Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Texas A&M-Kingsville to host Ready to Lead for ninth, tenth graders

KINGSVILLE - November 05, 2010

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) has chosen Texas A&M University-Kingsville to be the site of their next Ready to Lead (R2L) program scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20. This program is normally held in large cities with a high Latino population like Chicago, Los Angeles or San Antonio. This is the first time it has been held in a rural community like Kingsville.

Students from South Texas high schools that are participants in the university’s Educational Talent Search and dual credit enrollment courses have been asked to take part in R2L including Odem, Calallen, Banquete, Mathis, Ben Bolt, Robstown, Riviera, Falfurrias, Premont, Bishop, Alice, San Diego, Benavides and H.M. King and Academy High Schools in Kingsville.

 “It is a real honor to have the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute coming to our university,” said Dr. Steven Tallant, university president. “This is the first time they have chosen to come to a rural area and they picked South Texas.”

 “The program itself is designed to start talking to students about college in high school at an earlier age,” said Manuel Lujan, vice president for enrollment management. “This is a very good activity for students and parents that are pursuing their dream of attending college. It shows that the dream is real, that it is possible.

“Programs like these show students and parents that help is out there in terms of financial aid and other academic support to help them succeed in college,” he said.

 The keynote speaker will be retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, a native of Rio Grande City and a Distinguished Military graduate of Texas A&I University.

 R2L is an intensive one-day program that provides Latino students with the tools and training they need to prepare for college.

The program agenda includes college planning and financial aid sessions provided by staff at Texas A&M-Kingsville and a leadership session conducted by the CHCI staff. Students attend concurrent workshops at various times during the day so they can attend all three.

 Another part of the program that is helpful to the students is the Mentoring Power Hour during which Latinos who have already been through college and who have embarked on successful careers will talk to the students, relating their stories. Faculty and staff from A&M-Kingsville as well as Kingsville community members will act as mentors.

The CHCI provides the participants interaction with CHCI alumni who serve as role models and provide peer-to-peer interaction with students. They receive a copy of the National Directory of Scholarships, Internships and Fellowships for Latino Students, and copies of CHCI’s Student Educational Resources which includes a Pre-College Planning Checklist, College Preparatory Tool Kit and the Guide to Planning for Financial Aid and Scholarships. All of these publications were created by CHCI in partnership with State Farm Insurance Companies.

The program aims to increase student awareness about courses and extracurricular activities that will support a strong college application, provide confidence that students can easily access financial aid resources, increase students’ belief that they are better equipped to take leadership roles in their schools and communities and have students express a commitment to graduating from high school, a positive attitude about going to college and an understanding of the personal and financial benefits of attending college.

For more information about this program, call 361-593-3907.

About Keynote Speaker Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (Ret.)

Sanchez was commissioned a second lieutenant of armor in the Regular Army in 1973. He has served in many positions within the armed forces. In 2003, Sanchez was selected by the Javelina Alumni Association as one of Texas A&M-Kingsville’s Distinguished Alumni.

He commanded the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor, 197th Infantry Brigade, Fort Benning, Ga. He served as an investigator in the office of the U.S. Army Inspector General in Washington and then as commander of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan. He served as deputy chief of staff of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami and later as that command’s director of operations. Sanchez later served as the assistant division commander for support for the 1st Infantry Division, followed by an assignment as the deputy chief staff, operations at Headquarters, United States Army Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. On July 10, 2001, he became commanding general of V Corps’ 1st Armored Division.

In 2003, following his nomination to Lieutenant General, he assumed command in Baghdad, Iraq, of the Army’s Fifth Corps and at the same time, became commander of Combined Joint Task Force 7, responsible for one of the largest combat forces deployed in U.S. military history. During this command, he led the coalition military mission in support of the Coalition Provisional Authority who was responsible for restoring and reconstructing Iraq’s infrastructure and security forces. This allowed the interim Iraqi government to re-establish sovereignty in June 2004. Upon the reorganization of command and control structures in Iraq, he commanded Headquarters, Multi-National forces until July 2006. He returned to Germany where he continued as V Corps commanding general until September 2006. He retired after 33 years in November 2006 as the longest serving commander in V Corp history. He was the highest-ranking Hispanic in the Army upon his retirement.

Sanchez’ professional education includes the Armor Officer basic and advances courses, the Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and history from Texas A&I University and a master’s degree in operations research and systems analysis engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

The general’s awards and badges include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device and oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal with two service stars, the Southwest Asia Campaign Medal, the Liberation of Kuwait Medals (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait), the NATO medal and the Master Parachutist Badge.


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