Mission Career Center Spring Closing Ceremony

On May 1, 2015, Mission community leaders gathered at The Cimarron in Mission to celebrate accomplishments of the Mission Career Center Project, a partnership of Mission EDC, RGV LEAD, La Joya ISD, Mission CISD, Sharyland ISD, and other partners.  Alex Meade, CEO of Mission EDC, told the group, "Education is the number one priority and without it, we cannot strengthen the workforce.  Partnering with RGV LEAD is one of the wisest decisions we have made.  It has opened up the doors with the districts and allowed us to link education and business together."  

(Left to Right) Alex Meade, CEO, Mission EDC; Dr. Norma L. Salaiz, Director, RGV LEAD; Janie Johnston Lopez, RGV LEAD Contractor/RGV Mentors; Jill Williams, A•L•A Regional Coordinator; and Daniel Silva, COO, Mission EDC

The Mission Career Center Project focuses on Mission's targeted industries and occupations and related college-and career-focused programs of study.  RGV LEAD coordinates a variety of initiatives for the project, and school districts provide support in many ways.  Mission Career Center Project Support Teams (S-Teams) from seven high school campuses facilitated communications with 3,344 students, parents and staff between October 2014 and March 2015.  Forty-three students were named RGV LEAD Student Ambassadors, and 1,301 high school students graduated as RGV LEAD Scholars in Spring 2015.   Activities planned for Summer 2015 will begin soon, and several individuals shared their past experiences. 

Gabriel Flores from La Joya High School is contemplating a career in architecture, and he spent his 2014 summer internship in Mission’s Community Development Housing Assistance Department.  Flores worked with building sites and floor plans and participated in a variety of activities, including talking with clients.  Flores stated, "Everything I learned will help me in my future.  I learned how to communicate more effectively,  and I learned the importance of teamwork." 

Theresa Salinas spent her 2014 summer internship at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.   Salinas, a La Joya High School student who is considering a career in nursing, was enthusiastic about the experience.  She stated, "I've always wanted to go into the medical field, and this internship helped me see what my future would be like."

(Left to Right) Theresa Salinas, La Joya ISD Student; Martha Gutierrez, Worksite Learning Specialist, RGV LEAD; and Gabriel Flores, La Joya ISD Student

Lizzie Lizcano, a teacher at Sharyland High School, reported about her experience as an A•L•A Educator-Extern  in Summer 2014.  Lizcano spent two weeks working at Rio Grande Regional Hospital, then developed lesson plans based on her experiences.  After the hospital endorsed the materials Lizcano had developed, she used the materials with her students in the fall.

An RGV Mentors Student Protégé and Community Mentor were excited about their RGV Mentors experience.  Savannah Claeys, a senior at Mission CISD’s Veterans Memorial High School,  worked with Nora Weaver, her Community Mentor and a Social Worker at Briarcliff Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.  Claeys stated she had learned a lot and was grateful for the opportunity to participate.   Weaver stated, "RGV Mentors is an extremely good idea.  It sets the foundation for our students."
RGV LEAD’s Director, Dr. Norma Salaiz, thanked all partners, then addressed the students in the audience:   "Look around in here.  You will see education and business leaders who are working in partnership to provide you with the opportunities you need to be successful."  Salaiz then thanked the Mission Economic Development Corporation for their partnership and for the funding Mission EDC provides for the Mission Career Center Project.

La Joya ISD Students and S-TEAM Leaders and Cousnselors

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