Dear Dr. Nolan Perez —
We write to congratulate you on your recent appointment as a regent to the University of Texas System Board of Regents.
As a native of the Rio Grande Valley, you serve as a testament to our youth about the power of educational opportunity.
Moreover, your active involvement in community and educational affairs show that you genuinely care about your community.
It is with this in mind that we write this letter to bring an important matter to your attention.
My wife and I (Austin natives and UT alums) moved to Brownsville 10 years ago and we are the parents of two young sons, ages 8 and 11.
As summer approaches, we (like many other parents) are looking for the best summer camp opportunities we can find for our children, especially related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
As such, we were excited when we learned that UTRGV has numerous STEM summer camps for children of different ages (available at: https://www.utrgv.edu/cstem/activities/summer-camps/index.htm).
However, when we contacted the program staff about registering our sons, we were advised that these summer camps will only be held at UTRGV facilities in Edinburg, Texas.
In other words, UTRGV, which has a Brownsville campus, will not have a single STEM related program to serve the children of Brownsville and Cameron County this summer.
We hope you agree that this is really disappointing. As a dedicated physician and community leader, we hope you agree that the children of Brownsville and Cameron County also deserve opportunities to be exposed to STEM programs by their hometown college.
We want the best for our children like every other community in Texas.
We realize that you are still a new UT System regent, but we hope you are in a position to do something about this and serve as a voice and advocate for all Rio Grande Valley children.
If we can do anything to assist you, please let us know. We’re all rooting for you and proud of what you have accomplished.
Zoraima Diaz Pineda