The RGV Familia leadership team includes UT staff, our graduate assistant, and student officers.
Hello! My name is Ilse Colchado and I am Program Cooridinator for RGV Familia under the Longhorn Center for Academic Equity, under the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. I’m from Laredo, Texas. I know, not the Valley but my heart is purly 956 material! As a first-gen student, I never imagined being in the place that I am in now. That’s what UT is, a place of opportunity and as they say, what starts here, changes the world. Love being from the 956 and we hope that RGV Familia their home away from home. Hook ‘em!
Hello, my name is Veronica Pecero and I am Associate Director for Access and Inclusion in the Office of Admissions. I am a first-generation graduate and proud Texas Ex! Through my work in admissions, I have had the privilege of frequently visiting the Rio Grande Valley to host events throughout the region for prospective and admitted RGV students. The RGV has become one of my favorite places to visit because of the wonderful students and families I have met and the sense of familia I always feel when I am there. I am excited to be part of this new initiative to continue to recruit and support our Valley students. Hook ‘em!
Hello! My name is David Garcia and I am the Director of The University of Texas at Austin Valley Admissions Center. For over 10 years I have worked to recruit amazing students from the Rio Grande Valley to UT Austin. Through my work in Admissions, I have witnessed countless Valley students attend UT Austin and accomplish their goals while representing the Valley with pride! I know how special the Rio Grande Valley is and I am honored to be a part of the RGV Familia initiative and not just assist RGV students achieve their goal of attending UT Austin but also thrive as a student on our amazing campus!
My name is Roxanna Sanchez. I’m a first-year Information Studies grad student from McAllen, TX! Being a GA for LILI and RGV Familia has been a wonderful experience so far. Not only do I have the opportunity to empower young Latinx students, but I’m able to create a safe, inclusive environment that I would have loved to have been a part of as an undergraduate student at UT.
As an RGV native, I’m always looking for ways to connect to my hometown and border culture! Fun fact, my favorite part of the RGV is Delia’s Tamales. They’re better than my grandma’s tamales, but you didn’t hear that from me!
Hi! My name is Hayley Baker and I am the co-president for RGV Familia this year! I am a third-year psychology major pursuing a forensic science certificate as well as partaking in the liberal arts honors program. Coming all the way from Brownsville, Texas during the pandemic in the fall of 2020, I struggled to adjust my life to living in Austin. When I joined RGV Familia, I felt welcomed and met many other students that are from the valley and have the same experiences as me. I felt connected to my culture and hometown even 300 miles apart. I am involved in RGV Familia to help bring valley students together in this very large city and huge campus. My goal is to help other valley students feel like they have that place that’s a home away from home. One thing that I love most about RGV Familia is the friendships created through this organization. I am always available as your mentor, friend, and familia. Can’t wait to meet y’all! Hook ‘em!
Hey everyone! My name is Rodrigo Roman and I am Co-President of RGV Familia. I am a Junior, double majoring in Economics and Government with a minor in Business. I am orginally from Mission, TX. I am invovled in RGV Familia because being able to share the Valley’s culture and show off the amazing people that are from there to UT fills me with pride. My facorite part of RGV Familia is meeting new people and hearing their stories!
Hi everyone, my name is Karen Alexa Ramos! I am the Vice President of RGV Familia! I am a Sophomore in Neuroscience. I am also from Brownsville, Texas (next to South Padre Island). I am involved in RGV Familia because it was the only thing that made me feel closer to home. What I love most about RGV is how we are all a family. We do nothing but laugh together.
Hello! My name is Christian Morales. I am a Sophomore, majoring in Government. I am orignally from Brownsville, Texas. I am involved with RGV familia because I wanted to be part of a community that represents a minority of the students at UT. What I love most about RGV family is the sense of unity and family that’s prevalent within the Hispanic community!
My name is Valeria Hernandez, and I am a 4th year aerospace engineering major. I am from Houston, Texas, I am the only member so far not to be from the Valley, but similar to y’all I share some of the same experiences. I got involved in RGV Familia about over a year ago, and I loved the space that was created they made me feel included and I genuinely felt like I found people just like me. I love the people I have met, and the memories I have with the organization.
Hello Everyone, my name is Bella Anita Vargas I am the Digital Media Chair of RGV Familia. I am a first-year graduate student from Brownsville, Texas majoring in Social Work in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. I adopted many things from my social work courses such as how to be compassionate and caring towards others, how to set and reach my goals, as well as how to be a hard worker. My own personal background has made me an effective helping person. Coming from a small border town to attend a large diverse university was a cultural shock.
I wanted to give back to the college community, to make the transition into college easier for incoming students and helped found the organization RGV Familia. I want to ensure that the program help students overcome their challenges knowing they have the support they need to make the leap to apply and be successful in college. Overtime you will learn to gain appreciation of the diversity from our university while having a large support system of students from The Rio Grande Valley.
Hello everyone! My name is Mario Guerra, I am currently a Junior here at UT studying Management on a consulting and change management track, along with an additional major in Economics. I am from Weslaco, Texas! I have been with RGV Familia since my freshman year and joined the officer team because I wanted to be part of the leadership team that helps RGV students at UT get a taste from home on campus.
Hello everyone, my name is Victoria Molina! I am Junior studying Nursing. I am from Mission, Texas. I’m happy to be a part of RGV familia as we continue building our own home away from home that allows other students to feel like they belong here at UT :’)
I love how RGV Familia incorporates traditions we celebrate back in the valley along with always having the best food!