Four RGC Students Earn Bank and Trust Scholarships

Martha Briones, Training Specialist at the Bank and Trust, is pictured with RGC scholarship awardees Emmanuel Odin and Joanne Magana. Pictured from left are Norma Delgado, Executive Banker at the Bank Trust, scholarship winners Gabriela Velazco and Daniela Velazco, and Martha Briones, Training Specialist at the Bank and Trust.

By Laura Nelson

Four Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College students were recently recognized for earning scholarships from the Bank and Trust in Del Rio.

Joanne Magana hopes to soon have an elementary classroom of her own. The Del Rio High School graduate will complete her teaching degree this December and will get certified as an early childhood-sixth grade generalist. She hopes to eventually get certified to teach science in junior high or high school. Ms. Magana is working at a local pizza restaurant and is appreciative of the scholarship that helped her get through a six-class semester. She reads and enjoys traveling, and particularly likes Huntington Beach, Calif. for the climate and small-town atmosphere.

Second time Bank and Trust scholarship winner Emmanuel Odin is currently teaching fourth grade at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Del Rio. He, too, is working towards a teaching degree and hopes to start his master’s soon after he graduates. Originally from Nigeria, he and his wife Funmi lived in Belize for a time before coming to Del Rio. Emmanuel watches movies with his wife and his 4-year old daughter, Joanna. Mr. Odin also likes to travel and has visited 30 of the United States of America.

Gabriela Velazco completed her bachelor’s degree in December of 2016 and is studying to test for her early childhood-sixth grade bilingual generalist certifications. She graduated from Del Rio High School in 2012 and is the first person in her family to earn not only a college degree, but also a high school diploma. She originally thought she would go into nursing, but switched to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. The scholarship helped her during her internship and she gives special credit to Dr. Fernando Quiz and Dr. Miriam Muñiz for helping her graduate.

Gabriela’s sister Daniela plans to graduate in December of 2017 with the same degree and options. She explored many careers including veterinary medicine, law enforcement, and physical therapy for horses before committing to education. When asked about her choice, she shrugged her shoulders and said she knows she can always go back to school and do something else. In fact, she’s been considering master’s degrees or perhaps another bachelor’s because she wants to broaden her education. Daniela showed horses during her 4-H career and also sings and plays guitar.

Financial literacy remains an important component of the Bank and Trust scholarship. The free course is offered every semester and teaches students about developing and following a budget, repaying student debt, building personal wealth, and a range of other topics. Mr. Odin declared the course motivated him to start saving, Ms. Daniela Velazco said it cleared up some confusion about building credit and she said she also now makes conscious purchasing decisions.

Congratulations to these scholarship recipients and thanks to the Bank and Trust for helping RGC students achieve their aspirations!