Julissa M. Rios, 20, is a junior and plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in May 2017. Rios currently serves as the vice president of Program Development of the Chi Beta chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc., and is an active member of the National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholars and Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society for First-Year Students. She is a student career advisor at UTPA’s Office of Career Services. Rios has been actively involved around campus and community since she entered UTPA in Fall 2012, participating in projects such as Adopt An Angel, Operation Sending Comfort 2: Until They Come Home, Carnival of the Great Pumpkin, and her church’s Back-To-School and Thanksgiving community service events. Rios, a Rio Grande Valley native, is thankful to God and her familial background for instilling in her a positive attitude toward accomplishing all her goals.
Awards/Honors: Southern Region of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc., New Member of the Year, Fall 2013-Spring 2014 and Sister of the Month, March 2014; Dean’s List, Fall 2012 and 2013; Student Employee of the Year nominee, Spring 2014; and Top Ten Percent Scholarship, 2012-2014.
What are your plans after graduation? Once I’ve obtained my nursing degree, I intend to work at the Edinburg Children’s Hospital to gain field experience and grow as a professional before pursuing graduate study in a physician assistant program.
Do you plan to stay in the Valley? Yes, all of my intentions are to stay in the Rio Grande Valley so I may strive to be a leader in the health care community, providing excellent health care to its multi-cultural population. I dream of nothing more but to see the Rio Grande Valley, my home, prosper in all qualities of life.
What has your education done for you? My self-perseverance through my education has given me so many opportunities of success by establishing career professionalism and competence in leadership as well as initiating humbleness in me for my community and culture. These qualities have allowed me to serve as a catalyst for positive development in the Rio Grande Valley.
How do you feel about your UTPA experience? I feel unbelievably blessed with my experience here at UTPA so far and being involved on campus has immensely influenced that. I feel that everything I have encountered at UTPA has made me better by expanding my knowledge, skills sets, and experiences. It is also something that I do not take for granted and why I push myself to take advantage of the amazing opportunities UTPA has to offer its students, such as the ability to choose from a wide range of diverse organizations to join, participate in campus employment, or conduct laboratory research, among others activities.
What is your best tip for success? In order to achieve success, you must have self-perseverance and passion. It is how one will be able to surpass all things negative and preventive to achieve success.
What advice do you have for college-bound students? Get involved as much as possible around campus. It can be anything from attending a daily fitness class at the on-campus recreational center with a group of friends to offering your spare time to an on-campus volunteer project. Get involved! Chances are people that you meet during these activities can serve as a great networking opportunity. It will help you increase your involvement on campus and lead to a more productive college experience.