Veterans Center receives boost with donation

HARLINGEN — You’ve just left the military.

You want to move on and succeed in civilian life. Where to start?

If you want to study at Texas State Technical College, the school’s Veterans Center is there to help. And it’s just gotten a big boost from American Legion Auxiliary Unit 205.

“Today we have one of our local American Legion units coming to donate a thousand dollars to the veterans,” said Jennifer Colten, director of stewardship and donor relations for the TSTC Foundation.

Friday afternoon representatives from American Legion Auxiliary District 15 presented a check for $1,000 to Steve Guevara, director of the Veterans Center. “We’re happy that they’re here and giving to our veterans,” Guevara said.

That $1,000 will be used either for scholarships or for TSTC’s Helping Hands Fund to help students in financial hardship, Colten said.

“Whether they need any type of help to help them get through theirschooling for that day or for that semester, we have emergency funds available for that,” she said.

American Legion Auxiliary District 15, which covers the entire Valley, partnered with the Veterans Center a couple of months ago, said Elizabeth Tamayo, incoming president for District 15.

“We give back to our community,” she said, “so we sponsored a thousand dollars to help with the supplies and whatever veterans needed. This isvery important to veterans I feel because sometimes they want to succeed in their lives after they come back.”

While ALA Unit 205 started the idea, other units may soon join in.

“We are going to try and challenge other units throughout the Valley to see if they will match what we have donated to our veterans,” said LindaCorrea Garcia, vice president-elect for District 15.

“If they can’t match it, at least give a donation,” she said. “Because theveterans that come here are not just from here. They’re from Brownsville, they’re from McAllen, they’re from everywhere. This way they can help us contribute to the education of our veterans that are trying to find a career for themselves.”

The Veterans Center at TSTC is a one-stop shop for veterans and dependents, Guevara said.

“We’ll start with admissions applications,” he said. “We help them get the information they need so they can get their benefits.”