RGC Graduate Turns Course Work into Business

By Laura Nelson

Cinthya Chavez Salinas, far left, celebrated the grand opening of her business, Kiddos Place in Eagle Pass, on May 25. Helping her mark the occasion are, from left, Ramsey Cantú, her classmate and Mayor of Eagle Pass, and Elizabeth Peña and Cynthia Gómez, two of her instructors.

Eagle Pass—What started as a fictional business plan for a college class transformed into an actual enterprise for Cinthya Chavez de Salinas, a 2015 Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College graduate.

Mrs. Salinas began in the teacher education program, but had a change of heart and switched to RGC’s Bachelor of Applied Science with the Organizational Leadership emphasis program. In one course, students develop a business model that defines a particular product or service for sale. They describe how to make it a success, analyze potential customers and the competition, and complete information about how to fund the business and offer projections for its continued success.

Cinthya recalled her unsuccessful hunt for a place to hold private birthday parties for her children and decided to use that idea for her project. As she worked through the details for the class, it became clear it was a feasible idea and Kiddos Place in Eagle Pass became a reality.

Families can rent the facility for children’s birthday parties. It features playground equipment and designated areas for guests to play dress up, build things, and “shop” as well as plenty of seating and tables. Those who rent the party place may decorate and provide their own food or can arrange for catering.

At the ribbon cutting provided by the Eagle Pass Chamber of Commerce, the proud business owner credited Rio Grande College instructors Elizabeth Peña and Cynthia Gómez with helping her develop her dream. Mayor Ramsey Cantú, her classmate and RGC alum, congratulated her and recalled their time together working on their degrees. Peña said, “We are very proud of all of our ORL students, but especially Cinthya's accomplishment. We are delighted that she has proven the Organizational Leadership program to be successful. She has taken her career goals to the next level and has become an entrepreneur. We admire her commitment and we celebrate her success.”

The innovative Organizational Leadership degree at RGC is designed for adults with some college credit or significant work experience who want a 4-year degree that will help them assume leadership roles. Students join a cohort, take classes and graduate together. For more information about any of RGC’s degrees, call 830.279.3004 or email rgcinfo@sulross.edu.