06:57 PM

A ‘trailblazer’ for the Rio Grande Valley

South Texas College President Dr. Shirley A. Reed recognized by US House of Representatives for invaluable service to community

Recognized for “outstanding and invaluable service to the community”, STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed addressed a packed house and humbly offered her thanks to the college community for the institution’s continued success.

Dr. Reed was honored at a mixer hosted by RgVision Magazine benefitting Teach For America on Aug. 22. In attendance at the event included STC Board Chair Paul Rodriguez and Vice Chair Rose Benavidez, STC staff, administrators, and members of the business community in Mission, TX.

Dr. Reed was given a congressional recognition from the office of US Rep. Vicente Gonzalez for her invaluable work to students and the communities of the Rio Grande Valley.

“I deeply appreciate the support, and frankly it’s not about me. It’s about Teach for America and the great work they do, and the inspiration they provide for teachers in the Valley,” Dr. Reed said. “I am truly honored, and this is a great opportunity for me to say ‘thank you’ to lots of individuals and groups who made STC possible, and who keep it the vibrant institution it is today.”

RgVision Media President Gabriel Puente
 “We are here to honor a powerhouse, a trailblazer, and a truly special individual."
RgVision Media President Gabriel Puente

Dr. Reed has been the first and only president of STC since the college’s inception in 1993. The creation of STC sprung from the compelling need to improve access to higher education in Hidalgo and Starr Counties, which is similar to the mission set out by Teach For America, a non-profit organization comprised by a national corps of leaders who commit to teaching in low-income schools and who work to increase students' opportunities.

TFA is relentless about it’s unwavering belief in students and what they are capable of doing, according to Executive Director Ana Gonzalez, drawing a comparison to the college.

“Dr. Reed has been such an inspiration to me personally not only as a leader, but as a woman,” Gonzalez said. “One thing she always told me was that ‘it can’t always be ready, aim and fire; sometimes you just have to fire and get ready later’ that’s what we did so I offer my congratulations to Dr. Reed.”

With over 31,000 students, and over 120 degree programs, STC definitely changes the trajectory of people’s lives here in the Rio Grande Valley, said Gabriel Puente, president of RgVision Media and founder of RgVision Magazine.

“We are here to honor a powerhouse, a trailblazer, and a truly special individual. I don’t even have enough words to describe how awesome she is,” Puente said.

South Texas College offers more than 120 degree & certificate options and has a faculty and staff of more than 2,700 to serve the college’s six campuses, two higher education centers, and one virtual campus.

Since 2000, the college has served over 99,000 dual credit students at 78 school sites, saving families hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition. Beginning with the first early college high school in 2006, to date there are now 29 Early College High Schools across the Valley with a pipeline of more than 16,000 students and 200 unique dual credit courses.