loader image
- Advertisement -

Thursday, June 20, 2024
81.1 F
McAllen
- Advertisement -

STC Gave Graduate, Staff Member a Second Chance at Life

Translate text to Spanish or other 102 languages!

- Advertisement -
: Benigno “Benny” Layton got his second chance at a better future at South Texas College, as both a student, now graduate, and beloved staff member, and as he’ll have you believe, “the college saved his life.” STC Image
Benigno “Benny” Layton got his second chance at a better future at South Texas College, as both a student, now graduate, and beloved staff member, and as he’ll have you believe, “the college saved his life.” STC Image
- Advertisement -

By Amanda Sotelo

Benigno “Benny” Layton got his second chance at a better future at South Texas College, as both a student, now graduate, and beloved staff member, and as he’ll have you believe, “the college saved his life.” 

“If not for STC, I would either be in jail or dead,” said the 48-year-old. “I had a good life, until I didn’t. One day it just all went away, and I was lost.”

- Advertisement -

In 2006, Layton was laid off from his long-time job with the Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District. Then in 2007, along with his sister, he opened an adult day care, and while everything appeared fine, behind closed doors, Layton was fighting a battle. 

“I was losing my marriage…I was being told I was a loser, dirt bag and a no-good nobody, pretty much. It really started taking a toll,” he said. “And after our business shut down, it escalated.”

On the brink of a failed marriage, unemployment, the passing of his father and drastic chaos, as he called it, Layton knew he had to change his life, so he registered at STC, applied for financial aid and set out on a path to prove his naysayers wrong.

Upon further research, he also discovered that if he was employed at STC, he could get an employee tuition reduction and he went for it. 

- Advertisement -

Piggybacking off his experience of audio, sound and electronic work with his late father’s group, Los Laytons, he applied with STC’s Education Technology department. 

“My dad is always with me, but he was certainly with me the day of my interview,” said Layton. “As soon as I walked into the room, people began to tell me they knew my father. He was the voice of the La Maquina Amarilla, for Edcouch-Elsa football games and well-known. I felt like I fit right in. I owe that to my dad.” 

Now, five years later, Layton is a recent graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and most recently, achieved a promotion with a significant pay raise, and is now the college’s special events/event production technician II. 

“It’s amazing what an education can do and the doors it opens,” he said. “I am proof that you can turn your life around. I feel like I’m a better person for my experiences and that I have proven myself to those who never believed in me. This is only the beginning.”

Layton aspires to achieve a master’s degree and a doctorate degree, he said the sky’s the limit, while also following in his father’s legacy as the new voice for La Maquina Amarilla, as the hype man for STC commencement and other special events and as a musician recently establishing Layton Recording Studios.

At Layton Recording Studios, he invites regional groups to record their songs, he writes his own music, with hopes that someone records his songs someday and teaches lessons in drums, guitar, bass and accordion. 

“I was raised around Tejano and Conjunto music, but it’s the truth in country music that moves me,” said Layton. “I just finished a new song and I hope to someday be recognized as a songwriter also. That’s my dream, to have someone record my songs.”

Layton said overall, his goal is to be a motivator for others. Through his work, he wants others to feel like nothing is impossible. 

 “I have had so much time to reflect on my life and how I have been able to rise from nothing,” he said. “I am humbled, and I am grateful to God, my dad, my family and STC for helping me get to where I am today. My voice is finally being heard and that’s thanks to STC, and I will never forget to tell its story and how it changed my life.” 

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -