Rubén Hinojosa

Former Member U.S. Congress, Texas District 15

Former Chair Hispanic Congressional Caucus

Dolores Huerta

Co-Founder United Farm Workers of America

Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2012

President Dolores Huerta Foundation

Todd Hunter

Texas State Representative District 32

James E. Klein, PH.D.

Chair Clean Economy Coalition

Professor of American History—Del Mar College

President, Del Mar College chapter of the American Association of University Professors

Teresa Klein

Professor of Psychology

Del Mar College—Corpus Christi, TX

J.M. Lozano

Texas State Representative District 43

Eddie Lucio, Jr.

Member Texas Senate, District 27

Vice-Chair Senate Education Committee

Daniel Lucio

Corpus Christi Downtown Management District Marketing Committee

Trustee, Coastal Bend Bays Foundation

Executive Committee, Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter

Board Member, Homeless Issues Partnership

Vilma Luna

Former Texas State Representative and

Vice-Chair House Appropriations Committee

Armando “Mando” Martinez

Texas State Representative District 39

Jaime Martinez

Founder and Board Chair

Cesar Chavez Legacy and Education Foundation

Patricia Masso

Principal, Mercedes High School

Gilberto Ocañas

Senior Advisor Dentons, LLP

Washington, DC


Solomón P. Ortiz

Former Member of U.S. Congress

Chair Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Solomón P. Ortiz Scholarship Endowment Fund

Cissy Reynolds-Perez

Principal, W.B. Ray High School

Named High School Principal of the Year, 2013, by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals.

Creator of College Ready-the Game (Board Game)

Florencio “Lencho” Rendon

President and CEO LR Global, LLC

Former Chief of Staff, Texas U.S. Congress District 27

Dr. Angela Valenzuela

Director, University of Texas Center for

Education Policy.

Dr. Nancy Vera

LULAC #4444 President

President Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers

STHRC Board of Directors

Caller Times Hispanic Advisory Board Founding Member

Judith Zaffirini

Texas State Senator District 21

Chair Government Organization


Zoe Alaniz

W.B. Ray High School Graduate, 2013.

Wendy’s Heisman High School 2012 National

Scholar-Athlete Award Winner.

National Hispanic Program Scholar.

Medaled three consecutive years—state diving meets.

2013, 4A state gold medal in diving.

Signed with Texas A&M

Joaquin Avila

Harvard Law School

Former MALDEF Regional Director

Preeminent Voting Rights Attorney

Has argued before the U.S Supreme Court

Recipient MacAuthor Foundation Genius Award

Current- Private practice, Seattle, Wa.

Barbara Ann Canales

Attorney and Petroleum Engineer

President Ready or Not Foundation

Port of Corpus Christi Commissioner

Eduardo Canales

Executive Director,

South Texas Human Rights Center

2014 The Texas Observer,

“Tyrant’s Foe” Award

Santiago A. Canton

Current Secretario de Derechos Humanos-Argentina

Former Director, Robert F. Kennedy

Partners for Human Rights

Washington, D.C.

Gloria Santillan Casas

La Feria ISD Board Trustee

Former Secretary/Treasurer, Texas Association

School Board Members

Former President, Mexican American

School Board Members Association

Francisco Castillo

Political Consultant

Alfredo “Al” Cortinas

Member Texas Band Master Hall of Fame

2011, Texas Bandmasters Meritorious Achievement Award

Rio Grande City, Texas

Henry Cuellar

Member U.S. Congress, Texas District 28

Member — House Appropriations Committee

Member — Sub-committee Homeland Security

Member — Sub-Committee State, Foreign Operations,

and Related Programs

Vice-Chair — House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee

Senior Whip — Democratic Caucus

Member — Blue Dog Coalition

Co-Chair — Congressional Unmanned System Caucus

Chairman and Founder, Bi-partisan House

Pro-Trade Caucus

Vice Chair Democratic Steering and Policy Committee

Chairman/Founder — Pro Trade Caucus

Member — Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Hector Galán

Acclaimed Independent Documentary Filmmaker

Mario T. Garcia

Former Mercedes ISD Board Trustee

Mercedes, Texas

Andy Hernandez

Former President Southwest Voter

Registration Education Project

Abel Herrero

Texas State Representative District 34

Henry Hinojosa

Mayor—Mercedes, Texas

Copyright ©  2018 Dream Forward Foundation..


Among the skills most needed in the 21st Century is that of civic literacy and participation. The South Texas Youth Congress provides our youth the opportunity to learn first hand the making of public policy. I am encouraged  by this initiative.                


  Barbara Canales

Port of Corpus Christi


Growing up as the son of migrant workers whose parents only reached a 2nd and 6th grade level of education, I was raised to work hard and get a good education.  I worked my way from Laredo Junior College all the way to Georgetown University and UT, and each one of you can do it too. Education is the single most important factor in your lifetime earnings. The difference in a high school diploma and a 4-year degree is over $1 million. This Congress is a great opportunity to learn about debate and the legislative process while learning more about important issues and making your voice count.

Henry Cuellar

Member U.S. Congress


Programs like the South Texas Youth Congress are vitally important for improving the state of civic life in the state; today, Texas ranks last in voting compared to the rest of the nation. If our state and nation are to continue to prosper, we need bright young men and women like those selected to the program to make the decision to devote themselves to education and community participation.

  Eddie Lucio, Jr.

Member Texas Senate

Success is for everyone; there are no barriers!  The South Texas Youth Congress opens the doors for networking among student representatives throughout South Texas. Imagine the dreams that will come true with this unique opportunity!

Cissy Reynolds-Perez

Principal, W.B. Ray High School

Corpus Christi, TX

Creator of College Ready-the Game

(Board Game)

President Clinton Remarks on Presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom

September 29, 1995

His name was William C. Velasquez, but everyone knew him as Willie. Willie was and is now a name synonymous with democracy in America. Through the organization he founded, the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, he nearly doubled Hispanic voter registration, and dramatically increased the number of Latino elected officials in this Nation. His appeal to the Hispanic community was simple, passionate, and direct: "Su voto es su voz," your vote is your voice.

The movement he began here at home went on to support democracy abroad in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Mexico, and in South Africa. From the farm fields of California, where he organized workers with Cesar Chavez, to the halls of Harvard, where he taught politics, Willie Velasquez was driven by an unwavering belief that every American should have a role in our democracy and a share in the opportunities of our great Nation.

Willie Velasquez died too young. He was just 44 when he passed away in 1988. But in his vibrant life, he restored faith in our ideals and in ourselves.

And no person in modern America who has run for public office wherever Hispanic Americans live has failed to feel the hand of Willie Velasquez. He made this a greater country.

In memory of my friend,

mentor and boss.

Thank you Willie.


-Armando Villarreal

Accepting State Principal of the Year Award presented at the National Principals

of the Year Banquet.

(Washington D.C. Sept. 2014)

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Dolores Huerta

Message to STYC Members


If some people object to what we are doing, that’s alright. That’s alright. It just makes us stronger.

                                    -Willie Velasquez


Member Texas State School Safety Center. Appoint by the Governor.

The South Texas Youth Congress is the flagship initiative of the Dream Forward Foundation.

IRS 501c3 tax exempt organization operating in Texas.