Brownsville native and entrepreneur Steven De La Garza understands, firsthand, the vital role community colleges have in developing the next generation workforce. To ensure students have access to high-quality education that will connect them with careers that are in demand, he is funding scholarships at Texas Southmost College.
His first donation of $30,000 will go toward full student scholarships for workforce training programs. This includes welding, industrial scaffolding, plumbing and commercial roofing.
“I have had so many people in my life help me, and now it’s my turn,” said De La Garza, who made the donation in memory of his father Rodolfo De La Garza. “These scholarships fill a gap for students, and as someone who has worked in the trades and also needed skilled workers, this is my chance to give back and create more opportunity.”
De La Garza has assisted his family and employees in their pursuit of a college degree. His gift to Texas Southmost College will provide opportunity on yet an even greater scale. His donation will benefit individuals, their families and the greater community.
De La Garza will fund additional scholarships. He explains that each contribution is fundamental in changing a person’s life and is a crucial resource for TSC.
“Any student who wants a college education, should be able to get an education without money being a barrier,” he said. “TSC is doing a wonderful job by opening doors with its scholarships and providing a high-quality education. TSC is a college for all.”
De La Garza’s scholarship donation builds upon TSC’s efforts to make college more affordable for families.
“We have been able to lower tuition and maintain it, lower taxes for our community and acquire donors who believe in our mission,” said TSC Board Chair Ruben Herrera. “All of this helps us award our students with the scholarships they need to get ahead.”
Industry Partners Help TSC Community
TSC Director of Foundation and Community Outreach David Tumlinson agrees. He said TSC’s dedication to building collaborative partnerships with individuals and employers increase students’ access to scholarships.
“Relationships with individuals like Mr. De La Garza and with industry partners seeking to expand their workforce keeps us moving forward in increasing scholarship opportunities for the communities we serve,” said Tumlinson. “We are grateful to those who give to our college, who believe in what we do and believe in our students. Higher education is about changing lives, and that is why we are here.”
TSC Foundation Board Chair and Vantage Bank Texas Senior Vice President Manuel Casanova said donations like this align with the TSC Foundation’s goal of increasing the number of scholarships awarded to students annually.
“Last year, thanks to our donors like Mr. De La Garza, we were able to award more than 250 scholarships,” said Casanova. “This means a lot to us and our students, who because of this are able to start and continue their education. This gives us the resources to assist them in reaching their goals.”