RGV LEAD Student Ambassador Team Building Challenge

“What you get from achieving your goals in not as important as what you become when you achieve your goals,” said Virdiana Garcia, a Los Fresnos High School student. Garcia was among the hundreds of students competing in the RGV LEAD Student Ambassador Team Building Challenge competitions held in La Joya on January 27 and in Harlingen on January 29. Student teams from 15 high schools in 10 school districts participated in the competition, which was designed to name RGV LEAD’s 2015-2016 Student Ambassador representatives. According to Garcia’s team, time management, organization, goal setting, vision and setting priorities are all skills that good leaders must master.

Los Fresnos CISD Team (Left to right): Virdiana Garcia, Andres Quintanilla, Daniela Rivera, and Felicia Garza—Rock demonstration on Time Management and Goal Setting. The purpose of their demonstration was to show how to arrange and prioritize projects and activities.

Each team gave a five-minute presentation on a leadership topic selected by the students. Presentation topics included time management, community service, being revolutionary leaders, steps to effective decision-making, leadership in volunteering, and others.

Philip Escamilla, Jr., of Sharyland Pioneer High School said, “If our team gets selected, our goal will be to get more people in the club so that when we graduate, the Ambassador program will continue and make a difference in our school and community.” On top of the extracurricular activities in which Escamilla’s team members are already involved; the students made time to work together on their presentation. “We met all week during last period and often stayed after school to make sure we had a good presentation. Now that it’s over, it feels great. Our team’s goal is to be role models and step out of our comfort zone. We want to be involved and make a difference in our community,” said Escamilla.

Israel Gonzalez, a junior at Harlingen High School, said, “We want to inspire others to be leaders by being committed to making the community a better place.”

The Mercedes ISD team presentation on Leadership in Extracurricular Activities incorporated the leadership skills the students have learned from their extracurricular activities and how they are being molded in becoming future leaders. Alyssa Pequeno, a sophomore, stated, ”The student council has taught me to be organized, how to collaborate with other, and how to care for the community.” Jose Constantin, a junior, said, “Being in football allows me to be a good example to my peers. Football has taught me that family is most important and key to being successful.” Clarissa Flores, sophomore, said, “Cheerleading has taught me about teamwork, trust, and how to motivate others.” Jose Cordova, a junior, said, “As a band and JROTC member, I have learned the importance of teamwork, effort, discipline, respect and responsibility. Sophomore Justin Ramirez said that being in football and baseball has helped him learn to work well under pressure, and set a good example for others.

These group of students plan on using the skills they've acquired to be effective RGV LEAD Student Ambassadors at their districts.

Left to Right: Alyssa Pequeno, Jose Constantin, Jose Cordova, Clarissa Flores, Justin Ramirez

Student teams who participated in the RGV LEAD Student Ambassador Team Building Challenge came from Brownsville ISD (Lopez High School), Harlingen CISD (Harlingen High School and Harlingen High School South), La Feria ISD (La Feria high School), La Joya ISD (La Joya High School, Palmview High School, and Juarez-Lincoln High School), Los Fresnos CISD (Los Fresnos High School), Lyford CISD (Lyford High School), Mercedes ISD (Mercedes High School), Mission CISD (Mission High School and Veterans Memorial High School), Sharyland ISD (Sharyland High School and Sharyland Pioneer High School), and Weslaco ISD (Weslaco Early College High School).

In addition to the leadership presentations, each team was required to submit a one-page essay explaining how the students can impact the Valley and why they want to be RGV LEAD Student Ambassadors. Each team was judged by a 14-member panel comprised of current RGV LEAD Student Ambassadors and RGV LEAD staff. (The judges utilized a rubric point system to ensure that all teams were evaluated in the same way.) The student teams that are named RGV LEAD Student Ambassadors for 2015-2016 will be joining the RGV LEAD regional collaborative, which is focused on strengthening the link between education and economic development and helping students acquire the skill-sets necessary for success in higher education, skills, and life. The winners will be announced in February.

For more information on the RGV LEAD Student Ambassador program, contact RGV LEAD at 956.364.4509.

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