Texas Border Business
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Priscilla Leyva, like many, was looking for the American dream. Texas Southmost College was her first step in that direction.
Born in Valle Hermoso, Mexico, but raised in Brownsville, her parents always instilled in her the ambition to find a career that would offer her great pay, but most importantly, opportunities.
“They always told me to find a career that I could not get in Mexico,” said the 22-year-old. “That sent me into research mode, and when I found architecture and how it could challenge me, I knew that’s what I needed to do.”
While doing her research she found that TSC offered an architecture program, the only one south of San Antonio. Even though she is now an architecture student at Texas Tech University, she said it was her time and instructors at TSC that shaped her.
“I had so much help at TSC, and I’m thankful because it was not an easy transition for me,” said Leyva. “I was alone, and working through the stigma of being at a community college while my sisters and friends were at universities. But looking back now it was the best decision I could have made.”
Leyva said she realized a number of things while at TSC, such as the workload she experienced was just as challenging, if not more than at a university, how to take college at her own pace and how a college experience is what a student makes of it.
She describes her experiences as invaluable.
“I learned things at TSC that they don’t even teach where I am at,” she said. “This has put me ahead of the game, and because I always had the support and encouragement from faculty and staff at TSC, I was able to be active on campus and be more than ready to journey into a four-year university.”
Now with only one year left until she earns a bachelor’s degree in Architecture, she is excelling in her studies, and even being considered for a teaching assistant or tutor position because of the knowledge she gained at TSC.
“It feels great being able to help other students, and I also hope to inspire other young girls and women to venture into science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM) careers because the industry needs us,” she said. “It’s not as scary as most imagine it to be. In fact, there’s nothing to fear.”
Leyva said she hopes to return to the Rio Grande Valley after she graduates to open an architecture firm with some of her closest classmates.
“We want to collaborate and join forces to build and enhance the Valley community,” said Leyva. “We want to create and innovate new landscapes that are eco-friendly. The Valley has a lot of potential.”
She also hopes to eventually earn a master’s degree and return to TSC as an architecture instructor to give back to the college she said gave her so much.
For more information about TSC’s Architecture program, visit tsc.edu.
Registration for Summer and Fall 2020 begins April 1.