By Danny Zaragoza
Commissioner for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Ana Benavides Galo surprised her father Arturo M. Benavides Sr. with a unique birthday present that benefits some Texas A&M International University students financially.
Ana Benavides Galo and her spouse County Commissioner for Precinct 3 John Galo announced a $100,000 scholarship endowment fund for TAMIU in Arturo M. Benavides Senior’s name.
“The scholarship is the first of its kind in Laredo,” says County Commissioner Galo.
A typical endowment is structured so that a principal amount remains untouched while the investment income is made available for use. It can also be structured so part of the original amount is released each year.
The endowed scholarship was created for Laredo students attending TAMIU who have been diagnosed with dyslexia, which affects one in five students nationwide per the Dyslexia Center of Utah.
Special education law lists dyslexia as a learning disability. Someone with dyslexia can have trouble reading, handwriting, spelling, word substitutions, recalling known words and mathematical computations, per the Learning Disabilities Association of America website.
Students may also qualify for the scholarship if they are diagnosed with another learning disability. The monies may also help fund programs for teachers of students with learning disabilities.
The Arturo M. Benavides Sr. Scholarship can be awarded to both graduate and undergraduate students who may apply for the scholarship through the TAMIU Financial Aid website.
Ana Benavides Galo says, “knowing that we can help students who are struggling with dyslexia succeed in pursuing a higher education is monumental to our family.”
Galo chose to donate the scholarship to students with learning disabilities because some of her family members have dyslexia and goes on to reveal her son has also been afflicted with the learning disability.
Senator Judith Zaffirini made an appearance to pay her respects to Benavides. Zaffirini highlighted his many accomplishments and recognitions, some of which include Sportsman of the Year, Señor Internacional and Presidente De La Republica Del Rio Grande.
The announcement concluded with the singing of ‘Las Mañaitas’ and Happy Birthday for Benavides, followed by a plaque presentation for Benavides and the Galo family for their contribution to the University.