Ivan Hernandez

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – More than 170 high school seniors, including those who completed a dual enrollment pathway and chose to matriculate to pursue a technical education at Texas State Technical College, were recently honored at the National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Signing Day event held Thursday, April 14, at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.

Area school district administration representatives from Brownsville, Harlingen, La Feria, Los Fresnos, Lyford, Mercedes, Raymondville, Rio Hondo and San Benito were in attendance to celebrate their students’ choice to attend TSTC. In addition, the students’ families, members of the TSTC Board of Regents, several TSTC lead instructors and some TSTC staff attended.

The event began with an opening welcome, followed by a message about the importance of National CTE Signing Day. As the event continued, TSTC’s mission of “placing more Texans in great-paying jobs” was emphasized.

Cheers echoed throughout the room as the students showed their pride and donned TSTC caps and signed letters of intent that signified their commitment to a technical education at TSTC.

The students were joyous when each one received a $1,000 scholarship to use toward their studies. The scholarships were made possible by TSTC industry partners including Boggus Auto Group, RGV Partnership Foundation, Rio Grande Valley Linking Economic and Academic Development, Rio-South Texas Education and Community Development Foundation Inc. (RSTEF), San Benito Industrial Foundation Inc., and Titan Fuel.

Patricia Beard, chief executive officer for RSTEF, said the company was honored to contribute to the scholarships.

“The work TSTC does in providing an education beyond high school is very important and appreciated because you are helping students embark on their life’s journey,” she said. “The scholarship funds granted to TSTC’s program will be used in targeted, in-demand fields in Rio South Texas. This nearly assures the program participants a job upon achieving a certificate or an Associate of Applied Science degree.”

Mariana Hernandez, a senior at Harlingen High School, will enroll in TSTC’s Building Construction Technology at the Harlingen campus.

She said the signing event was a memorable experience.

“I am looking forward to TSTC,” she said. “The Building Construction Technology program offers great hands-on training assignments.”

Amanda Posada, interim provost at TSTC’s Harlingen campus and the college’s statewide dual enrollment executive director, said the event was a success.

“It is important that our high school students are recognized for the influential career and technical education fields they are choosing to help fill for the workforce in the state of Texas,” she said. “We hope to make this an annual recognition as they continue their path to a high-demand, high-wage career.”

Richard Mesquias Jr., TSTC’s senior field development officer, said The TSTC Foundation has partnered with industry leaders to improve the pipeline of South Texas students moving from high school CTE programs into technical education programs at TSTC.

“Our industry leaders’ contribution is an investment in tomorrow’s workforce,” he said. “Their contribution will have a positive economic impact that will be felt in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas and the state of Texas for years to come.”

To learn more about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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