Students showcase talents during WBCA youth festival
By Vanessa Santos
Bridge Contributing Writer
Published March 30, 2020
Some of Laredo’s most talented voices and dancers performed in the WBCA Youth Song and Dance Festival to celebrate Washington’s Birthday Celebration.
This event was sponsored by IBC Bank on Feb. 8 at the Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Fine Arts Theater at Laredo College.
“I love to bring my family to these events to show them the importance of supporting our local talents,” Juan Jose Garcia said.
Garcia attended the Washington Celebration events each year since his childhood. His mother and father brought him to these events, which he said he loves and wants to pass on that tradition to his own children.
Parents provided support to their performing children by wearing their child’s school shirt and cheering them on while on stage.
“This is my second time performing and I like to see my mom so excited when I am dancing,” young DD Hachar Elementary School dancer Tessa Garza said.
In addition to Laredo talent, IBC granted two high school seniors a $1,000 academic scholarship. Esmeralda Hernandez and Juan Capetillo were selected based on their community involvement, academic merits and extracurricular activities.
One of five children in her household, Hernandez attends Hector J. Garcia Early College High School, currently ranked No. 26 in her class with an “A” GPA. She is an active member of the Newspaper Club and is a volunteer at the library. Esmeralda has been involved in the SCANN Program, Chick-fil-A Academy, National Honor Society and Border Patrol Program. She plans to attend Texas A&M International University to pursue a degree in environmental science and botany.
Capetillo is from Dr. Leonides G. Cigarroa High School, ranked No. 18 in his school with a current GPA of 4.0. He is involved in orchestra, VMT mariachi, the CHS Mariachi and all-region Mariachi members, and plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio to pursue a degree in music education and history.
“Having community involvement shape the minds of our young students might just make a difference in Laredo’s future,” mother of two Grecia Tello said.
Tello said she teaches her two children, ages 5 and 7, that community involvement is the essential role to success and, “It has been proven today.”
Apart from the $1,000 scholarships, there were five schools awarded $300 donations courtesy of IBC. The schools included: Prada Elementary Dance Team, F.D. Roosevelt Elementary Cheer Team, St. Augustine High School, San Isidro Elementary Raptorettes and Martin High School Cheer.
The WBCA Youth and Dance Festival brought many talent groups from dancers to cheerleaders to show their talents. The Washington Birthday Celebration was founded in 1898 and continues to grow to be a month-long celebration.
After six whole weeks of events throughout the city, the festivities came to a close with the big , bright fireworks diplay on Feb. 29, leap year day. WBCA’s way of ending the annual events with a bang.
As of now, there is no word regarding next year’s plans.