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The VAMOS Journey of Education, Philanthropy, and the Luxury of Lexus

Driving Dreams

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In the image, Alonzo Cantu, Chairman of Lone Star National Bank and a key figure behind Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities and Scholarships VAMOS and its mission to provide 4-year scholarships to Valley students, presents José Luis Silva with exquisite goodies. Silva is the fortunate recipient of a splendid, brand-new Lexus. The Lexus waits in the background, poised for its new owner to step in, press the pedal, and drive off into a joyful future. Image Noah Mangum González
In the image, Alonzo Cantu, Chairman of Lone Star National Bank and a key figure behind Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities and Scholarships VAMOS and its mission to provide 4-year scholarships to Valley students, presents José Luis Silva with exquisite goodies. Silva is the fortunate recipient of a splendid, brand-new Lexus. The Lexus waits in the background, poised for its new owner to step in, press the pedal, and drive off into a joyful future. Image Noah Mangum González
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Texas Border Business

In a story that intertwines education, fortune, philanthropy, and the unmatched elegance of Lexus automobiles, the Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities and Scholarships (VAMOS) created a moment of magic in the Rio Grande Valley. This story began with an ordinary act—a simple raffle ticket purchase by José Luis Silva. Yet, what unfolded was anything but ordinary. It was how, sometimes, the stars align to reward the hopeful with more than just good fortune; they give a symbol of luxury, innovation, and sheer driving pleasure—a brand-new Lexus.

The victors grasp the enchanting key to a brand-new Lexus, a prize secured by simply buying a ticket. José Luis Silva is overjoyed with his wise choice to purchase a raffle ticket. Every cent raised from the raffle directly benefits VAMOS. Photo by Noah Mangum González

Lexus, a marque synonymous with excellence, has long been at the forefront of blending sophistication with performance. The car awarded to José Luis Silva was a masterpiece of automotive engineering and luxury that stands as a pinnacle in its class. Its sleek contours and imposing presence command attention on the road, while its cabin offers an oasis of comfort and advanced technology, making every journey an experience to savor.

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This Lexus wasn’t merely a prize but a facilitator for change, a physical representation of the opportunities VAMOS strives to create for students in the Rio Grande Valley. The moment Silva was handed the keys to his new Lexus, it was a celebration of possibility, a reminder that generosity can yield extraordinary results.

All happy. The winners José Luis Silva, Mary de León, Executive Director of Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities and Scholarships (VAMOS), Yoli and Alonzo Cantu. Photo by Noah Mangum González

The story of this Lexus and its new owner became a powerful emblem for the VAMOS initiative. It illustrated the impact of support, how every ticket purchased and dollar donated contributes to a greater cause. This act of giving back did not just end with the glistening luxury car parked in Silva’s driveway; it extended to the life-changing opportunities afforded to many students across the region, thanks to the generous support of the community.

The Lexus, now a symbol of hope and achievement, underscored the essence of the VAMOS mission. It drew the community together, rallying them around the cause of education and the promise of a brighter future for the youth of the Rio Grande Valley.

VAMOS was founded by local business leaders in 1996 in response to the low university graduation rate among students in the Rio Grande Valley. Since its inception, VAMOS has awarded $25 million in scholarships to 1,187 students in Hidalgo, Cameron, and Starr counties. 

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VAMOS awards four-year renewable scholarships to graduating high school seniors and pairs them with mentors who maintain communication and support throughout their college journey. This has proven successful as the graduation rate among VAMOS Scholars is 96 percent, and they attend universities locally, across Texas, and some out of state.   

Ultimately, José Luis Silva’s story and his new Lexus transcended the excitement of winning; it became a narrative of inspiration, showcasing the power of unity, generosity, and the enduring impact of supporting educational opportunities. This Lexus, a symbol of luxury and achievement, now also stands for the dreams and aspirations of countless students fueled by the support of the VAMOS community.

If you require additional information or have any questions, please get in touch with me via e-mail vamosed@vamosscholars.org, or call (956) 800-4085.

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