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EDINBURG, Texas —On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector Border Patrol hosted the Youth of the Year Scholarship Ceremony for the 2021-2022 school year. For 25 years, 63 high schools in the Rio Grande Valley have nominated a graduating senior to represent their high school as the “Head of the Class.” Students are nominated for this award based on their exemplary academic achievements, community service, and drug free lifestyle.  

The distinguished students received a $1,500 scholarship towards post-secondary education. The scholarships are possible through the partnership and generosity of several RGV businesses, including RGV Partnership Foundation, International Bank of Commerce (IBC), Region One Education Service Center , RGV Buick GMC Dealers, and the Shah Eye Center.

In addition to contributing to the Youth of the Year scholarship, Shah Eye Center also donated a free eye corrective surgery, as part of their Visionary Award to a deserving educator.  The 2022 winner, Lindsey Zimmerman, was nominated by her colleagues for her dedicated commitment to her students and school.

The master of ceremonies for this year’s event was KVEO anchor Sydney Hernandez. The guest speaker was South Texas Health System CEO Lance Ames who shared an inspiring account of personal challenges and triumphs. Mr. Ames’ speech was focused on personal growth, the importance of education, perseverance, and thinking beyond your perceived limits. RGV Sector Acting Division Chief of Operations ((A)DC) Jorge L. Gonzalez addressed the eight “Youth of the Year” honorees, school representatives, and families in attendance. The students received special recognition from Senators John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, and Congressman Henry Cuellar.  (A)DC Gonzalez congratulated the students on their outstanding academic achievements, service to community, and encouraged them all to reach for their academic goals. 

Youth of the Year Scholarship Recipients:

Alejandro Ballesteros – Edinburg North High School

Aliyah Cantu – Raymondville Early College High School

Daniela Herbert – Juarez-Lincoln High School

Emily Lara – Progreso Early College High School

Jacqueline Ochoa – Edinburg High School

Alexia Serrata – Veterans Memorial Early College High School

Sophia Silva – Sharyland High School

Victoria Velasquez – Lasara High School

Please visit to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection.  Follow us on Twitter @CBPRGV and @USBPChiefRGV.


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