State Farm recognition earns UTPA $70,000 grant
Posted: 02/01/2006
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Thanks to its recognition as one of three "State Farm Priority Schools" in the state, The University of Texas-Pan American was the recipient of a $70,000 grant to support the advancement of two campus community outreach programs.

State Farm Insurance, ranked No.19 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies, and the insurer of more cars and homes than any other insurer in North America, presented UTPA with the grant Jan. 9 at the International Trade and Technology Building with University administrators, students, and political and State Farm officials in attendance.

Pictured left to right are Jaime Zapata, State Farm representative from McAllen; Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, state senator (TX-20); Dr. Blandina Cárdenas, UTPA president; Marilyn Lopez, UTPA student and Volunteer Resource Program participant; Ruben Cárdenas, State Farm agent from Weslaco; David Wolfe, lead specialist, State Farms' Education Excellence Support in Texas; Armando "Mando" Martinez, state representative (TX-39); and Dr. Roland S. Arriola, UTPA vice president for External Affairs.
A supporter of higher education initiatives, State Farm awarded the University the grant to help fund Project LeadServ and Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology (HESTEC) Week, two UTPA community outreach programs developed by the Division of External Affairs.

The contribution was made possible through the "State Farm Priority School Program," which recognized UTPA during the 2005-2006 academic year. The honor was based on UTPA's academic performance and its community outreach through HESTEC.

"This program has dedicated State Farm Companies Foundation's resources and support to select colleges and universities appropriately aligned with insurance, actuarial, finance and business schools, and especially in the case of UT Pan American, K-12 education excellence initiatives," David Wolfe, lead specialist, State Farms' Education Excellence Support in Texas, said.

Over the past four years, State Farm Insurance Companies Foundation has contributed $180,000 to UTPA.

"The contribution that we received today will provide support to two critical activities at The University of Texas-Pan American, one of them is Project LeadServ. Project LeadServ is all about working with UTPA's Volunteer Resource Program to emphasize community involvement and community commitment. The second UTPA activity supported through the contribution is HESTEC. HESTEC is an activity that is not only transforming the University, but transforming the community in powerful ways," UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas said.

Project LeadServ works with UTPA's Volunteer Resource Program to promote the importance of community involvement, service learning, and leadership among UTPA students. HESTEC is a year-round leadership program for pre-kinder through high school students to encourage thousands of young Hispanics to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology. This year's HESTEC will be held Sept. 24-Oct. 1 and will celebrate its fifth year anniversary.

Attending the presentation were local State Farm Agent Ruben Cárdenas of Weslaco; State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (TX-20), State Representative Aaron Pena (TX-40), State Representative Armando "Mando" Martinez (TX-39) and Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia.

For more information on Project LeadServ or HESTEC, call 956/381-3361.