RGV LEAD’s 2013 Regional Conference—Promoting Student Success: The Power of Partnerships

RGV LEAD extends MANY THANKS to the many wonderful people whose contributions made RGV LEAD’s Regional Conference a success! The 2013 Regional Conference, held at South Padre Island’s Isla Grand Beach Resort, highlighted many excellent best practices. RGV LEAD is grateful for all the presenters and participants who participated and made the event a great success. Special thanks to the conference sponsors: TG, the Med Ed Program of the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, South Padre Island Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, The Isla Grand Beach Resort, The Original Dolphin Watch, Horses on the Beach, and the Osprey & Black Dragon Cruises. Thanks, too, to the college and university partners who donated door prizes and spent time sharing information with participants. RGV LEAD appreciates the creative ideas and insights shared by all the individuals who made presentations during the transition-counseling sessions and breakout sessions. Conference participants heard from RGV LEAD Board members, business and economic development professionals, public school partners, college/university leaders, and other RGV LEAD partners. Rene Capistran, RGV LEAD’s Board Chair and President – South Texas Region, SpawGlass, set the tone for the event during the CEO’s preconference. In this session university and college representatives provided panel presentations for superintendents and school board members, sharing valuable transition-counseling information designed to help Valley students transition successfully into higher education.

Thanks, too, to the keynote presenters, who shared important information about helping Rio Grande Valley students prepare for success:

  • Kristin Boyer, Director of Philanthropy, TG, shared information about TG’s goal of helping students realize their educational and career goals. Employers consistently indentify “critical thinking” as one of the skills required for the 21st century workplace. Because critical thinking is a competency that crosses disciplines and spans the educational pipeline, it’s essential that educators ask themselves critical questions that lead to deeper understanding of their work--and help their students do the same. Boyer summarized her presentation with these statements: “With all of the initiatives, programs, reforms, and policies coming at us, the most important question we can ask is “To what end?” or the “¿Y que?” We always need to keep the end goal in mind as we’re keeping up with the constant change around us. It’s a skill we can constantly work on developing and one that will serve our students well into the future.”
  • The Honorable Eddie Lucio III, Texas House of Representatives, District 38, provided an update on his work in the last legislative session and the current status of the UT Merger (named UT-RGV), the Valley medical school, and the implementation of HB 5. He also encouraged the audience to work with elected officials and continue moving forward, stating: “Human capital is what we have to invest in the economy…it takes a team effort to start solving problems in the educational system; and you can make a difference. I urge you to express your issues so we can make decisions to help make Texas better.”

RGV LEAD, its board, and its partners understand that students need to develop goals in becoming college-and-career-ready. Students not only a solid academic foundation but also the ability to think critically, solve programs, communicate effectively, and develop soft skills. RGV LEAD is committed to work with its partners in implementing initiatives designed to build a strong workforce and bright economic future for the Rio Grande Valley.

All RGV LEAD staff count it a privilege to work with the wonderful people of the Rio Grande Valley and are looking forward to an even greater conference in 2014!

QUOTES from conference participants:

“Fantastic conference, and great topics.”

“Very informative, well planned, and presenters were very knowledgeable. I would love to come again.”

“Great Sessions, Great Location!”

“Thank You! This was a very informative conference. I will be coming next year.”

“Fantastic presenters! Loved the Financial and Dual Enrollment sessions.”

RGV LEAD. © 2012