UT Austin hosts inaugural legacy dinner in Harlingen

HARLINGEN — The Eyes of Texas were upon the Valley and upon an eager crowd of high school students preparing to enroll this fall at The University of Texas at Austin as part of UT Latinx, an initiative to provide support for students throughout their time at UT and beyond.

Students and parents from across the Valley gathered at the historic Reese building in downtown Harlingen on Feb. 23 for the inaugural Latinx Legacy Dinner, an event organized by the UT Office of Admissions also held in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

Guest speakers included Dr. Miguel Wasielewski, Executive Director of Admissions, Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, alumni keynote speaker, Clarissa Flores, UT student from Edinburg, Letty Fernandez, alumni and member of the Brownsville Texas Exes, and David Eric Garcia, Director, UT Austin Valley Admissions Center.

“These dinners are an opportunity for Latinx students to visit with current UT students and alumni in order to understand what types of opportunities are available for success on the UT Austin campus and what type of support is available for UT Austin graduates after they complete their degree,” Garcia stated in an email.

According to Garcia, Latinx students receive plenty of support to ensure their success at such a large university, which makes their experience more successful and rewarding. Latinx is a program within the university’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.

“One of the most important factors that students from the Valley receive when they attend UT Austin is the support of current students that are also from the Valley, professors on campus that may be from the Valley and Alumni here at home that can provide support during and after their college experience,” Garcia stated.

In addition to the guest speakers, the 150 people in attendance were able to network with current UT students and alumni and meet UT administration and staff. A select group of high school juniors from across the Valley were also invited to learn more about the application and admissions process.

“Students who would like to venture outside of the Valley for their higher education should definitely try and find the appropriate resources to ensure they are aware of application deadlines for admission and scholarships,” Garcia stated. “Also, be aware of the local support to assist with applications such as our office.”

Did you know?

• The UT Valley Admissions Center is located in Harlingen at 1117 N. Stuart Place Rd.

• Students and parents can receive more information and help about the admissions process at UT Austin, including housing and financial aid deadlines.

• For more information, contact David Eric Garcia, director, at (956) 752-3952 or at david.garcia@austin.utexas.edu.