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Local Restaurant Owners Provide $25k in Scholarships to STC Culinary Art Students

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Sony and Albert Rego, owners of Santa Fe Steakhouse, University Draft House and Republic of the Rio Grande, presented STC’s Culinary Arts department with a $25,000 donation that will go toward helping students with tuition, books and other school-related expenses. STC Image
Sony and Albert Rego, owners of Santa Fe Steakhouse, University Draft House and Republic of the Rio Grande, presented STC’s Culinary Arts department with a $25,000 donation that will go toward helping students with tuition, books and other school-related expenses. STC Image
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By Amanda Sotelo

At least 25 students in the Culinary Arts program at South Texas College will be receiving $1,000 scholarships thanks to the Santa Fe Foundation, a charitable trust started by successful restauranteurs Sony and Albert Rego.

Recently, in a check signing, the Regos, owners of Santa Fe Steakhouse, University Draft House and Republic of the Rio Grande, presented STC’s Culinary Arts department with a $25,000 donation that will go toward helping students with tuition, books and other school-related expenses.

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“This is an exciting announcement for our STC Foundation and our Culinary Arts department,” said Rodney Rodriguez, Ph.D., vice president of Institutional Advancement and Economic Development. “We’ve been working hard with our regional, state and national partners to bring more resources to our students here at STC, and through the leadership of President Dr. Ricardo Solis, our board of trustees and Foundation Board, this has come to fruition.

Annually, the Santa Fe Foundation hosts its Santa Fe Steakhouse Wine Classic which benefits the foundation’s education initiatives in helping to prepare students to compete on a global scale with a wide range of initiatives such as workforce readiness, internships, mentoring opportunities and scholarships.

STC Culinary Arts students also participated in this year’s event, providing a spread of hand-made desserts to those in attendance.

“We are so happy that STC provides a program like this for students like you, who are interested in this industry,” said Albert. “If only there was a school like this that could have helped us and given us a head start when Sony and I first started in the business; it would have made all the difference. To know that this blessed opportunity is here is invaluable and it’s an honor to be able to serve these students, help them succeed and be part of this history.”

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Sony shares Albert’s sentiments and said, “This industry in our region is growing fast and when I saw STC’s Culinary student participating in the wine classic and sharing their works of art it made me happy. I’m proud to be able to support this program, it’s very close to my heart.”

STC President Ricardo J. Solis, Ph.D., expressed his appreciation to philanthropists, like Sony and Albert, for their dedication to STC’s programming and students.

“Sony and Albert are pillars in the community,” he said. “They have given our students in the Culinary Arts a great opportunity with these scholarships. They are ensuring that our students get the education they need to join a fast-growing industry. We are grateful for their generosity and for their support. This is a momentous occasion.”

STC’s Culinary Arts program offers certificates in the areas of baking and cooking, a Culinary Arts Associate of Applied Science degree and associate degrees with specializations in baking and pastry arts and restaurant management.

Certificate and associate degree programs within Culinary Arts can be completed in two to six semesters and include a capstone course in which students train at high-end restaurants and bakeries across the Valley to hone their skills and get real-world experience.

STC’s Culinary Arts program also recently opened a new kitchen and labs at STC’s Mid-Valley campus to expand its reach throughout the entire Rio Grande Valley.  

For more information on STC’s Culinary Arts program, visit southtexascollege.edu.

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