Mendez Takes Over as SGA President
Friday, March 29, 2013
Tara Mendez has moved around a lot during her lifetime.
From Washington state where she was born and raised to Laredo, San Antonio, Brownsville and now Harlingen, the first-year Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology (ACT) student has led a life of adventure.
But her latest endeavor is rather new to her.
Mendez was recently elected as the new Student Government Association (SGA) president at Texas State Technical College. Mendez will be sworn in on April 18 with the rest of the SGA student leaders.
Mendez is joined by vice-president Robert Magallan, Secretary Jennifer Leija, Treasurer Chris Martinez, Historian Maria Zamudio and Parliamentarian Ivanna Rodriguez.
“I was initially thinking of running for vice-president,” Mendez said. “Then friends started telling me that I could do it. I talked to (outgoing president) Ruth (Trevino) about the job and did some research. I know I can do it. It’s going to be a good challenge for me.”
It seems that her whole life’s been about challenges. Mendez and her family moved to Laredo when she was seven-years old. Mendez went on to graduate from Cigarroa High School in 1997 and soon after started working in various places including Wal-Mart, Zarsky’s Lumber and several call centers.
Mendez made a move to San Antonio about 10 years ago to work at another call center but she didn’t like the pace of life in the big city. So she moved to the Valley.
In 2008, Mendez moved to Brownsville then Harlingen where she finally decided to return to college.
“I was debating between TSTC and STC (South Texas College) in McAllen,” Mendez said. “I decided to stay here in Harlingen and started taking basic courses. That’s when I talked to (program chairperson Ruben) De La Rosa and I got really interested in the ACT program.”
Mendez is enrolled in what’s considered a non-traditional program for female students. But it’s something she’d been preparing for her whole life.
“I’ve always been mechanically inclined,” Mendez said. “I’ve always worked on cars. I know how to take them apart and put them back together. I’ve always been around it.”
Mendez’s mother Is a registered nurse and she considered the medical field for a short time. But she feels more at home working on an AC system then drawing blood from a patient.
In the ACT program, Mendez isn’t just learning about air conditioning and refrigeration. She’s also learning about plumbing, carpentry and electrical wiring.
“They really do teach you a lot and you can go into a lot of different fields of work,” Mendez said.
As for her role as new president, Mendez is already working on some ideas she’d soon like to present to the college’s administration.
From lowering the prices on salads in the cafeteria to promote healthier eating to promoting communication between student and faculty, Mendez is ready to hit the ground running.
But on her list of priorities is getting a weight room in the fieldhouse that’s available to the female students on campus.
“I think the girls would feel more comfortable working out in a weight room for only females,” Mendez said.