Education Students Earn Scholarships


Pictured from left to right are Rosa Chavarria, Gabriela Chavarria, and Dr. Paul Sorrels, Associate Provost/Dean at Rio Grande College. Dolores Sanchez holds daughter Yorley. Dolores' sister, Cristina Estrada, right, won the scholarship while she was at Rio Grande College.

By Laura Nelson

Sul Ross-Rio Grande College educators and administrators recently honored Gabriela Chavarria and Dolores Sanchez, the two students chosen to receive the Praxedis Mata Torres scholarship.

Gabby Chavarria, the eldest of three children of Rosa and Fermin Chavarria of Del Rio, will earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with teacher certification. While she hopes to teach math at the high school level, she also plans to earn a master’s so she can teach at the college level.

Dolores Sanchez is the second member of her family to earn the scholarship. Sister Cristina Estrada received it during her time at Rio Grande College and she now teaches fifth grade in Eagle Pass.  Dolores, full-time mother of Yorley and the daughter of Irma E. and Albert Sanchez, all of Eagle Pass, is pursuing a degree in education to teach 4-8 grade students. She is also considering a master’s degree in order to be a high school counselor. She said this scholarship will pay for her summer school.

Early in the 20th century, Praxedis Mata Torres attended a teacher’s college in San Antonio with the help of the superintendent of schools in Uvalde. She returned to her home after finishing her studies and became the first certified Hispanic schoolteacher in Uvalde and among the first in Texas. She married Telesforo F. Flores in 1910 and inspired generations of family members to pursue careers in education. Both her birth family and the family she married into started the scholarship in 1994 and continued to contribute to it. The scholarship is awarded to RGC teacher education candidates with preference given to those residing within the Sul Ross-Rio Grande College service area. Present-day students benefit from that generosity, and Ms. Chavarria said, “I would like to thank the Mata and Torres families for the opportunity to help further my education.”