offices. During her free time, she also loves to teach and choreograph dance to young girls from her local high school. This summer she plans to study abroad in Paris, France and has had previous experience studying abroad in London, England.

Awards/Honors: International Education Fee Scholarship, 2015; Student Employee of the Year Nominee, April 2014; Showtime International National Dance Team Champion, March 2014; UT Pan American Learning Assistance Center Certified Level 1 Tutor, Spring 2014; Phi Kappa Beta Honor Society, Spring 2014; Alpha Lambda Delta Society, Fall 2013; National Society of Collegiate Scholars, February 2013; Golden Key International Honour Society, Fall 2012; Dean’s List, Fall 2012-Fall 2014; University Scholar’s Presidential Scholarship, Fall 2012-Present, UTPA 15-Hour Cash Back Scholarship, Fall 2012-Spring 2015; and Early Medical School Acceptance Program, March 2012-Present.

What are your plans after graduation? Since I will be graduating a semester early, I plan on working to save money for medical school. I plan on attending UTMB-Galveston in Fall 2016. My ultimate goal is to become a physician, hopefully an obstetrician/gynecologist.

Do you plan to return to the Valley? I will be leaving the Valley to pursue my medical degree and I hope to gain valuable experiences while living in a different region. Once I have settled into my profession, I plan on working as a practicing physician back home in the Rio Grande Valley.

What has your education done for you? Being a student at the university has certainly broadened my way of thinking. Several classes have certainly opened my eyes to topics I would never have been aware of before.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? I feel very blessed to have called UTPA my home. I am fortunate enough to have met such wonderful professors, employers, coworkers, students, and friends. All throughout my college career I have been inspired to get more involved and to pursue my interests.

What is your best tip for success? Live every day as if it had a special purpose. I also have found that having a strong work ethic is important in making one’s dreams and interests become plans of action and accomplishments.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? I highly recommend being involved on campus with your college of choice. Whether it is working as a student employee, volunteering, joining an organization or doing research; it will enrich your college experience. Also, don’t be shy in asking for help. You may meet a great friend or mentor in the process.

 

Rodolfo Jaime De Los SantosRodolfo Jaime De Los Santos, 20, will graduate in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. On campus, he is involved in the Golden Key International Honour Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. In Summer 2014, he completed an Internship with the UT System Office of Facilities Planning and Construction where he gained experience in construction management while working on UTPA projects including the new Performing Arts Center, Student Academic Center, and South Texas Medical Academic Building. This summer, De Los Santos will travel to Lincoln, Neb. for an internship with the UTPA Transportation Center for Railway Safety to research the safety and designs of railways and bridges.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2012-Fall 2014; Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 2015; State Top 10% Scholarship, 2012-present; Hilda Cantu Garza Scholarship, 2012-2013; and Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Engineering Scholarship, 2015-2015.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan on attending graduate school for a master’s degree in civil engineering, and work in the field of civil engineering to gain the experience necessary to achieve a professional engineering license. Afterward, I want to study for a Ph.D. in civil engineering and open my own engineering firm.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? Once my goals are accomplished and I begin my path as a professional engineer I would like to go wherever my engineering career opens doors and takes me in life.

What has your education done for you? I come from a family that didn’t have much as I was growing up. I was raised in a neighborhood where a higher education was not encouraged and gang violence and drugs were prevalent. I could have easily been involved. But because of my parents and a focus on gaining an education, I am the successful man I am today. I have learned that with an education you have power and, with that power, you can accomplish anything you want in life. My education is opening many doors for me and has shown me that having an education is necessary to live a successful life.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My experience has been a great one. The campus is beautiful and offers a great college environment for students. I feel I am getting the best assistance in my classes since they are small and allow the professor to develop a one-on-one learning experience with you. The University offers a great study environment at the library and access to a computer or printer is no problem. If you seek tutoring, UTPA’s Learning Assistance Center is available to all students.

What is your best tip for success? Find something you are passionate about and set a goal in life toward accomplishing it. Although the road may get rough don’t let it throw you off course because success often comes from failure.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Prepare for many sleepless and stressful nights because the college experience is a rough path that not everyone can handle. However, just because it is a difficult path doesn’t mean you should feel discouraged since it is not always stressful once you adjust to the college level. I recommend joining organizations on campus since they allow you to meet new people, participate in community service, develop great leadership and social skills, and relieve stress after dealing with hours of studying.

 

Valerie Cano

Valerie CanoValerie Marie Cano, 20, plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in biology and minors in chemistry and English in May 2016. Cano is involved in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Pre-Medical Bio Medical Society serving as treasurer for both organizations. She is also a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society. On campus, Cano works as a student assistant for the chemistry department, where she has taught the general laboratories for Chemistry for Engineers and General Chemistry I. She is also a research assistant for Dr. Debasish Bandyopadhyay in organic chemistry. Since her freshman year, Cano has participated in summer programs, such as the Pre-Medical Allied Health Academic and Retention Program at the UT Medical Branch in Galveston and in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Program (LSAMP) at UTSA. In addition, Cano Valerie works off campus as a mentor for ENCORE, a non-profit college readiness program.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2012-Fall 2014; Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and College Dean’s Award, Fall 2014; LSAMP Research Conference, 2nd Place poster presentation, 2014; University Scholar-Meritorious Scholarship Award, 2012-present; Stripes Foundation Scholarship, 2014-2015; Jones Academic Scholarship, 2012-2013; and W. B. and M.S. Peck Scholarship, 2012-2013.

What are your plans after graduation? My goals are to gain acceptance and attend an in-state dental school. Upon completion, I hope to apply for a residency program in dental orthodontics. I definitely plan on returning to the Rio Grande Valley to work as a dental orthodontist. I feel that it’s only right to return to the Valley and help support the communities of this region. I also plan to increase the dental awareness and opportunities for those who can’t afford dental insurance.

What has your education done for you? Today my education is everything to me. I’m blessed for the opportunities that I have had while pursuing my education. Without continuing my education, I would have never participated in the programs that have truly shaped who I am today.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My experience has been life changing so far. The commitment from the faculty in the biology and chemistry departments to making an impact on the students’ futures is amazing. Students graduating from high school may not want to attend UTPA because it’s close to home, but they’re missing out on a great university. At UTPA, you have a better opportunity to get to know your professors because of the smaller classroom size that you can’t get at a bigger university.

What is your best tip for success? My tip for success would be to find people who can support you in pursuing your dreams. I strongly encourage finding a support group and a mentor. Having had a mentor in my first years of college has been so reassuring for me. I have also had strong support from my family and friends who have never let me down.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? My advice to students is to start now “saying yes” to opportunities. It’s never too early to start being involved.  If you are in middle school or high school, try out many different activities and clubs; don’t focus on just one area. That is how you truly find what interests you. Also, volunteer now. If you have the chance to participate in something don’t say no. Many of the opportunities I’ve taken I was nervous about but, by getting involved, I realized those were the best decisions I have ever made.

Belen Diaz

Belen DiazBelen Diaz, 21, plans to graduate with honors in Fall 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. Diaz has been active both on and off campus. She is the current vice-president for Eta Omicron Nu and historian for the Pre-Dental Society. She is in the Guerra Honors Program at UTPA and volunteers actively with them for Proyecto Azteca. Diaz has also volunteered abroad in Guatemala three times on construction mission trips. She has studied abroad with the Honors program in the past in Vienna, Prague, and Budapest, and will be traveling to Ireland and Northern Ireland this year. From fall 2012 to spring 2014, Diaz worked for UTPA’s student newspaper, The Pan American, as a photographer. She also worked as a student assistant for General Chemistry I in the spring of 2013. Diaz interned at Dentists Who Care in the summer of 2014, and currently works at a dental office in McAllen.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, 2012-2014; The Rafael “Felo” A. & Carmen Guerra Honors Program, Spring 2012-present; Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi inductee, Spring 2014; International Education Fee Scholarship, Spring 2014; Guerra Honors Program Study Abroad Scholarship, Spring 2014; Jesse H. and Mary Jones Scholarship, 2014-2015; International Women’s Board Scholarship, Spring 2014, 2015; and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, Fall 2014.

What are your plans after graduation? I will be applying to dental school in May of 2015. After graduation I plan to attend dental school and receive my Doctor of Dental Surgery degree for general dentistry. I also plan to obtain a master’s degree in public health.

Do you plan to return to the Valley? After dental school, I plan to return to the Valley and work. The Valley has been a wonderful home for me, and I would love to help it grow into a bigger and better community.

What has your education done for you? My education has opened so many doors for me that I did not know existed. It has exposed me to wonderful programs, such as the Guerra Honors Program, and life-changing experiences, like studying abroad. It allowed me to realize that I am capable of doing so many things as long as I’m willing to work hard and put my heart into it.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My UTPA experience has been a very special one. I never thought it would help me grow into the person I am today, but I owe it all to UTPA and the wonderful professors who encourage me every day. UTPA has taught me so many incredible things, both in class and outside of it.

What is your best tip for success? To be successful, you must never give up. Even when everything seems to be going wrong, push through and it can be done. Make sure to plan things out and do them with time. Being organized and separating larger tasks into smaller ones will make them easier. And finally, be passionate about anything and everything you do.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Getting involved is one of the best and most fun things to do in college! There are so many organizations for anything and everything. Find one you like and really get involved with it. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to your professors. They are there to help you and guide you. Establishing relationships with them will pay off.

Joanna Sosa

Joanna SosaJoanna Sosa, 21, plans to graduate in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services with a deaf concentration and a minor in biology. As a member of the Rehab Club and Pre-Physician Assistant Society, she has participated in numerous volunteer activities including Down’s Syndrome Awareness and Out of Darkness Suicide Awareness events. Sosa has also worked on campus as a mentor with the Ambassador group and as a teacher at the Learning Assistance Center. She is currently completing an internship with Easter Seals RGV. Sosa said she is grateful for the lifelong support she has had from her parents Alex and Yolanda Sosa, whom she said “gave her wings to fly.”

Awards/Honors: Cash & Carry, Fall 2011; Kiwanis Scholarship, Fall 2011; Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Fall 2011; UTPA Assistance Scholarship, Fall 2011; Top 10% Scholarship, Fall 2011; Dean’s List, Fall 2011, Spring and Fall 2013, and Spring and Fall 2014; Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Spring 2012; and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges, Spring 2015.

What are your plans after graduation? Following my graduation in May 2015, I plan to continue my education and apply to various physician assistant master’s programs.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? It depends where my master’s program takes me in Texas. If I must leave then I hope to gain more knowledge and experience in another place. I would love to return to the Valley and work in the community where I was raised and be able to give good quality health care to the people in the community.

What has your education done for you? My education has helped me become more aware of my surroundings; I am thankful for having the opportunity to gain all the knowledge that I have at UTPA. While I have been part of the Rio Grande Valley all my life, UTPA has opened new doors to me and shown me what it truly means to appreciate my culture and what the Valley offers. It has also given me the strength to one day explore the world with the knowledge that I can always come back to my RGV home.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My UTPA experience has been rewarding in every way. I have met many amazing students, professors and staff who have pushed me to be successful and to never ever give up on my career dreams. Several of my professors have taught me to appreciate life and pushed me to continue my education as a lifelong learner. They have given me confidence to become a successful student and to continue my education. I will forever be grateful to have been part of the UTPA family.

What is your best tip for success? To succeed, a person must always have patience and believe in oneself. Never give up even when everything is against you. Be patient and ask questions; someone is always willing to help.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? College is definitely not easy but if you can accomplish this, then you can accomplish anything in life. You will be under pressure and have many responsibilities for each class. If you believe in yourself and focus on your goal of graduating one day then you can succeed. Also, enjoy every moment; your time here will help you grow and be more successful in life.

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