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Home to Texas Connects Next Generation of Community Leaders with Internships in Their Hometowns

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Isabella Sherwood stands in the City of Tyler’s Main Street Program office where she interned through Home to Texas. Credit: Trent Lesikar.

AUSTIN, Texas — As part of The University of Texas at Austin’s Home to Texas program, 40 students from 11 small and medium-size communities across Texas, from Amarillo to Brownsville, contributed to their hometowns through community research and internships with local organizations this summer.

Home to Texas prepares the next generation of community leaders by helping students develop a strong professional foundation early and build connections in their home communities.

“Through the Home to Texas program, I’m investing in my education and in the future of the Rio Grande Valley,” said Gabriel Banda, an electrical and computer engineering sophomore. “Entering UT has broadened my perspective of my hometown. I realize that we have so much potential to grow, and I want to be part of the change that improves Brownsville.”

Now in its fourth year, Home to Texas has connected students to experiential learning opportunities with local organizations across industries including government, nonprofit, hospitality and technology. For the first time this year, students in select communities participated as paid student researchers and fulfilled their experiential learning requirement, working with faculty members in the Moody College of Communication and Cockrell School of Engineering to conduct research on disaster continuity for businesses and communities in rural Texas.

“We are interested in actively developing homegrown talent,” said Elías Díaz, compliance officer for the Maverick County Hospital District in Eagle Pass, Texas. “We believe that investing in our future means creating a space in which our future leaders can learn and grow, and we are committed to partnering with local and statewide entities to see that vision come to fruition.”

To celebrate the impact of the participating students and employers, Home to Texas will host events in each of the communities this July.

There are many ways to get involved with Home to Texas – from signing up to host a Home to Texas internship in your community or with your organization to supporting student scholarships through a financial donation.

The Home to Texas program is managed in partnership by the IC2 InstituteSchool of Undergraduate Studies and Texas Career Engagement. For questions about Home to Texas, please contact Program Manager Dustin Harris at hometotexas@austin.utexas.edu.