University:The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Hometown:Rio Grande City
Ms. Elizondo is from Rio Grande City, Texas. She was born in the U.S., but was raised in Mexico until the beginning of high school.
Her father worked in agriculture for many years, until he became the chief police in Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Her mother took care of the house and the family. Both stressed the importance of getting a higher education.
However, arriving in the U.S. at the start of high school and not knowing English were major hurdles. She had to be tutored after school, in order to catch up. Despite the added challenge, she completed high school in three years and was admitted to the University of Texas, Pan American.
Her ability to remain in college was suddenly put in jeopardy when her father, who was very dear to her and had been the sole provider of the family, passed away during her sophomore year. She persevered and earned a bachelor’s degree in education, crediting her parents, and later, her husband, for their unwavering support.
Today, she is a teacher and proud of her daughter Alexandra, currently a student at the University of Texas at Austin and the recipient of an HSF Scholarship. Alexandra is studying to become a language teacher and looks forward to helping other Hispanic students achieve their dreams, as she is now doing.
Ms. Elizondo’s advice for students: “Don’t just concentrate in your academics or sports, but also be involved in the community, because a student needs to have a personality that is developed in all aspects…try to give the best you can give, never give up, and never accept being told you cannot…be positive and respect the opinions and ideas of others, even if at times, you don’t agree.”