EDINBURG – Hidalgo County 449th District Court Judge Renee Rodriguez-Betancourt was selected as the National Association of Social Workers (NLIC) Public Elected Official of the Year for the Texas/Lower Rio Grande Valley Area.

Born and raised in Edinburg, Judge Betancourt was named the youngest District Court Judge in the State, according to the Texas Judicial Branch, after taking the bench on January 1, 2017.

During her first term on the bench, Judge Betancourt’s determined efforts were focused on helping to improve how to best serve and rehabilitate our youth of today while always considering the safety of the public.

Some of her most prominent recognitions include receiving the RGV Hispanic Chambers of Commerce - Women of Distinction Rising Star Award in 2018, being elected as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation in 2018, receiving the 2019 Young Outstanding Texas Ex Award from the University of Texas at Austin and was also presented with the 2019 Boys & Girls Club Child & Adolescent Mental Health Advocate Award.

The National Association of Social Workers seeks to identify and recruit into leadership positions members of NASW who are committed to advocating for social workers, advancing the profession of social work, and promoting sound public policy.

Coming from a career of juvenile work, Betancourt has immersed herself in social services aimed to assist juveniles and their families, by bringing justice as she works closely to assist and strengthen their paths.

“I am deeply humbled to receive this recognition from such a great organization,” said Betancourt. “Working with young people is my passion.” “I strongly believe that the significant role a social worker plays in each child’s life is a true testament of their success.” “I have come to recognize and admire the village it takes to help one child prosper.”

Judge Betancourt will be recognized by the NLIC at a virtual award ceremony in June.