The Rio Grande Valley Scholars Program
Some partnerships just make sense.
The University of Texas at Austin understands the important role the Rio Grande Valley plays in creating the best student body possible, comprising a diverse mix of the brightest students the state and nation have to offer. Valley residents recognize the need to give their young people the finest education they can.
At the same time they know that finances can sometimes stand in the way. That’s why the Valley community is working with the university and Texas Exes to fund scholarships that will bring the Valley’s best students to UT Austin. Students like Alejandra Guerrero, the first freshman to hold the Rio Grande Valley Scholarship.
Alejandra is an honors graduate of Roma High School, where she excelled in everything from the swim team to student council and choir, as well as academic clubs and volunteering. As a member of UT’s Class of 2016 and a participant in the Freshman Research Initiative, she brings all of that enthusiasm and more to the Forty Acres.
“I love science, especially biochemistry, and I’m leaning toward pursuing a graduate degree in medicine or in medical research,” she says. “I would like to thank everyone who put time, effort, and resources into this scholarship. It is with immense gratitude that I accept it and every responsibility that comes with it.”
Why we support this important program.
“The transition from leaving my family and close-knit McAllen community and stepping foot on the vast Forty Acres was a challenge at first,” says Annie Holand Miller, BA ’99, JD ’04. “But after I got settled, there was no place I would have rather been and it changed my life forever.
“This program will help bridge the gap between the Valley and The University of Texas at Austin,” says the former UT student-body president, “particularly for students and their families who never thought it possible to attend UT.”
Dr. Nolan E. Perez, BA ’93, a Valley native who lives and practices medicine in Harlingen, agrees. “The time is now for those of us who have been fortunate enough to make this journey before,” he says. “It is our time to help ensure that future generations of the best and brightest Valley graduates have the opportunity to attend our state’s premier institution.”
The Texas Exes’ Rio Grande Valley Scholars Program can make a college education possible for some of the Valley’s most deserving students. The program will offer $10,000 renewable scholarships to Valley residents who, like Alejandra, demonstrate financial need and show excellence in academics, leadership, and community service.
“One of the most important features of these scholarships is their renewability,” Dr. Perez says. “So many times, students head off to college with plenty of scholarship support and aid for their first year, but after that there’s little financial assistance to help them finish. The RGV Scholars Program creates an opportunity for financial support throughout a student’s educational career at UT.”
Scholars are chosen by alumni and friends who are community leaders from the Upper, Mid, and Lower Rio Grande Valley and who value the longstanding relationship the area has with UT. This committee guides every step of the process, from initial screening to naming of recipients.
How can you help?
Consider investing in the endowment that will permanently endow the Rio Grande Valley Scholars Program. So far, more than 60 donors have contributed a collective $160,000 toward an endowment goal of $600,000 to bring the Valley’s best students to UT.
When completely funded, the program will support full scholarships for up to three students a year. While an anonymous grant is funding Alejandra’s scholarship to help launch the program, an additional scholar can be selected once $200,000 is raised, and another at each $200,000 increment reached thereafter.
Together, The University of Texas at Austin and the Valley can send deserving youth to one of the finest universities in the nation. We can send them to a university that does more than pave the way for their future — it celebrates who they are today.
To make a gift to the Rio Grande Valley Scholars Program now, visit UT’s online giving form. For instructions on making a gift of stocks or mutual funds, matching gifts, or for additional information about the program, please contact Lori Bolding, Texas Exes’ vice president of scholarships and development, at 512-471-8083 or email@example.com.