By Amanda Sotelo, TSTC Staff
For nearly four years, the Elks Lodge #1889 in Harlingen has supported Texas State Technical College student veterans with contributions for scholarships, and this year was no different.
TSTC was recently presented with a check for $2,500, the first of two contributions for 2019. The total amount the Elks Lodge is expected to give toward veteran scholarships this year is $5,000.
“The Elks Lodge is an organization that invests in helping our veterans throughout our community and our nation,” said Elks Lodge #1889 Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Lee Wallace.
Since 2015, the organization has donated more than $13,000 to TSTC and its veteran students.
These scholarships have helped veterans transitioning from military to civilian life with tuition, books, supplies and other educational expenses.
“Our goal is to help veterans and their families with education so that they can obtain a trade that will lead to meaningful employment,” said Wallace. “This is what helps them lead normal, successful lives.”
TSTC Veterans Center Director Steve Guevara said the Elks Lodge Scholarship has been a lifesaver for a number of veterans since its inception.
The scholarship awards $1,000 per academic year to a veteran or a dependent who does not have G.I. Bill monthly stipend benefits.
Elks Lodge contributions also go toward book and supply scholarships with an amount that is dependent on the need of the student.
“The Elks Lodge Scholarship has been a great help for our veteran students and puts their education as a priority,” said Guevara.
To be eligible for the scholarship a student must be a veteran, a full-time student and maintain a 2.0 grade-point average
“I hope that our partnership with the Elks Lodge continues to grow so that we are able to make a positive impact within our veteran community,” said Guevara.
Wallace said he also hopes to see the partnership between TSTC and the Elks Lodge flourish because he said it’s partnerships like this that help students gain an education, provide for their families and support a community.
“It is our duty to help our veterans in any way we can,” said Wallace. “And I hope that TSTC and the Elks Lodge continue to work together to build these types of opportunities, make our money work smarter and make possibilities endless for everyone.”
TSTC in Harlingen has been recognized as a Military-Friendly School for more than a decade, and the college has been recognized statewide as a Military-Friendly School for four years.
TSTC is also recognized as a Military Spouse Friendly School for 2019-2020.
TSTC’s Veterans Center serves more than 850 military service members, veterans their dependents with internal and external resources to ensure their education success at TSTC.
The center serves as a centralized, one-stop shop for prospective and current students who are veterans, as well as their dependents. It assists with admissions, financial aid, GI Bill and Hazlewood applications.
In addition to the Veterans Center, TSTC also offers self-paced, competency-based learning for veterans who have gained applicable skills through their service in the military. Veterans can receive credit for these skills to move ahead on their certificate or associate degree plan quicker.
For more information on the services offered by the TSTC’s Veterans Center, call 956-364-4387 or visit tstc.edu/veterans.