Horacio Velador can tell you: Being first is never easy.
One of the biggest challenges on his journey to academic success was figuring out how to go to college. Horacio’s parents had limited English-speaking skills and he was the first in his family to go to college. He didn’t know where to begin.
Fortunately, Susan Garza, a RESTART counselor and math professor at Richland College at that time, assisted Horacio with the first steps. Susan guided Horacio through the application process and helped him complete financial aid forms. Horacio became a Richland student in the fall of 1995.
He put in 15-hour days taking classes, working and studying. He also was the president of Richland’s Student Association of Spanish Heritage. Under his leadership, the club was involved in the community by visiting area schools to promote higher education, tutoring elementary students and participating in the DCCCD’s Dia de la Familia and Hispanic Summit.
Also during this time, Horacio learned about INROADS, a summer internship program that would greatly impact his future career path. He interned for two summers with the Comptroller of the Currency, a bureau in the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Horacio graduated in 1997 from Richland with two associate degrees – one in arts and the other in business. He transferred to Southern Methodist University, where he earned a B.B.A. in finance and management information systems.
But he didn’t stop there. Horacio went on to earn an M.B.A. in accounting from the University of Texas at Dallas, graduating cum laude. Today, he is a vice president and portfolio management officer at Bank of America in Dallas.
Horacio’s nominators, Fred Martinez and Diana Urrutia, say, “On a daily basis, Horacio exhibits a genuine care and concern for others that reminds us all of what our focus should be. Serving colleagues and society to the best of his ability is clearly exhibited by Horacio’s work ethic, follow-through, dedication and respect for others.”