Valley Scholars program celebrates 22nd cohort at 13th annual ‘A Night With the Stars’ gala
South Texas College has enabled Valley Scholars student Arilene Jimena to prepare for a career in law enforcement by immersing her in the communities she one day hopes to serve.
As a student with the 22nd class of STC’s Valley Scholars Program, Jimena says the opportunity to engage with her peers and volunteer has been one of her most treasured experiences. Born and raised in Donna, Jimena said she wants to begin a career in the criminal justice field, preferably with Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department.
“It has been an amazing experience so far,” she said. “I have enjoyed interacting with other Valley Scholars, and we all communicate so well. I encourage students to join Valley Scholars, and take advantage of any opportunity to help the community. It’s so important to gain experience and meet as many new people as you can.”
For more than two decades now, the Valley Scholars Program has provided educational opportunities for the brightest students in the Rio Grande Valley.
Since its inception in 1997, the Valley Scholars Program has continued its mission to provide educational opportunities, leadership development, and scholarships to academically gifted and highly motivated students.
STC held its 13th annual “A Night with the Stars” scholarship fundraiser on Oct. 11. As the college celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2018, Valley Scholars also recognized 11 alumni from the program who have worked at STC for 10 years or more.
“South Texas College works closely with its partners in Hidalgo and Starr Counties to create seamless educational pathways for students in those communities. Raising funds to support the Valley Scholars Program is an important endeavor for the college. I want to thank our sponsors and community members because we cannot do this program without their ongoing support.”
The annual fundraising event took place at the Corinthian Banquet & Special Event Center in Mission. The star-studded evening celebrated supporters of education and successful alumni from the Valley Scholars Program.
“South Texas College works closely with its partners in Hidalgo and Starr Counties to create seamless educational pathways for students in those communities,” said Dr. Anahid Petrosian, Vice President for Academic Affairs at South Texas College. “Raising funds to support the Valley Scholars Program is an important endeavor for the college. I want to thank our sponsors and community members because we cannot do this program without their ongoing support.”
The current Valley Scholars class is comprised of 49 students from 14 different high schools across Hidalgo and Starr. Since its start, more than 900 students have participated in the program, and have benefitted from more than $1.8 million in donations from the community.
Key to the success of the Valley Scholars Program is partnerships with community sponsors who have been consistently dedicated over the years to the advancement of education among our youth. Their support is recognized annually at the annual gala.
“Valley Scholars is an extremely important organization for us,” said Chris Lash, Program Coordinator for Keep McAllen Beautiful. “Keep McAllen Beautiful really functions solely with the help of volunteers, and Valley Scholars are an integral part of our organization. They show up for a lot of our events, and it’s great for the community.
“It teaches the students the importance of giving back to the community, and it helps them get to know other students, with their career path, and along the way helps the City of McAllen,” Lash said.
Information regarding educational requirements, program benefits and opportunities to donate to the Valley Scholars Program can be found online at: https://academicaffairs.southtexascollege.edu/academicexcellence/valleyscholars