Innovative Scholarship Awarded

 Dick Geries, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the First State Bank of Uvalde, left, and Dr. Paul Sorrels, Associate Provost/Dean of Sul Ross Rio Grande College, right, recently congratulated Manuel Valadez for earning the first RGC scholarship the bank awarded.-Laura Nelson photo

By Laura Nelson

Sul Ross Rio Grande college student Manuel Valadez received a noteworthy scholarship for the fall 2014 semester that he said was an answer to prayer.

The First State Bank of Uvalde has funded a scholarship that carries a unique, landmark requirement. Recipients complete a financial literacy course that educates them about money management. In addition to setting financial goals and developing and following a monthly budget, students learn how to manage the money they borrow for college.

Dick Geries, Chairman of the Board and CEO of First State Bank of Uvalde said, “We are proud to offer this scholarship on behalf of First State Bank of Uvalde. Our aim for this scholarship recipient and for all Sul Ross Rio Grande College students is to offer financial tools to help with lowering student loan debt and to learn the importance of financial management.”

As for Mr. Valadez, he and his family have been driving back and forth to San Antonio from their home in Crystal City frequently to get leukemia treatment for 3-year-old Manuel Valadez III. Between attending classes, taking care of his son as well as Marco, 5, and Selah, 11 mos., time and money for the dad and his wife Teresa, a Registered Nurse at Dimmitt Regional Hospital, was at a premium. “I applied for the scholarship and left it in God’s hands,” he said. The scholarship money helped pay the transportation costs the couple incurred over the past months.

After completing his student internship this spring, Manuel will graduate in May with a teaching degree as a 4-8 grade generalist. He hopes to teach in Crystal City where there is a need for qualified instructors.

Details about this scholarship and others available at RGC may be found at or call the Financial Aid office in Uvalde at 830.279.3008.