Roman Silva returned to McAllen in July to take his place in the UTRGV School of Medicine Class of 2023. He spent the past five years in Austin, earning his bachelor’s in business at UT. Upon graduating in 2018, he then began working full time while applying to medical school.
Silva’s days are grueling, going to class from morning to early evening. He then heads directly to the School of Medicine Library to study late into the night.
“I have decided to take it day by day and sometimes hour by hour,” Silva said. “It can get overwhelming with the amount of information we are learning every day. Some days you feel defeated and some days you feel you’re on fire.” While many of the concepts being taught in class can be difficult, he said, the greatest challenge is more abstract.
“The hardest thing is staying mentally strong and confident in your abilities,” Silva said. “I call it ‘staying in the zone,’ not letting doubt creep in.”
While Silva finds it comical that friends have already started sharing their symptoms with him, hoping for a diagnosis, he is amazed at how much he has already learned over the past three months.
He is also amazed that he is already serving as a mentor for his younger sister Anyssa, a freshman at UTRGV, and for friends in college who seek advice about preparing for medical school.
“I didn’t have a mentor to help me prepare for medical school,” Silva said. “There are no physicians in my family. So any chance I get to mentor someone else, I will.”
Silva feels grateful to be home with his mom and sister and his extended family. He now pictures himself staying home to serve patients in the Rio Grande Valley.
Chase your dreams, but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.
~ Tim McGraw, “My Little Girl”
Cramer Miller and Annie Holand-Miller returned to the Valley in 2011. Both graduated from the UT School of Law and both worked in D.C. After they married, they lived in Austin and Houston before deciding to make their way home.
“It was time to get closer to family,” Holand-Miller said. “The Valley is an important part of our legacy, and the decision to move home was about carrying on that legacy.”
It is a legacy of strong community involvement, a tireless work ethic and deep family roots. Now the couple is watching their young son and daughter, Kern and Holand, blossom among those roots.
For Miller, moving home has several other benefits, too.
“I really enjoy hunting and fishing,” he said. “And we have great friends here.”
Miller is an attorney at Atlas, Hall and Rodriguez in McAllen, and Holand-Miller works for her family’s business Holand Investments. In February, the couple purchased the Medi Weightloss franchise in McAllen. Holand-Miller lost 80 pounds on the program last year and jumped at the chance to own it.
“My favorite thing about it,” Holand-Miller said, “is helping people live healthier lives and seeing them realize they can do it.”
The Miller-and-Holand legacy is alive and well, right here at home.