Joaquin has worked hard to seize the opportunities created by the sacrifices of his grandmother and prior generations. After finishing high school a year early, Joaquin left San Antonio to graduate with honors from Stanford University in 1996. He then went on to attend Harvard Law School where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 2000. Upon his return to San Antonio at 28 years old, Joaquin joined a private law practice and was elected into the Texas Legislature. He served five terms as state representative for District 125. In 2012 Joaquin was elected to serve in the U.S House of Representatives as representative of Texas Congressional District 20, which covers a large portion of San Antonio and Bexar County. Joaquin’s identical twin brother, Julián Castro, was elected in 2013 to his third term as Mayor of San Antonio.
Joaquin’s respect for public service developed at a young age and was deeply influenced by his parents’ involvement in political movements and civic causes. His father, a retired teacher, and his mother, a renowned community activist, instilled in him a deep appreciation for the democratic process and the importance of serving one’s community.
Outside of the legislative chamber, Joaquin has demonstrated a strong commitment to his community. He created the Trailblazers College Tour, personally raising money to send underprivileged students on college visits, giving them exposure to some of the nation’s best institutions of higher education. He also created SA READS, San Antonio’s largest literacy campaign and book drive. Over 200,000 books have been distributed to more than 150 schools and shelters across the city. He has also taught as a visiting professor of law at St. Mary’s University and as an adjunct professor at Trinity University. Joaquin is active on several boards of education-related, non-profit organizations, including the National College Advising Corps, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials’ (NALEO) Taskforce on Education.
As Congressman, Joaquin continues to be a tireless advocate for those who call San Antonio home. From supporting military families to investing in education, Joaquin remains committed to helping mold an Infrastructure of Opportunity for San Antonians and Americans around the country.
Keck, who was raised in Cotulla, Texas, was previously the University's provost and vice president for academic affairs. Prior to that, he served as associate professor of Spanish and chair of the
Department of Language, Literature and Art at the University's College ofArts and Humanities.
He originally joined Laredo State University (TAMIU) in 1979. He worked at the University until 1983 serving as assistant professor of Spanish and assistant to the president. He returned in 1994 as associate professor of Spanish.
Before returning to the University, Keck held several teaching and administrative positions with secondary schools including St. Anne's Belfield School (Charlottesville, Virginia), Potomac School (McLean, Virginia), and Episcopal High School in (Alexandria, Virginia).
He holds his Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University. His A.B. was also earned at Princeton. He was a Rockefeller Brothers Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School. In addition, hehas participated in summer programs at Bryn Mawr College in Madrid and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
He is the author of numerous publications including a book, Love's Dialectic: Mimesis and Allegory in the Romances of Lope de Vega. His publications also include "Bach's Legacy: A Musical Offering," in American Music Teacher; "Cide Hamete, Melquíades, Alba Trueba: Marco narrativo y tema en Cervantes, García Márquez y Allende" (Cide Hamete, Melquíades, Alba Trueba: Narrative Framework and Theme in Cervantes, García Márquez and Allende) in Crítica Hispánica ; and "Playing for Apollo: the Technical and Aesthetic Legacy of Carl Weinrich" in The Diapason.
Keck is also an accomplished organist, with a specialty in J.S. Bach. He has performed as a guest artist across the State and nation and on numerous occasions with the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra.
He is married to the former Patricia Cigarroa. The couple has three adult daughters: Teresa, Joyce and Lacey. Daughter Joyce and husband Danny Rafati recently presented the Kecks with their first grandchild, Adam Salah Rafati, born Aug. 10, 2007. Joyce and Danny are currently completing medical residencies at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
As mentioned by one of her favorite bloggers, “You’ve got to dig to find what you really dig.” Allison couldn’t possibly think of a simpler way to capture her journey in the fashion journalism world. In the summer of 2009, she made her very first Blogger account and proceeded to drag her friends and her Canon Powershot camera all over Laredo in order to share her personal style with the blogosphere. The idea that a simple girl could make an impact in such a cutthroat industry, regardless of where she lived completely captivated her. Allison proceeded to record her everyday outfits and inspirations up until she made the rash decision to attend a different university. It was this exact mishap that brought her back to Laredo with an overwhelming desire to continue striving towards her dream. Allison then launched her former Blogspot account into her own website and rediscovered her love of fashion blogging. She was then connected with the inspiring team behind the college fashion website, CollegeFashionista, and has been writing her weekly street-style column for nearly a year. As Allison finally rekindled her love for her long lost passion, it was as if the fashion world took notice, and she was given several thrilling opportunities. Allison has authored several editorials for CollegeFashionista, as well as taken part in several styling campaigns with The Zoe Report, Seventeen Magazine, and Macy’s.
Allison notes that she is eternally grateful for all the doors that were opened as soon as she moved back to Laredo, for at least from her perspective, she has shown the world that the state of Texas truly is innovative in terms of fashion. Nevertheless, she feels as we grow and our perceptions change, our clothing choices follow suit, which is the driving force behind her love for fashion. It is a constant presence that evolves everyday, capturing our innermost feelings and allowing us to dictate the image we project upon the world. It gives us the power to make a strike instantly, declaring who we are with a single glance.
Allison admits that some of her best discoveries and undoubtedly those that lie closest to her heart, are those found at her newfound home on the Texas-Mexico border.
Known to his friends as Ricky, he was born and raised in Puebla, Mexico until his dad got a job as a pilot in Laredo during the summer of 1998. The great majority of Ricky's childhood in addition to his entire grade school years were spent in Laredo, where he was a part of the United High School Engineering and Technology Magnet program. He graduated tenth in his class during May of 2010 and moved to Austin to begin his college education as an accounting major.
Early on in his college career, he became involved in the local UT Student Chapter of a national organization known as ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting). Thanks to this organization, Ricky has been able to network with various professionals, develop his leadership skills, obtain internships with two of the "Big 4" public accounting firms, and, in October of 2011, was awarded the Jorge A. Caballero Student Leader of the Year Award.
Having developed a deep passion and sincere gratitude for ALFPA and its mission, Ricky served as president of the organization during his sophomore year at UT. In addition, during his time as president, the UT ALPFA Student Chapter was awarded the 2012 Student Chapter of the Year Award for the central region. Ricky now sits on the Austin ALPFA Professional Chapter Board of Directors as Director at Large, where he helps connect students with professionals for both networking and professional development opportunities.
Ricky has served as a Student Fellow for a UT organization known as Project MALES since 2012. As a student fellow, he mentors local at-risk high school students who have a statistically high probability of dropping out of high school or not continuing on to higher education post-graduation. Ricky works closely with those students to serve as a positive role model while encouraging their academic success and pursuit of goals in life.
In addition to these organizations, Ricky is also involved at the University Catholic Center on campus within the International Schoenstatt Movement. His personal interests include sightseeing, building puzzles, spending time with his friends, and meeting new people. He is known by his peers as being "outgoing and genuine," while having a "charismatic personality" and a "fun sense of humor."
Ricky plans on getting his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license to start his career as a tax accountant upon graduation while still living out his adopted personal motto, "lift as you climb."
Born in Mexico City, Alejandra moved to Laredo, Texas as a sophomore in high school along with her parents and younger brother. An ESL student at Alexander High School, she managed to graduate in the top 5% of her class and participate in numerous athletic and academic programs. Alejandra then joined the TAMIU Honors Program as a President’s Scholar, where she majored in Business Administration and earned a Certification of International Studies.
At TAMIU, Alejandra studied abroad in China and France, was part of the Women’s Soccer Team, led various student organizations, participated in Model United Nations, and won several awards, including Freshman of the Year and Student-Athlete of the Year. She was also a student mentor and participated in numerous community service projects. She graduated first in her class.
Passionate about social justice, Alejandra decided to attend law school. At UT Law, she has worked in various courts, clinics, and government institutions, including: the White House, the Department of Justice, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Texas Supreme Court, and the UT Immigration and Transnational Worker Rights Clinics. Alejandra has also worked as a legal research assistant and participated in Georgetown Law’s Visiting Program in Washington D.C, where she learned about international criminal law. She has completed over eighty pro bono hours through numerous projects, generally benefiting the Latino community in South Texas. She is particularly interested in civil rights, border issues, and public policy.
After law school, Alejandra hopes to pursue a career in public service.