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Sanchez Named HACU Student Track Scholar

Saturday, September 28, 2013
By Eladio Jaimez

DaniDaniela Sanchez knows what she wants.

A year ago, Sanchez traveled to Washington D.C. with a small group of Texas State Technical College students to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) national conference.

Sanchez came back inspired and this year the 21-year-old Monterrey, Mexico native will make her second trip to the HACU conference in as many years. Only this time she’ll be going as a Student Track Scholar, meaning the hotel, flight and conference fee are covered by the higher education advocacy group.

“I’m excited to go back,” Sanchez said. “It’s a huge opportunity for me to meet more people from across the country.”

HACU promotes and supports Hispanic Service Institutions like TSTC and helps promote their issues.

Associate Vice President of Student Learning Regina Garza-Mitchell traveled with Sanchez last year to Washington D.C. and said getting to know her was the best part of the trip.

“She’s very intelligent,” Garza-Mitchell said of Sanchez. “I learned a lot about her and from her. She’s very community and family minded. She’s just a good person.”

It was Garza-Mitchell who encouraged Sanchez to apply for the Student Track Scholarship through the HACU website this year.

Sanchez, who is pursuing an Associate’s of Science Degree in Biology, was chosen from a national pool.

Last year Sanchez said she learned a lot from her field of study. She’s hoping to expand on that this year and meet potential employers or schools where she might pursue her education after her undergraduate studies.

“I’d like to do some research work but I learned last year that I could go work for the FBI or CIA. I definitely want to keep going to school because education never ends.”

Sanchez was born in Monterrey, Mexico and moved to Las Vegas when she was six-years old. About six months into her freshman year at Palo Verde High School, a job transfer for her mother sent the family to San Antonio. Eventually the family moved back to Monterrey, where Sanchez had to relearn the Spanish language.

“I wasn’t fluent anymore,” Sanchez said. “I could understand it but I’d lost it for the most part.”

Sanchez completed her high school at Preparatoria 22 in Monterrey and moved back to Texas with her family, this time settling down in Harlingen.

Sanchez worked for a year before enrolling at TSTC in the Spring of 2011 as a part-time student. Sanchez was full-time the following semester. That’s when she learned about HACU and the opportunities it offered students like herself.

Since then, Sanchez has looked back and is hoping to transfer to UTPA upon graduating from TSTC.

Sanchez, who was inspired by her middle school biology teacher to pursue a degree in that field, said her family is her motivation.

“I’m just trying to be a good person that does good for others,”  Sanchez said. “I have younger siblings and cousins that look up to me and I just want to teach them that it’s important to help others and be good to people in general.”


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