Posted: 2/25/20

Students Named Recipients of Mr. South Texas Foundation Scholarships in Ceremonies with Senator Judith Zaffirini at TAMIU


State Senator Judith Zaffirini
State Senator Judith Zaffirini  

The Mr. South Texas Foundation (MSTF) today (Tuesday) awarded $1,000 scholarships to 12 potential future Mr. South Texas honorees from Laredo high schools, Laredo College and Texas A&M International University.

"These outstanding students personify our foundation's motto—From Scholarship to Leadership," said Senator Judith Zaffirini, MSTF president. "I am delighted to recognize them because they have not only excelled in academics and extracurricular activities, but also demonstrated commitment to community service and dedication to family. We are proud of their achievements and expect them to surpass these accomplishments."

The 2020 Mr. South Texas Foundation scholarship recipients are:

  • Gustavo Alcantar, St. Augustine High School
  • Alexis Carrillo, Martin High School
  • Vivian Coleman, Nixon High School
  • Angel Hernández, United South High School
  • Jocelyn Hernández, Harmony School of Excellence
  • Paola Hernández, United High School
  • Treigh Hernández, Laredo College
  • Ricardo Méndez, J.B. Alexander High School
  • Carlos Ramírez, Cigarroa High School
  • Mariana Rodríguez, Texas A&M International University
  • Derly Rojo, Early College High School
  • Luis Valdez, Lyndon B. Johnson High School

When the Washington's Birthday Celebration Association named her Mr. South Texas in 1999, Senator Zaffirini established the MSTF and raised the money for the annual scholarships. Her goal was to honor students deemed the most likely future Mr. South Texas honorees and who would pledge to return to South Texas.

Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the Foundation has provided $206,000 in scholarships to 206 Laredo students. Selection criteria include a commitment to live in South Texas after college graduation, a minimum "B" average in high school, minimum 90 percent attendance, exemplary character and leadership potential.

"Investing in promising students pursuing higher education benefits our state and region," Senator Zaffirini said. "Higher education will equip these future leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to continue to excel and to help countless others throughout their lives."

The scholarship presentation ceremony was hosted at Texas A&M International by Dr. Pablo Arenaz, the university's president; Dr. Thomas Mitchell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Minita Ramírez, Dean of Student Success.

Dr. Arenaz welcomed the Senator and reminded the audience that every building on TAMIU’s campus attests to her leadership and support of higher education. 

Dr. Ramirez noted that four of the Scholarship recipients will be attending TAMIU.  Among other institutions that the recipients will attend are the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Columbia University and others. 

Dr. Mitchell congratulated the students’ gathered parents, affirming to them that there is no better investment or legacy than a University education.

Mitchell also encouraged the students to follow the life example of Senator Zaffirini. 

“Be like her: work hard, know as much as possible, keep learning and always be committed to others,” Mitchell encouraged.

For additional information regarding the scholarship, please contact the Mr. South Texas Foundation at 956.722-2293.

For more University  information, contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

More of the University’s story is available on its website, tamiu.edu and dedicated social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

TAMIU is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and its 25th Anniversary at its north Laredo campus throughout 2020. A dedicated website shares the University’s remarkable transformation from a hybrid upper-level University to a full doctoral degree-granting University with over 29,000 graduates worldwide that enrolls over 8,400 students. Visit the calendar of Anniversary events, explore the University’s timeline, review alumni profiles and more at tamiu.edu/50. 

group photo of recipients

HIGH-ACHIEVING STUDENTS from Laredo high schools and higher education institutions receive the Mr. South Texas Scholarship at a ceremony Tuesday at Texas A&M International University. Shown standing (L-R) are Dr. Thomas Mitchell; scholarship recipients Treigh Hernández, Derly Rojo and Angel Hernández; Senator Zaffirini; recipients Alexis Carrillo, Jocelyn Hernández and Gustavo Alcantar; and Dr. Pablo Arenaz and Dr. Minita Ramírez. Shown sitting (L-R) are recipients Mariana Rodríguez, Vivian Coleman, Paola Hernández, Luis Valdez, Carlos Ramírez and Ricardo Méndez.