This article originally appeared in the Friday May 31, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.
Evelyn Rocha committed to the city of Pharr.
Last Thursday during the city commissioners meeting, Rocha signed a letter of intent to work for the city of Pharr as a telecommunications officer within the Public Safety Communications Department. She plans on balancing her new position with her studies as she also pursues a college degree.
Rocha, a senior at PSJA North Early College High School, is part of the school district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program. The program has been partnered with the city for 10 years, according to Pharr Communications Director/Deputy EMC Daniel Ramirez.
“We’ve brought students in, and they go through training and they get their certification at the end of the school year,” Ramirez said. “This year we have a young lady who is one of the primary providers for her family.”
Ramirez said that Rocha would go to school all day, work in the evening and did her homework when she got home.
Rocha, who is not yet 18 years old, signed a commitment letter with the city. The city will hold a position as a telecommunications officer for her until she is eligible in August.
Dr. Daniel P. King, Superintendent of Schools for the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, said the CTE program is beneficial for students and cities alike.
“For a number of years now the city has been a great partner with us for helping our students prepare for their future careers,” King said. “The experience that these students get really prepares them in a number of ways: for responsibility, for getting a feel of what a career is like and whether it fits them or doesn’t fit them.”
Julian Alvarez, Texas Workforce Commissioner representing Labor, attended the signing, and said that CTE programs and partnerships expand economic and socioeconomic opportunities for communities and families alike.
“What a great day for not only Pharr, but this great state of Texas,” Alvarez said. “In Pharr, we prepare people not just for a job, but a long-lasting career where she can provide not only for her family, but for herself. And at the end of the day, that’s what we want.”
Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez and city officials congratulated Rocha for her dedication and work ethic through the program.
“This is what great partnerships do,” Hernandez said. “We’re able to help all our youth, and that’s exactly what we should be doing: putting them first.”
Rocha took the time to thank the countless teachers and administrators for their guidance throughout her high school career leading up to now.
“I want to thank Mayor Hernandez, the City of Pharr, City Officials, Dr. King, PSJA ISD, and the Pharr Communications Department for providing these CTE opportunities for students like myself and allowing us the opportunity to receive training and internship experiences that have a positive impact on our future and career pathways,” said Evelyn Rocha. “The city gives back to the community by allowing students real-world experiences.”