Best of the Class Head to UST
With the highest grades of their graduating classes, high school valedictorians Paloma Rodriguez, Veronica Coriano and Gina Roberts had a lot of colleges from which to choose. All three students ultimately decided on the Univeristy of St. Thomas because of its strong Catholic tradition and supportive and friendly environment.
Faith and religion were significant influences on Rodriguez’s decision to attend UST. The Mount Carmel High School graduate and future business major has attended Catholic schools since childhood and feels that UST’s religious-based curriculum will help her to grow in her faith and in her career.
“A Catholic education helps you to develop a strong sense of morality and that allows you to make ethical decisions in the business world,” she said.
The Houston native also wanted to remain close to home.
As a resident of Chicago, Coriano is ready to experience a warm climate. After considering the University of Miami and Emory University, the Thornwood High School graduate and future biology major ultimately chose UST because she felt the small size and personal nature of the school would allow her to receive an excellent education while she would still be able to enjoy what Houston has to offer.
“I wanted a close-knit environment but I also wanted to live in a big city. St. Thomas has a community feel but it is still part of a larger city,” Coriano said.
As a Catholic, Coriano said the University’s strong religious tradition was a bonus.
After a spring tour of the UST campus, Gina Roberts knew she wanted to attend. The Aldine High school graduate was impressed by the friendly faculty, staff and students and felt UST would provide her with a familial environment.
“Everyone was so friendly and it seems as though the faculty and staff make it their goal to help you achieve your own goals,” Roberts said.
Involved in the marching band and National Honors Society during high school, Roberts joined the Texas Association of Future Educators, an organization for high school students interested in teaching, in her senior year. She plans to major in education but is also considering business.
Roberts said members of the Italian Cultural Center of Houston, of which her father is a member, always spoke highly of UST, as many are involved with the University.