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Students Motivate Others at Hispanic Forum

Two University of St. Thomas student leaders joined Houston Independent School District and the Houston Hispanic Forum at the 28th Annual Career and Education Day. The career day took place on Feb. 8, 2014 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.

Juniors Armando Martinez and Priya Bhalla, both Resident Assistants with the Office of Residence Life, shared their college transition story at a career and education panel led by former director of residence life Yolanda Norman. Norman currently works as the manager for College Readiness at Houston Independent School District.

“I was so impressed with their passion for motivating others to get their education and their willingness to even follow up with participants as they prepare for college,” Norman said.

Martinez, a finance and economics joint major and first-generation student shared his experience as the first person in his family to go to college. Bhalla, a pre-med major, focused her story on moving to America and experiencing a more open education system.

“Speaking at the National Hispanic Forum was a great learning experience,” Bhalla said. “From listening to someone closer to [the students’] age, I think it helped to know that there are opportunities for them to experience college firsthand. Coming from another country and not knowing even the process of applying to college was difficult, but I had my parents and my educators in high school motivating me— I just hope to have done that for someone there!”

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The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston’s only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947.


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