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20140124 BP-Head-of-Class-storyMISSION—The U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector recognized the academic excellence of seven local high school students on Jan. 15 as part of its “Head of the Class” program.

The “Head of the Class” is a monthly award to recognize high-achieving seniors at high schools throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Students are nominated by their school counselor and selected by an impartial committee.

So far this academic year the Rio Grande Valley Sector has held four ceremonies and recognized 37 students as “Head of the Class.” The program provides an opportunity to showcase students who are working hard to further their education, many of whom are first-generation college students who also volunteer a significant amount of time to their communities.

The ceremony was hosted by La Joya Independent School District’s Juarez-Lincoln High School. Award recipients included Daniela Chavez of Juarez-Lincoln High; Nancy Garcia of La Joya High; Keyla Marroquin of Palmview High; Ruby Zavala of PSJA Southwest High; Andres Salazar of Rio Grande City High; Marissa Marroquin-Peña of Grulla High; and Aaron Alvarado of San Isidro High.

As an extension of the “Head of the Class” program, RGV Sector will recognize three “Head of the Class” recipients as “Youth of the Year” in April. The students chosen as “Youth of the Year” will receive a $1,500 scholarship to help with the expenses of attending college.

The “Head of the Class” has been in existence for more than 18 years in RGV Sector and brings together local businesses as partners to highlight and recognize the efforts of students who are truly role models for their peers.

The Rio Grande Valley Sector is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity, call the sector’s toll-free telephone number at 800-863-9382.

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