McAllen Medical Center Foundation made a $25,000 donation to The University of Texas-Pan American and Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities and Scholarships (VAMOS) Program Tuesday, Feb. 25 as part of an ongoing educational partnership with far reaching implications.
VAMOS will match the funds for a total of $50,000 that UTPA officials say will help 20 students from South Texas Community College get four-year degrees.
"We're building a bridge, putting our resources together so these students can continue their education," said UTPA President Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez. "These funds will not only help the students but they will also help the community...and in turn help improve our quality of life."
The McAllen Medical Center Foundation has made a long term commitment to helping local students - especially underprivileged Hispanic students - achieve their dreams and goals. The Foundation has promised to donate a total of $150,000 over a ten-year period - money designated for future scholarships.
"Having the University and having this partnership, that's what we're all about," said McAllen Medical Center CEO/Managing Director Louis O. Garcia. "We're about giving back to our community. We enjoy being good corporate citizens."
Liliana Fernandez, a senior in social work who is attending UTPA on a VAMOS scholarship, said the hospital foundation's generosity allowed her to get an education and maintain a high grade point average.
"It allows you to concentrate on your studies instead of worrying over money and how you're going to make ends meet," Fernandez said. "Without the scholarship it would have been hard for me and it would have been very difficult for my parents."
The McAllen Medical Center Foundation has given half a million dollars to educational facilities in Hidalgo County over the past seven years. The Foundation has to date contributed a total of $75,000 to the VAMOS program.