Jessica stands with another program lead and a graduate with a red TSTC backdrop. All are wearing black.

(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Jessica Villegas, a program team lead for Texas State Technical College’s Fort Bend County campus, works to empower those she meets — a trait she picked up from her mother.

“My mom is the woman who inspires me most,” Villegas said. “She came to the country at the age of 23 by herself to be able to provide a better life for her family. She’s always told me you work hard. Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do it.”

Villegas remembers her mother recalling that, upon reaching the United States, she didn’t know English. But instead of letting that stop her, she would listen to the radio and go to the library to learn to read. Those acts of self-reliance helped shape her and, ultimately, Villegas into the women they are today.

Villegas works as the team lead for the Cybersecurity, HVAC Technology and Precision Machining Technology programs. She works to meet the needs of the programs, whether that be in enrollment, tools, industry connections or anything else. All the while, she tries to set an example for the students who are also working hard to achieve their goals.

“I always try to encourage,” Villegas said. “You can do anything; don’t ever limit yourself. In particular, I try to empower other women and encourage them to let them know that they can do anything that they want to do in life.”

She hopes to leave a legacy of hard work and inspiration for those that come after. For those women who may be hesitant about starting a technical career, she encourages them to be their genuine, real selves and work hard for what they truly want.

“My advice is to be humble, be genuine,” Villegas said. “Your work will show. Don’t ever feel like you have to change who you are. I’m just a person who has been true to myself. I guess you could say it shows a lot.”

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