Amanda Sotelo, Special to the Star

By Amanda Sotelo, Special to the Star

The Registered Nursing students at Texas State Technical College recently hosted an Easter celebration at Sunny Glen Children’s Home in Harlingen as part of a community service project for the class.

“This is the first time we host an event like this,” said Registered Nursing Club member Bianca Fox. “And since Easter is around the corner, we figured the children would enjoy the festivities and it would give them something to be excited about.”

Sunny Glen Children’s Home is a refuge for neglected and abused children. The home’s mission is to restore hope and rebuild trusting relationships by meeting emotional, physical and spiritual needs of the children it serves.

More than 20 children, ranging in ages from three to 18, were surprised by the event and enjoyed an Easter egg hunt, a piñata, games such as pin the tail on the bunny, and sweet snacks.

“It was such a great surprise for them. The look in their eyes and smiles were priceless,” said Fox. “They had so much fun. It felt great to be able to give them this experience.”

Fox and her classmates said previous Registered Nursing classes had worked with Sunny Glen in the past, so when it came time to pick a community service project, there was no doubt who they wanted to help.

The class of 29 nursing students decided Sunny Glen was the perfect choice because they wanted to help give these children a memorable holiday.

“These children have been through so much and we want them to know that there are people out there who care,” said Fox.

Yolanda Saldivar, Sunny Glen community relations volunteer coordinator, said she has worked with other TSTC Registered Nursing students in the past and they always go above and beyond for the children.

“These students are so loving and caring toward our children here at Sunny Glen,” said Saldivar. “And that makes a big impact. They bring happiness to these children.”

She added that the Easter event was a surprise and there was a lot of excitement and smiles coming from the children that day.

“They hosted a great event. We never expected anything less though,” she said. “It was a great day and we look forward to continue working with these incredible students. They truly make a difference.”

TSTC Nursing instructor and Registered Nursing Club advisor Adrienne Reyes said she is proud of her students and the impact they make on the community, while juggling the demands of the nursing program and family life.

“I’m so proud of what these students do on a daily basis,” she said. “After this event my heart was so full. They showed these children so much love. They not only gave their time, but also their hearts.”

Reyes said every Registered Nursing class must complete a certain amount of community service hours, but she has realized her classes always do more than expected.

“These students love giving back and making a difference in their community,” she said. “They never limit themselves. They’re caring and passionate. That’s what it takes to be a nurse.”

This particular community service project was named TSTC’s Service Project of the Year during the recent Student Leadership Awards banquet.

The Registered Nursing Club also took Student Club of the Year and Reyes was awarded Club Advisor of the Year.

The TSTC Registered Nursing program takes 30 students annually. Graduates from the two-year program are in demand at local hospitals and clinics, and work as registered nurses after they pass their National Council Licensure Examination.

At the moment, Texas is home to the largest employers of nurses in the nation and demand continues to outpace the national average.

The application period for the Vocational Nursing to Registered Nursing transition program is underway.

The deadline to apply is May 24 at noon.

The last entrance exam testing date is May 7 with exam times at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

For more information call 956-364-4690 or visit tstc.edu/programs/Nursing.