PSJA ISD Graduates Accepted into Competitive Nursing Programs right after High School

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UTRGV/AM - PSJA ISD seniors in the Project HEAL2 Program will be attending UTRGV and Texas A&M. Pictured from top left: Sandra Gonzalez, UTRGV; Mabel Garza, UTRGV; Rebecca Martinez, UTRGV; Erika Lopez, UTRGV; Carlos Ortiz, Texas A&M University. Pictured bottom left: Machaela Treviño, Texas A&M University; Ximena Cano, UTRGV; Hailey Jasso, UTRGV; Kaelin Cabrera, UTGRV.
UTRGV/AM – PSJA ISD seniors in the Project HEAL2 Program will be attending UTRGV and Texas A&M. Pictured from top left: Sandra Gonzalez, UTRGV; Mabel Garza, UTRGV; Rebecca Martinez, UTRGV; Erika Lopez, UTRGV; Carlos Ortiz, Texas A&M University. Pictured bottom left: Machaela Treviño, Texas A&M University; Ximena Cano, UTRGV; Hailey Jasso, UTRGV; Kaelin Cabrera, UTGRV.

Texas Border Business

PHARR – Seventeen Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) Class of 2019 graduates have been accepted into highly competitive post-secondary nursing programs at Texas A&M University, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), and South Texas College (STC) right after graduating from high school. The students were part of the second cohort of the Project Health Education and Leadership for All Project or Project Heal2, a collaborative partnership between the Region One Education Service, PSJA ISD, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, South Texas ISD and La Joya ISD, which provides nursing preparation and coursework for students interested in the field. 

First launched in 2017, the initiative is possible thanks to a $3 million Investing in Innovation grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Through Project Heal2, participating school districts were given the opportunity to enroll students in first-year college pre-requisite courses through South Texas College.  These courses allowed them to pursue the path towards earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) at South Texas College or a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at UTRGV/Texas A&M University, as they earned their high school diploma.   


Some of the recent graduates pictured at the PSJA ISD School Board Meeting held May 27.
Some of the recent graduates pictured at the PSJA ISD School Board Meeting held May 27.

“Through these efforts, we are creating a pipeline of nurses to address the shortage that we have in this area,” said Stella Sanchez, PSJA College for All & Project Heal2 Director. “This is a great opportunity for our students. We are very proud of our seniors for getting admitted into post-secondary programs.” 

These 17 PSJA ISD seniors will now start a two-year nursing program at their respective colleges and universities this fall and spring in order to become registered nurses. All seniors graduated with Associate Degrees from South Texas College a week before receiving their high school diploma.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this program,” said Carlos Ortiz who got accepted into Texas A&M University College Station Bachelors of Nursing Program. “Thank you to my parents and PSJA for all the opportunities they provided us with.” 

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The 17 seniors in the second PSJA Project Heal2 cohort are as follows: 

Texas A&M University College Station Bachelor’s in Nursing Program 

  • Carlos Ortiz, PSJA T. Jefferson T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • Machaela Treviño, PSJA Memorial ECHS 

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Bachelor’s in Nursing Program 

  • Kaelin Cabrera, PSJA T. Jefferson T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • Sandra Gonzalez, PSJA T. Jefferson T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • Hailey Jasso, PSJA T. Jefferson T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • Erika Lopez, PSJA T. Jefferson T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • Rebecca Martinez, PSJA T. Jefferson T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • Mabel Garza, PSJA T. Jefferson T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • Ximena Cano, PSJA North ECHS 
  • Kaycee Garza, PSJA ECHS

South Texas College Associate of Nursing Program 

  • David Cazares, PSJA T. Jefferson T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • Jessica Treviño, PSJA Early College High School 
  • Victoria Molina, PSJA T. Jefferson T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • Megan Perez, PSJA T. Jefferson T. Jefferson T-STEM ECHS 
  • Amber Perez, PSJA Memorial ECHS
  • Nina Kudo, PSJA North ECHS
  • Larissa Garibay, PSJA North ECHS

Due to their tremendous accomplishment, the seniors were recently recognized at a City of Pharr Commission Meeting held May 23, and by the PSJA School Board of Trustees during a regularly scheduled Board Meeting held May 27. 

Congratulations! 

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