Erika Hernandez Named Esmeralda Rosalia Avalos Teacher Education Scholarship Recipient

Pictured from left to right are Enrique Avalos Jr., Erika Hernandez, Enrique Avalos Sr., and Dr. Paul Sorrels, Vice President of Rio Grande College.

By Laura Nelson

Erika Hernandez wants the same things for her students as she wants for her own children and she hopes to make a positive difference in the lives of the youth she will soon teach.

This family-oriented mother of two enjoys raising her children with her husband Raymond and their spare time is typically spent in kid-friendly activities. She graduated with honors from Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College in December with a teaching degree and is studying for 4th-8th grade math certification.

She and Raymond plus sons Ray, two, and one-year old Ryan, recently traveled from Del Rio to Uvalde to meet and visit with Enrique Avalos and his son, Enrique Junior. Mrs. Hernandez thanked the pair for the scholarship, explaining that it helped her family while she was finishing her degree.

The senior Mr. Avalos explained how the scholarship was started. When his daughter Esmi, for whom the scholarship is named, passed away unexpectedly, the family pooled their resources and started the fund in her name. Since then, the Avalos family holds raffles and other fundraisers to continue it. The generosity of their friends and family has allowed them to add a second RGC scholarship for students enrolled in the nursing program.

The Avalos scholarships are family-based, locally funded gifts that directly benefit RGC students and their families, a truly grassroots effort that yields exceptional results.