BY Amanda Sotelo
For Leticia Licea all roads led to Texas State Technical College more than 30 years ago.
The Raymondville native has been at TSTC since December 1986 and was recently recognized for her service to the college at its recent Employee Appreciation Day.
Her journey at TSTC started when she had to return home from St. Edward’s University in Austin, where she was studying Fine Arts, to help her parents through a difficult time.
“I was one class shy of getting my bachelor’s degree,” Licea remembers. “But naturally when your family needs you it’s time to come home.”
Licea recalls applying anywhere and everywhere for a job, including TSTC. She received call backs from the Department of Health Services and almost became a state trooper, but said neither of the two options felt right.
“I had just started working at Dillard’s when TSTC called me,” she said. “So I did what I thought was right and I worked at TSTC, Dillard’s and later HEB all at the same time.”
Eventually she said the combination no longer worked and she chose TSTC above all other jobs and never looked back.
Licea is currently an enrollment specialist for the Office of Admissions, but she started as a switchboard operator and stayed at that position for 15 years. She then became the department secretary for the Office of Student Recruitment and finally made her way to admissions as an admissions technician and an admission staff assistant.
“I love everything about my job,” said Licea. “I wake up every morning happy to come to work and tackle the day. It’s never the same thing and that’s exciting.”
She went on to say that the students are what make her job worthwhile and being able to help them through the application process and to make a difference in their lives.
“From the students to my colleagues, I have been blessed with my second family here at TSTC,” Licea added.
Those who work closely with Licea say she brings positivity to the office and for some, like TSTC Executive Registrar Paula Arredondo who has worked with her for 23 years, it makes all the difference.
“Leticia is an outstanding employee, very committed,” said Arredondo. “She is student driven, loyal to her work and the college and a great person all around.”
It is these qualities that also earned Licea Staff Excellence Awards in 2006 and 2014.
Though Licea is an avid runner and has her ranch complete with goats, chickens, geese, dogs and cats to take care of she said retirement is not in her horizon yet.
“I could have retired already, but I’m still healthy and as long as I am I’m going to continue working,” said Licea.
When asked what keeps her going she had insightful advice for others: “The key is to always be positive and take life one day at a time.”