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RGV LEAD Awards Scholarship to TSTC Student, Mentor

Friday, May 23, 2014
By Eladio Jaimez

RiosTime has never been an issue for Harlingen’s Evelyn Rios.

The 19 year old moved here from Georgia a few years ago right before she started high school at Early College High School. She graduated from ECHS with her high school diploma and Texas State Technical College with certificate of Academic Core in May 2013.

Rios is now one semester from earning an Associate of Science in Biology from TSTC and plans to transfer to UTPA in Edinburg and pursue her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

She’s done all this while working 15 hours as a tutor at TSTC, six hours as a mentor for RGV Mentors and four more hours as a mentor for CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) weekly.

RGV LEAD (Linking Economic and Academic Development), which oversees the RGV Mentors program, recently awarded Rios a $500 scholarship.

Rios said the scholarship will come in handy once she starts school in the fall in Edinburg.

“One of my biggest concerns while in college are my finances,” Rios said. “This will help alleviate some of that stress and allow me to purchase books. My family is not in a position where they can really help me financially so any help I can get is really appreciated. I’ve applied for other scholarships too.”

When she’s not studying for her own courses, Rios is tutoring students in biology or Spanish. And when one of her supervisors suggested she sign up as mentor with RGV Mentors, Rios said she didn’t think twice about it.

Rios mentored about 10-15 students from Harlingen High and Harlingen South over the course of the 2013-14 school year. She would meet with them at their school every two weeks.

“I thought I could make a good mentor,” Rios said. “I helped them with resume making and told them what to expect in college. It was a reality check of sorts for them. I talked to them about making wise choices and went over some real-life situations with them.”

Rios said she enjoys tutoring other students and also enjoyed her role as a mentor to high school students.

Even at only 19, Rios said working closely with the students from the two high schools reminded her of the importance of staying the course as she continues to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse one day.

“Physically and mentally, it does get tiring,” Rios said. “But talking to these students about putting their education first is also a reminder to myself of what’s important. It’s a reminder to me that I could be a role model to someone else so I need to keep working and studying to accomplish what I set out to do in the first place.”

For more information on or to be a mentor with RGV Mentors, go to http://www.rgvmentors.org.

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