Student Life




Valton Stinson II originally from the small town of Chester, South Carolina, used sports as a vehicle to get an education and to see the world. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology From Texas A&M Kingsville. After college, Val went on to chase his dream of playing professional football. Three years after chasing his dream Val found himself at a turning point where Val discovered himself at a crossroad and starting a new chapter and journey in life—returning to his alma to obtain his Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling. Val is currently project director for the Upward Bound program by day; he also the founder/executive director of Soulful Solution Counseling and South Texas Recovery. Val comes with ten years of experience in Post-Secondary Education and eight years as a clinical chemical dependency counselor. Val enjoys paying it forward by helping others lifting themselves to maximize their full potential.

OCTOBER 22, 2020



Emmanuel Kavumbi is a keynote/motivational speaker. He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Global Center for Professional Development and Excellence (GCPDE), which he launched in April 2012. The main purpose of GCPDE is to deliver a message of "Success through Motivation" to middle schools, high schools, community colleges, universities and professional settings like companies/corporations geared by the agency's commitment to professional development and excellence. 

NOVEMBER 12, 2020



Rosaura “Wawi” Tijerina is a native Laredoan who grew up in a very humble, low income environment. She was the second oldest of eight children. Throughout her life, Wawi’s parents, Bonifacio and Lois Palacios set an example of faith, love and humility. From an early age, centered on the strong faith in God that her parents instilled in her, Wawi learned to be grateful for all her blessings and to help those less fortunate than her. Through hard work and perseverance, and despite the financial struggles her family faced, she graduated from Martin High School and attended Laredo Community College, Southwest Texas State University and Texas Southern University. She obtained her Doctor of Jurisprudence in May, 1985 and has been practicing law for over 25 years. Wawi currently serves as Webb County Commissioner for Precinct Two (2). She was first elected to the Commissioners Court in November 2006 and took office in January of 2007. Today, she is serving in her Fourth consecutive term. The longest sitting Commissioner in the history of Webb County. Precinct Two encompasses the largest rural area of Webb County, including the townships of Oilton and Bruni, Texas. Wawi worked as a Criminal Justice Professor at Laredo Community College for approximately 15 yrs., where she taught academics as well as at the Regional Police Academy. She served as Municipal Court Judge for the City of Laredo for 4 yrs. She is actively involved in her church as well as numerous civic and non-profit organizations. Wawi is passionate about public service and community involvement. She is committed to improving the quality of life and economic growth, not only for the citizens of Precinct 2, but for all of Webb County. Wawi is married to Omar Tijerina and they have a son, Omar Tijerina, Jr. and daughter by marriage, Jamie Tijerina.

FEBRUARY 25, 2021

2:00 PM


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Hoan Do is an award-winning inspirational speaker, author of Succeeding in the Real World, and city finalist in NBC’s hit show, American Ninja Warrior.


From an early age, Hoan was conscious of the sacrifices his parents had made in their escape to the United States during the Vietnam War- in pursuit of the American Dream. Feeling indebted to his parents for their courageous pursuit of a better life, Hoan vowed to ensure that one day, he would be able to take care of his parents. Hoan’s hard work took him to Malibu, California, where he attended Pepperdine University, fully engaging in the academic rigor and array of opportunities that the school offered.


With the tremendous pressure Hoan placed on himself, in addition to the stresses of demanding classes, extracurricular responsibilities, and important life decisions, Hoan found himself overwhelmed. His self-esteem reached an all- time low. He even contemplated suicide. Refusing to settle and give up on life, Hoan used this experience as a turning point to learn the practical skills that was necessary to succeed in school and in life.

After graduating from Pepperdine University, Hoan beat out candidates who were considerably older and vastly more experienced than him to work with the #1 personal development company in the world. As a national speaker and corporate trainer, Hoan conducted training sessions for distinguished audiences that included: 21, Bank of America, Honda, Toyota, UBS Financial, Chambers of Commerce, and the U.S. Army.


March 25, 2021

2:00 PM

Martha Hernández is the founder and CEO of madeBOS, Inc., a career pathing talent app. Martha made a bold move and quit her job as an Executive of Talent to invest all her time into madeBOS.com. Martha is an Oakland and Chavinda, Michoacan native.

Martha received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Spanish Literature from Occidental College. She later became a graduate of Mills College Institute for Civic Leadership Program, as well as Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs. Most recently, Martha completed an AI Business Strategy certification from MIT.

Martha recently became a best-selling author. Her book “I Have What it Takes” now at Target, Amazon, and Barns & Noble is a combination of stories and principles aimed at igniting underrepresented and underresourced talent’s natural leadership. Martha is a boxing trainee and a talented singer and songwriter. Known as Martha Soledad, she released her first album “Prefiero Mandar en Falda” featuring her own corrido to inspire political action on gender equity and inclusion.

APRIL 15, 2021
2:00 PM