Mid-Valley military couple set to graduate together
Soon-to-be South Texas College graduates Claudia and Isidro Ginez, who will be walking the stage at STC Commencement on Saturday, reflect on how they started their military life journey with a common goal for the betterment of their future.
There is nothing this military family can’t handle, according to soon-to-be South Texas College graduates Claudia and Isidro Ginez.
With STC’s commencement ceremonies around the corner, the married couple say the long nights of studying and supporting each other through the most difficult moments brought them closer than ever.
Claudia will be graduating with an associate degree in Applied Sociology and Isidro with an associate degree in Welding.
Their experience at STC has served to strengthen their resolve as they look ahead to their future careers and the impact it will make among their children, they said.
“We are so appreciative to all of our instructors at STC who have been so dedicated to us as we have worked so hard to obtain an education and valuable skills that will lead us to a successful career,” Claudia said. “Now to our children we say ‘we got it done. Now you are next’ and we will support them as they have supported us.”
The journey of going back to college was not an easy decision yet nothing that our resilient military family could not handle. Experiencing transitions constant changes, and having different roles was sometimes overwhelming, but we became closer through the long nights studying and we made it a priority to share the responsibility of keeping a balance both as students and as parents.
Growing up, Claudia said she had an upbringing deeply influenced by her parents, who were hardworking migrant workers. Weekends were dedicated to labor in the fields and summers often involved traveling out of state for agricultural work.
Claudia said she met her husband as students at Donna High School and they married young. The couple eventually relocated to California and spent the next 20 years raising a family while Isidro was deployed in the Navy.
Upon his retirement from the military, both say they made the decision to return home to the RGV, where Claudia pursued a higher education and graduated with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
But even with her degrees, Claudia said she entered STC to expand her knowledge. Fast-forward several years later, she will now be graduating with an associate degree in Applied Sociology and a Navy veteran Isidro, will be graduating with an associate degree in Welding.
STC Commencement Ceremonies will take place on Dec. 9 in three separate ceremonies at Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
“I take immense pride in the fact that my siblings and I represent the first generation in our family to pursue higher education and earn degrees,” Claudia said. “Our experiences are rooted in the values of hard work and determination, which has paved the way for educational achievement that we hold dearly. My family’s story reflects the dedication and resilience that are symbols of the migrant worker community.”
In his pursuit to expand his education, Isidro said he chose STC because of the institution’s outstanding reputation for military services. Claudia said STC offering an associate degree in applied sociology aligned perfectly with her goals and aspirations.
“Numerous factors drive me towards success, but at the core of my motivation is my family. They are the heartbeat that keeps me moving forward,” said Isidro. “I strive for success because I understand that my children look up to me and are inspired by my efforts. I am driven to engage with educating and informing them about what I have learned and what I am actively doing to make a positive impact with others.”
Numerous factors drive me towards success, but at the core of my motivation is my family. They are the heartbeat that keeps me moving forward.
For Claudia, graduating at the same time as her husband brought back memories on how they started their military life journey with a common goal for the betterment of their future.
She recalls Isidro being away on deployment for months at a time and staying behind to take care of the children. Years later, they agree that all the challenges have been worth it as they look forward to seeing their children walk across the stage at graduation one day.
“The journey of going back to college was not an easy decision yet nothing that our resilient military family could not handle,” Claudia said. “Experiencing transitions constant changes, and having different roles was sometimes overwhelming, but we became closer through the long nights studying and we made it a priority to share the responsibility of keeping a balance both as students and as parents.”
Isidro added that a key skill they learned was sharing vital information for services and resources available to them as students.
“It was necessary to have an open communication and a clear understating that going back to college is a commitment for our future goals,” he said. “Returning to college has been a multifaceted path that called for determination, self-discovery and the collaborative effort of those who guide and inspire us. Together, these elements drove us towards the realization of our goals and aspirations.”
For more information about commencement exercises at STC or watch the ceremonies live visit www.southtexascollege.edu/graduation/.