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Scholarships Help Pave the Way for a Dedicated Student

Joey SanchezBROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – AUGUST 14, 2012 – Joey Sanchez, a 2008 graduate of Harlingen High School South, will return this month to the familiar halls, classrooms and football field of his alma mater, when he begins his student teaching.

This is the last step for Sanchez that leads to his December 2012 graduation from The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies.

Sanchez said he is excited about getting into the classroom and onto the football field as a coach. However, he is taking things one day at a time, the same steady approach he had while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. He was also involved in campus clubs and extracurricular activities and received numerous honors at the university, among them being named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities his junior and senior years.

“There were bumps along the way, of course,” Sanchez said. “I gave up time with my family and had to cope with the deaths of my grandmother and aunt, along with managing finances. But through it all, my mother and father supported and believed in me 100 percent.”

He received inspiration from them, he said. His mother has been a paraprofessional with Harlingen Independent School District for 38 years, and she will be back in the classroom this fall to begin another year. From his father and older brother, he learned the meaning of dedication, developed a love for boxing and an awareness of maintaining good health.

Since he did not qualify to receive federal financial aid, Sanchez has relied on scholarships and employment to cover tuition, books and gasoline. In his senior year, along with receiving a STARS scholarship, he has received four scholarships, including the Marylyn Burns Memorial Endowment Scholarship and the Morris Edelstein Endowment Scholarship.

Burns was a beloved Brownsville High School English teacher. Her former students of the BHS Class of ’66 established an endowment scholarship in her memory.

Ben Edelstein created the Morris Edelstein endowment in 1984 in honor of his father, Brownsville furniture company founder Morris Edelstein. He also started a nursing scholarship endowment in honor of his mother, Yetty Edelstein.

“I am grateful for all the scholarships I have received throughout my four years at UTB, especially those from endowments, since they are gifts by individuals,” he said. “Without the generosity of these donors I would not be where I am today.”

Working in the Learning Enrichment Center, he said, has been a great campus job, letting him gain experience interacting with and tutoring students.

“It’s very rewarding when someone I’ve helped will come back and will tell me they got an A on a test or did well in a course because of my help,” he said. “It’s exciting to see a student succeed and progress to new levels.”

Sanchez knew he wanted to coach, so he originally selected kinesiology as his major. After he began his studies at the university, however, he took interest in history. Encouraged by one of his favorite history professors, Dr. Philip Kendall, Sanchez changed his major after realizing how much he would enjoy being with students in the classroom, sharing his newfound fascination with social studies.

“I will do a good job of incorporating all subjects – history, economics, geography, government – to engage students and make my class meaningful,” he said.

Right now, however, it is time for two-a-days out on the football practice field. 

“Those athletes are ready for the sweltering heat and upcoming opponents,” Sanchez said. “I'm anxious to contribute and help the team win.”

Sanchez’s advice to students: “Don’t follow the crowd, stay focused, remain humble and disregard the criticism of others.”

To learn more about giving opportunities, visit the Office of University Relations website or contact Laurie Howell, Executive Director of University Relations, at 956-882-4334 or laurie.howell@utb.edu.

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