(HARLINGEN, Texas) – They enrolled. They trained. They conquered!
Texas State Technical College graduates echoed phrases such as “this is for you” and “it’s time to celebrate” at TSTC’s Summer 2022 Commencement held Saturday, August 27, at the Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg.
Cheers of excitement filled the arena when more than 280 graduates from TSTC’s Harlingen campus walked across the stage and raised their certificates of completion or associate degrees with great happiness.
Amanda Posada, interim provost at TSTC’s Harlingen campus and the college’s statewide dual enrollment executive director, welcomed the graduates and said their achievements demonstrate the impact of TSTC in higher education.
“This celebration is important for TSTC graduates because this is their first step into an amazing career,” she said. “Students’ families and friends are here to support and recognize their accomplishment. The training they have received at TSTC has prepared them for their future. Now, they are about to earn their certificates of completion or degree and enter the workforce in their respective industry. TSTC is proud to honor them.”
A new career begins soon for many of the graduates, while others will meet with potential employers to solidify the next chapter of their life.
Jason Gutierrez graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aircraft Powerplant Technology. Gutierrez, a Harlingen native who previously resided in Pennsylvania, piqued an interest in aviation maintenance when he observed the various airplanes that arrived and departed from the Pittsburgh International Airport.
“This is the biggest achievement I have accomplished in my life,” he said. “TSTC’s aviation maintenance program has been an incredible experience all the way through. I’ve already earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aircraft Airframe Technology from TSTC in 2021. Representatives from Altech Corporation in San Antonio, Texas Instruments in Dallas and American Electric Power in Houston have already reached out to me.”
Vanessa Hurtado, of San Benito, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paramedic. Hurtado pursued the Emergency Medical Services program through a passion for patient advocacy, and her brother, who will begin the EMS program this fall semester.
“This accomplishment has been a long time coming,” she said. “I have job offers from several area EMS companies. In regards to celebrating, I will join my fellow EMS graduating classmates to watch the rock band The Killers perform live in concert in Austin.”
Amber Hernandez, of Harlingen, graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Surgical Technology. Hernandez pursued the program because she was inspired by her mother who has worked in the medical field.
“It feels amazing to graduate, especially being the mother of a two-year-old,” she said. “I plan to begin my career at Platinum Surgery Center which is next to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen. Now, I’m going to celebrate at Olive Garden with my family.”
Juan Castro, of Brownsville, graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology. Castro became interested in the program when he was enrolled in welding classes at Los Fresnos High School.
“It’s a great feeling to finally walk across that stage and graduate from TSTC,” Castro said. “I finally have something to show for it. To my parents, I sincerely appreciate you for helping me in every way possible through my college journey. Now, I’m ready to begin searching for my career.”
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.