South Texas ISD teacher wins recognition from state

OLMITO — The best way to understand history is to become a part of it. Elizabeth Carr has spent long hours emphasizing that point to...

Garden cleanup held to honor historic black church’s impact in McAllen

Hector Vargas said he can still hear the worship songs here at the Little Bethel Baptist Church more than 60 years later. The choir voice used to serenade his whole neighborhood. The church, the first African-American church in the city and a historic landmark recognized by the state, was torn down about 20 years ago. Bethel Garden now occupies the land in honor of it. On Saturday morning, more than a dozen people came together to clean up the garden to commemorate Juneteenth, which is Friday. Community members from across the Rio Grande Valley, some as young as 10-years-old, were seen planting flowers, repainting benches and pulling weeds.  Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Project delves into Paredes’ Cold War journals

Noreen Rivera, an associate professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, is quietly pulling back the curtain on a period in Américo Paredes’ life when the Brownsville-born scholar worked as a journalist in the Far East during the U.S. occupation of Japan at the dawn of the Cold War after World War II. Paredes, who lived from 1915-1999, was a folklorist, scholar and professor at the University of Texas at Austin who is widely acknowledged as one of the most important Mexican-American scholars of the 20th century. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Nonprofit continues to support students to, and through, college

The transition from high school to college can be a daunting step as it is. Now, as students also face unprecedented obstacles that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to education systems, nonprofit College Scholarship Leadership Access Program, or CSLAP, has been working to support local seniors through the process of college admissions.  Through workshops and mentorship with university students, the Rio Grande Valley-based organization works with high school juniors and seniors to  prepare them for college. Workshops cover a range of topics, including professionalism, campus policy, and budgeting.  The last several months of a school year are integral for seniors to get assistance in getting ready for university life, so CSLAP has been hosting several virtual panels to answer questions they may have. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

First baby of 1998 an Aggie grad

The first baby born in Brownsville in 1998 is now a college graduate.  Valeria Ramos’ father proudly graduated from Texas A&M University College Station in Lubbock in 1985, then her older sister went on to be an Aggie also, graduating in 2016. So, it was not a surprise that Valeria sought Aggieland.  In fact, when Valeria was featured on The Brownsville Herald’s front page on Jan. 2, 1998, J. Noel Espinoza wrote: “Brownsville’s first baby of 1998 may grow up to be a Texas A&M Aggie.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

McAllen native exits troublesome past to author book

McAllen native Israel Hernandez spent his summers in elementary and junior high working in fields as a migrant farm worker. He traveled to farms across the country with his mother.  He picked all kinds of produce: strawberries, blueberries, watermelons. He remembers picking corn one day in Illinois at the age of 13, pausing and telling his mother that he wasn’t going to spend the rest of his life toiling in a field. “I told her, ‘Mom, you know what? I don’t want to do this all my life, I don’t want to do this’’ Hernandez, now 49, said. “And then she told me, ‘OK son, I know, just keep moving forward.’” Read the full story at themonitor.com.