Posted: 7/21/22

TAMIU Education Major and Miss Laredo Titleholder Earns Multiple Volunteer Awards


Alma Gonzalez
Alma González De La Cruz  

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) College of Education student Alma González De La Cruz exemplifies beauty in her community and on the runway.  

A senior majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with EC-6 Certification and a Bilingual Emphasis, González is a three-time President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) – Gold Level recipient and the current Miss Laredo 2022 titleholder. 

To earn the PVSA – Gold Level medal, recipients must complete 250+ community service hours each year. 

González has volunteered at local organizations like the Laredo Animal Protective Society (LAPS) and the Laredo Regional Food Bank. A project of significance to her included helping LAPS through a national fundraising campaign endeavor.    

“In 2018, I was selected among five individuals from the United States, the only Hispanic and Texan to participate in the Clorox ‘What Comes Next Project’... this has been one of my happiest moments. First, because I was selected, and second because I was able to give my organization of choice – LAPS – $20,000 to renovate their facility,”  González said. 

For the past three years, González has also worked diligently as a volunteer for the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute TeletonUSA as a Hereos 4 CRIT program ambassador. Through this project, she has helped raise funds to assist organizations supporting individuals with disabilities. 

“I have raised almost $100,000 through more than 14 fundraising events I have done around our community of Laredo. In doing so, I promote not only CRIT’s mission statements, but the message of inclusivity for individuals with disabilities. I am determined to continue being a voice that elevates the narratives of others that aren’t heard,” González noted. 

Recently, González represented Laredo in the 2022 Miss Texas – USA competition. She credits her family for introducing her to the world of pageantry. 

“As a titleholder, I’ve realized that you have the opportunity to plant seeds of knowledge about social issues. As Miss Laredo, I have continued my involvement with nonprofit organizations, as well as promoting and creating awareness campaigns for the community to join and make the city of Laredo a better place to live,” González observed. 

A future educator excited to begin her career as a teacher, González says her biggest wish is to get her own classroom. 

“I am a strong believer that change happens through serving others, which is why I would like to continue dedicating my time and efforts to doing selfless service in the community. As a future educator, I want my future students to find their passions and create change in their community through my stories of dedicating and organizing countless events to promote the value of giving back. The best satisfaction is knowing my story can serve as someone’s guide to becoming a voice in our community. I truly can’t wait to have a classroom of my own,” González explained. 

She credits much of her success to the community of students at TAMIU. Students, like herself, who are passionate about their future careers. 

“We are a community of students with diverse backgrounds and stories. After I graduate, one of the biggest takeaways I have are the friendships I have made, and I will cherish them for the rest of my life,” she said. 

She counts Dr. Sergio Garza, assistant professional in the College of Education, as one of the biggest influences throughout her time at the University.

“Growing up, it was tough for me to balance both my native language and my second language. But I had outstanding educators that were a huge support system and helped me grow in those areas I needed improvement, which is why I decided to major in Bilingual Education,” González emphasized.

“Dr. Garza reminded me why I chose to become an educator in the first place. I enjoyed being able to hear his stories and how he would motivate us to reach our fullest potential as bilingual educators. I’ve learned that teachers have three loves: a love of learning, a love of learners, and the love of bringing those first two loves together -- which is how I would describe Dr. Garza as an educator,” González recalled. 

University students interested in completing volunteer work to earn the President’s Volunteer Service Award can learn more by visiting https://www.tamiu.edu/scce/pvsa.shtml.

For additional information on volunteering in the community, contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement at 956.326.2265, email scce@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Student Center, Suite 226.

TAMIU’s Fall 2022 Registration is now underway. For detailed registration information, visit https://news.tamiu.edu/fall22.  To learn more about College of Education programs, visit https://www.tamiu.edu/coedu/

TAMIU Fall Classes begin Monday, Aug. 22, 2022. Late registration ends Friday, Aug. 26.

University news and information can also be found online at tamiu.edu and on TAMIU’s social channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.