Texas Border Business
ALAMO–A Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) senior’s essay was recently featured in the January/February 2021 issue of the Texas School Business Magazine.
Since 1954, Texas School Business has published stories for and about Texas educators and the districts they serve. Considered an institution in the world of public education for its insightful writing and positive message, Texas School Business is a staple among school leadership teams across the state.
PSJA Memorial Early College High School Senior Ana Paula Villicana’s essay titled “Words of A Wolverine” was featured in the Student Voices column of the statewide magazine and shared her personal story and educational journey attending PSJA ISD.
“PSJA Memorial Early College High School in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD makes the aspirations of my immigrant parents come to fruition,” Villicana wrote in her essay regarding the PSJA ISD Early College Program. “It goes beyond just educating me with the core subjects but preparing me for life after high school…We have a partnership with South Texas College where we can take courses with actual professors and complete an associate degree before high school graduation.”
Through partnerships with South Texas College and other higher education institutions, more than 3,500 PSJA ISD high school students are enrolled in college courses each semester through the district’s nationally-recognized Early College Program. Despite the pandemic, college courses continued virtually for all students.
“At PSJA ISD we take pride in preparing students for high school and beyond through various innovative programs,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “We congratulate Paula on this and all her accomplishments and commend her for highly representing our school district at this level.”
In addition to the PSJA Early College Program, at PSJA ISD, all high schools are equipped with Go Centers where Financial Aid Advisors are there to assist seniors with the college application process. Once students graduate and go to college, PSJA College Transition Specialists are available to support them and ensure their continued success at the university of their choice. All PSJA ISD students or alumni needing assistance can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.psjaisd.us/collegesuccess. They can also call (956) 354-2089.
“From a disciplined teen with little hope for a degree, to a senior with accepted admission to the best university in Texas, an Associate Degree Interdisciplinary Studies, and the current Valedictorian of the Class of 2021,” wrote Villicana who plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin in fall 2021. “I am proud of who I am, where I come from, and what I’ve achieved.”