Belinda Palomino (right), TSTC’s Advocacy and Resource Center statewide lead, congratulates recent TSTC graduate Lorri DeJesus, who earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Education and Training. DeJesus received support from the Advocacy and Resource Center during her time as a student.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – The dedicated faculty and staff at Texas State Technical College care deeply about student success, and Belinda Palomino is passionate about that “culture of caring” philosophy.

She serves as the statewide lead for TSTC’s Advocacy and Resource Center, which at the Harlingen campus is located in the Student Center. She and her team help any TSTC student who may be experiencing hardship by providing mentorship and a range of resources.

“By giving students the space and environment to reach their academic and career goals, we help create job-ready individuals who will heavily impact our economy and community,” Palomino said. “These educated and self-aware students will change the world.”

The Advocacy and Resource Center offers assistance to students such as basic needs, child care, a food pantry, a lending library and transportation. Its team’s desire to help comes from a place of compassion.

“All of our students are here because they want to pursue a career that they love,” Palomino said. “Creating a welcoming environment lets them know that they are not alone. We want to help them discover their best self.”

The work accomplished by the Advocacy and Resource Center has made a difference in many students’ lives.

Daniela Ayala, of Mission, recently graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene. She reached out to the Advocacy and Resource Center in her second semester.

“I experienced personal problems, and I wasn’t able to focus on my studies,” she said. “Belinda and her team assisted me so I could afford student housing and other things that I needed. My grades improved, and I completed the program and walked the stage at graduation. I’m grateful for the people I met who motivated me to succeed.”

Palomino said TSTC, with 10 campuses located throughout the state, provides “Texas-sized care.”

“The college is committed to the success and well-being of our students,” she said. “Times can get hard, but all students need to do is ask for help. We will not stop until an obstacle that a student is facing is removed. That effort can lead to life-changing results.”

Adele Clinton, TSTC’s vice president of Retention Services, said Palomino develops creative ways to ensure student success.

“Belinda has taught her team how to give individualized care to students,” she said. “The goal is to place that student in a high-paying job. That’s the drive that has made the Advocacy and Resource Centers successful.”

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