Starr County trustee seeks to advocate for the interests of community colleges and Latino students nationwide
Texas Border Business
McAllen, TX – South Texas College trustee, representing Starr County, Rose Benavidez has been elected to serve as the
Benavidez looks ahead to her continued role with the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) as the Board of Directors’ first Latina to serve in the executive committee, representing the Western Region that includes the Rio Grande Valley and the state of Texas.
Trustee Benavidez follows in the footsteps of her father, the late Manuel Benavidez, who as a founding STC trustee served as chair of ACCT’s Diversity Committee and received the ACCT Lifetime Membership Award for exemplary leadership in 2005.
Benavidez was first elected to the Board of ACCT in 2017 representing the ACCT’s Western Region, and like her father is also a former Chair of its Board Diversity Committee. She also currently serves as the Vice-President of the Association of Latino Community College Trustees.
“As a native of Starr County and President of the Starr County Industrial Foundation, I have witnessed the challenges involved in overcoming high unemployment and poverty levels,” Benavidez said. “To that end and motivated by the power of education and the spirit of public service, I have worked to reduce many of these obstacles by dedicating my professional career to developing the local economy, improving access to education and creating job opportunities.
“I am honored to be a voice for those in our minority communities that often face a lifetime of disadvantage, and help maintain the shared effort of offering them an accessible lifeline to achievement,” Benavidez said.
ACCT is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. Located in Washington, D.C., ACCT is a major voice of community college trustees reaching the President of the United States, U.S. Congress, and the Departments of Education and Labor.
The organization educates community and technical college trustees through annual conferences focused on leadership development and advocacy, as well as through publications and online and face-to-face institutes and seminars.
“South Texas College is honored to continue to have a voice on a very prestigious Board of Directors that advocates for the unique demands and needs of our students and Latino community,” said STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed. “I believe the Board will truly benefit through Trustee Benavidez’s vision, which has been evident by her tireless efforts to improve communities in Starr County and the region.”
Benavidez is currently serving her second full term as the Vice Chair on STC’s Board of Trustees, which represents seven districts in Hidalgo and Starr Counties.
Trustee Benavidez has served on the board for Starr County since November 2009. Her constituents have recognized her as a tireless advocate for Starr as she was re-elected to a second term in May 2012 and then a third term in May 2018.
She chaired the Board during its November 2013 Bond and Maintenance Tax Election, and through her constituents in Starr County and their strong support, were instrumental in seeing the bond and the maintenance tax increase approved.
In her working life, she currently serves as President of the Starr County Industrial Foundation, a non-profit organization founded and supported by local government and business leaders committed to developing the local economy.