Harlingen Brothers Receive Health Scholarship
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – OCTOBER 30, 2012 – Christian Aldrete and Josue Aldrete went to different high schools in Harlingen but find themselves spending their senior year together at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.
Christian Aldrete, sitting, and Josue Aldrete of Harlingen are seniors majoring in biology. They have received the Brownsville Foundation for Health and Education scholarship for the 2012-13 academic year.
The brothers Christian, 22 and Josue, 19, are both biology majors and recipients of the Brownsville Foundation for Health and Education scholarship for the 2012-13 academic year.
“We save a lot of money with books and the commuting from Harlingen,” said Christian.
The Aldretes enrolled at UTB and TSC in fall 2011. They take the same classes and share textbooks. They also look to each other as group project and study partners.
The brothers began during the fall semester having tutoring sessions three hours a week for microbiology students.
“We both had taken the class,” said Josue. “A lot of people do Biology I and Biology II so we wanted to do something that was not offered before.”
The Aldretes are scheduled to graduate in May and want to go to graduate school to become physician assistants, a workforce expected to have a 30 percent increase up to 2020 according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The two said they were encouraged to pursue the physician assistance field after shadowing a worker during the summer at the university’s Student Health Services.
“It was very good because he did X-rays and we learned how to read EKG’s,” said Josue. “It cemented the fact I wanted to do physicians assistance.”
The Aldretes were born in Guadalajara, Mexico and moved with their family to Harlingen in the mid-1990s.
“Our parents brought us for the schools,” said Christian. “We went to public and government institutions in Mexico. The language was a barrier here and the culture is very different too, like the traditions.”
Christian, a 2008 graduate of Harlingen South High School, has associate degrees in biology and nursing preparatory from Texas State Technical College Harlingen. He works as a full-time laboratory assistant at TSTC along with taking a full class load at UTB and TSC.
Josue was valedictorian in the first graduating class at the Harlingen Early College High School and also earned an associate degree in biology from TSTC Harlingen in spring 2011.
“I was relieved walking into UTB and TSC as a junior,” said Josue. “I had some previous experience as a college student.”
The Aldretes also receive the South Texas Academic Rising Stars scholarship.
“A lot of people don’t think they will get scholarships,” said Christian about the application process. “It’s a form and it’s free to apply. It’s a matter of doing it for your education.”
The brothers are among the 12 UTB and TSC students who have received Brownsville Foundation for Health and Education and South Texas Medical Alliance scholarships. The university’s Office of Health Professions Careers recently announced the recipients.
“Both of these scholarships are merit scholarships,” said Dr. Gustavo Stern, Director of the Office of Health Professions Careers. “They are awarded only to students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievements, commitment, responsibility, altruism and high ethical standards. These scholarships help students cover school expenses such as books, software, computer and other items not covered by other scholarships.”
Other students who received the scholarships include:
Brownsville Foundation for Health and Education:
- Brownsville: Alberto Mata, Julio Ramos, Ravi Thakker and Daniela Naylor, graduates of Hanna High School; Jose Raya, graduate of UTB and TSC Mathematics and Science Academy; Eduardo Ramos, graduate of Rivera High School.
- Harlingen; Jennifer Espinales, graduate of South Texas High School for Health Professions in Mercedes.
- Weslaco: Rubi Garcia, graduate of Weslaco High School.
South Texas Medical Alliance:
- Brownsville: Constanza Burciaga, graduated from high school in Mexico City.
- Port Isabel: Andrea Heier, graduate of UTB and TSC Mathematics and Science Academy.
For more information on the Office of Health Professions Careers call 956-882-5059.