by Laura Nelson

Thanks to the generosity of the Mexican government, 17 Sul Ross State Univ. Rio Grande College students have been helped with their educational expenses.

José Luis Díaz Mirón Hinojosa, Cónsul Encargado in Del Rio and Ismael Naveja Macias, Cónsul in Eagle Pass and also representing Uvalde, presented the funds to Sul Ross on behalf of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The scholarships benefit Mexican nationals and students with close ties to Mexico who attend Rio Grande College in Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Uvalde.

Recipients in Del Rio include Denisse Escobar, Andrea Guerrero, Gisela De La Cruz, Guadalupe Rangel, Rachel Heller, Fernanda Martinez, Leopoldo Acosta Tovar, and Christian Yeverina. Those receiving scholarships in Eagle Pass are Edith Romo, Lizeth De La Garza, Patricia Hernandez, Dacia Gamez, Rubi Ramirez, Dora Berlanga De Flores, and Cynthia Martinez. Claudia Esparza and Enedelia Soto-Quintanilla from Uvalde also received scholarships.

Dora E. Berlanga De Flores views the scholarship as a gift she received that benefits her personal and professional life. Born in Mexico, she is now an American citizen with close family residing in Piedras Negras.

Lizette De La Garza is majoring in Spanish with teacher certification and plans to graduate in Dec. 2021. The Mexican citizen lives in Eagle Pass and said the funds will help pay for summer classes.

Cynthia Martinez is grateful for the scholarship since she pays for her education out-of-pocket with her dad’s help. She plans to graduate in May with a degree in Psychology.

Enedelia Soto-Quintanilla, born and raised in Piedras Negras, said she completed a degree in Mexico and is a licensed therapist there. When she moved to the U.S. in 2005, she decided to attend Sul Ross to earn a Master’s in Counseling. The IME scholarship will help make her dream come true as she enters her final semester in the program later this month.

Born in Mexico, Claudia Esparza has lived all of her life in the U.S. She did not grow up speaking Spanish, but decided to major in the language, and plans to earn teacher certification. She credits RGC Professor of Spanish Dr. Verónica Méndez with pushing her to speak Spanish as much as possible. In addition, it’s somewhat of a competition with two sisters, one who is a bilingual education teacher and another who spent years in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish.

The IME Becas funds improve accessibility to higher education programs for Mexicans living in other countries and the resources also promote higher education so their citizens may contribute to the enrichment of the host country.

Dr. Robert Muñoz, Vice President at Rio Grande College, said, “The uniqueness of the border region of Texas is like none other in the United States. While we may be two countries, we are one in many ways. The drive (ganas) for education demonstrated by the students profiled in this article is one example. The support of the Mexican Government not only strengthens their attainment of their degrees, but also adds to the prosperity of the region as the majority will remain and work here.”