The National Hispanic Professional Organization – RGV Chapter will be hosting their 2017 Boots and Baubles Scholarship Gala on Saturday, October 14, at Alyssa’s Acres, 1711 E. Mile 2 Rd in Mission from 6:30pm to 12:00am. This year's gala will highlight the Continued Education Scholarship recipients through our UTRGV endowment fund. The night will be filled with great food, a live DJ, dancing, a silent auction and some of our very own community leaders speaking on the importance of education. Gentlemen, starch those jeans and shine those boots. Ladies, get your best baubles ready.

Ruben Hinojosa, serving as U.S. Congressman representing the Texas's 15th congressional district from 1997 to 2017, has been invited as the guest speaker for this year’s scholarship gala.

Congressman Hinojosa's lifetime commitment to education on the local, regional, state and federal levels has created opportunities for all students to pursue higher education. His Education Committee assignment, as well as his appointment to chair the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Education Task Force, were critical to the success of his first major legislative initiative entitled "The Higher Education for the 21st Century Act." This bill secured an increased authorized funding level of $69 million for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs); enhanced visibility of HSIs within the Higher Education Act; relaxed the restrictions for institutional eligibility for HSI designation; and improved the ways and financial means by which HSIs strengthen curriculum development, academic instruction, mentoring, and college libraries.

Hinojosa, is also the cofounder of the Hispanic Engineering, Science, and Technology (HESTEC) Week along with Dr. Miguel Nevárez, then president of UTRGV legacy institution at The University of Texas-Pan American. HESTEC Week is a nationally recognized model for promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers to students of all ages. Now in its 16th year, the program has been recognized as a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Born in Edcouch, Congressman Hinojosa attended Mercedes High School and earned a BBA and MBA from the University of Texas in Austin and in Edinburg, respectively. He is married to Martha Lopez Hinojosa and has five children.

The National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO) is a networking, nonprofit membership-based organization that provides a myriad of educational seminars as well as recreational and community events to foster and promote self-improvement, professional advancement and personal achievement. NHPO’s mission is to provide its members with professional and business development, career opportunities and leadership training.

For sponsorship or individual tickets, please contact Board Chair, Jessica Pruneda, at nhpo.rgv.chapter@gmail.com.