Category Archives: Non-Profit

VIDA Nurse’s Budding Career Path

Aime Bautista, who graduated from South Texas College in Dec. 2019 with an associate’s degree in nursing, holds a candle at STC’s ceremony recognizing new nurses. The candle, when lit, is symbolic of a nurse passing on the flame of hope, service, compassion and peace.

Aime Bautista was a single mother of an 8-year-old daughter, working as a sales associate and earning $8.25 per hour. A lifelong resident of Mercedes who was raised by her grandparents, Bautista and her daughter were living with her grandmother.   In the summer of 2019, Bautista gave birth to another daughter and no longer had a job. A student in the Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement told Bautista about…

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Living a Better VIDA

Anna Martinez is a patient care technician at Weslaco Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. She will soon graduate from South Texas College in July with an associate’s degree in nursing, thanks in part to financial aid and support services from VIDA. (photo Ruben Garcia)

Anna Martinez may not have imagined what coming home would mean for her and her 8-year-old daughter.   Born and raised in Weslaco, Martinez and her family moved to Houston when she was in fourth grade. The years that followed were difficult. When Martinez became a teen parent, depression and anger sent her on a downward spiral.  Then Martinez’s parents separated, adding to her pain. Three years ago, Martinez decided to…

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Texas Butterfly Festival Community Day

Patrons walk along the butterfly gardens during the Texas Butterfly Festival.

On Nov. 2, the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas hosted its 24 annual Texas Butterfly Festival free community day. The National Butterfly Center is a non-profit organization geared towards butterfly conservation. The center has plenty of nature to explore throughout the 100-acre property, and more than 300 different butterfly species to catch sight of. On this specific day of the festival, there were plenty of free activities to take part…

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Coming Together to Build the Reef

Red snapper swimming in the artificial reef. (Courtesy)

Gary Glick, president of the nonprofit group Friends of RGV Reef, said recreational red snapper fishing generates several times the economic force of commercial red snapper fishing. People who come to fish also spend money on food and lodging, gas, tackle, charter trips, etc. Glick estimates that Friends of RGV Reef has spent about $400,000 on deploying reef material so far. The group has managed to do it for roughly…

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Uniting the Valley for a Better VIDA

Oct. 1 at the South Texas College Library Rainbow Room in McAllen, VIDA career counselor Leslly Blancas discusses with VIDA students the importance of managing stress. .

In Spanish, the word vida means “life.” In the Rio Grande Valley, VIDA means a much better life for individuals and families and a stronger economy for communities across Deep South Texas. The Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995 by Valley Interfaith and a group of local business leaders. They realized providing people with education, training and support to obtain higher-paying jobs would…

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Ways to Give Back with Food Bank RGV

Volunteers Miguel Angel Garza, Leonardo Molina and Maria Garcia sort goods, preparing them to be properly stored and await distribution.

The holidays are around the corner, reminding us of the countless blessings in our lives. For others, this may be a reminder of what they don’t have. Fortunately, there are several opportunities for the community to come together and give back to those in need. One of the ways we can aim to do so is by taking part in volunteering at Food Bank RGV.  “The RGV is just a…

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Rebuilding Homes and Lives

Two volunteers lay shingles on a new home build. (VBR)

In June of 2018, the Rio Grande Valley was hit by a storm of natural disaster proportions. Homes and businesses saw damage and some even complete destruction. People were left displaced and with little to nothing left in their possession.  As we know, disasters are not a planned or controlled situation. Many people are not financially, physically or mentally prepared for a disaster. Many times, people are at a loss…

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Building Fish Habitats

Concrete ties at the site of the reef. (Courtesy)

For the past five years, the local non-profit Friends of the RGV Reef has been working to restore and build up the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. They wanted to ensure that there was a habitat to create a thriving population of fish in the area. Due to the efforts, Friends of RGV Reef was named a 2019 Conservation Wrangler by the Texan by Nature conservation. The honor acknowledges…

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