Yineli Carreon

STYC President

(Nov. 2014-Nov. 2015)

2015 Graduate MercedesHS.

Attending Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas

In the News






Honorary Alumni

The feeling I got being in that room at the inaugural Dream Forward Dinner...was inspiring. I left knowing that I had just had the honor of being among students and people alike who truly care about what happens next in our community.

The intimate style of the dinner allowed for memories to really be made, memories that I continue to think about daily.

The people that are a part of the South Texas Youth Congress have really made it their own, adding humility, selflessness, and brilliance, to an organization that is only going to thrive. I hope to always be present at the Dream Forward Dinner and be re-inspired again and again.

Zoe Alaniz

Dream Forward Dinner

Keynote Speaker

27 June 2014

Texas 2013, HS 4A state

gold medal in diving.

Current member Texas A&M Diving Team.

Training for 2016 Olympics.

Mimosa Thomas

STYC President

2014 Graduate W.B. Ray HS.

Attending University of Texas Pan Am

Edinburg, Texas

The inaugural session of the South Texas Youth Congress left me with a sense of pride and self-confidence that I wouldn't trade for anything.

The idea that a small group of teenagers from one of the most under-represented areas in the country could create actual change for their state may have seemed far-fetched at first, but I now believe without a doubt that we will achieve the goals that we worked together to form.

Sharing ideas and strategies with other youth who are just as passionate about social change as I am made me realize that if we work together, we truly can accomplish anything. 



Those were my words of distress as I aspired to become a member of the South Texas Youth Congress in 2013. Looking back now, I realize that at the moment I did not expect for a group of high school students to accomplish as much as we have in regards to my concerns.  Very rapidly, though, my perspective has changed with every meeting and discussion I’ve partaken in. 

Beginning with the 1st Regional Meeting in February of 2014, I had the great pleasure of witnessing the gathering of some of the brightest and most driven minds in South Texas.

The issues and ideas that were discussed covered a broad spectrum of public policies, but together we were able to single out those that we saw as important for our region. It was here that I was assured for the first time that, indeed, I was not the only high school student in South Texas believing that change was possible at our hands. Following this meeting was our first annual session, where we had the great pleasure of coming together once more and further discuss our bill proposals to present at our first Dream Forward Dinner. Included in these final three proposals was iSol, which became HB 3467. It is this bill for which we traveled to Austin last April to meet and discuss HB 3467 with legislators including education committee chairs,  and a scheduled visit with the First Lady of Texas, Mrs. Cecilia Abbott.

The time spent planning out and presenting our final changes has become an experience unlike any other when compared to the many activities high school organizations provide us with.  What sets aside this experience from the rest is the knowledge that our words and ideas make center stage in the real world and have the capability of greatly affecting the lives of those in our communities and our state.

“I want to show this region that our communities are worthy of praise, and that opportunities can be found here, as well, so that new college graduates don’t find themselves fleeing to larger cities simply to find a suitable job.” 

Essay from STYC Application

September 2013

Summer 2014

Summer 2015

Summer 2014

STYC Alumni Association President

Weslaco HS Grad. 2016

Student at UTRGV-Edinburg, Texas

Mechanical Engineering

Valerie Ramirez

STYC President


At first I was skeptical. But I began to understand more and started to see that we can make a difference.  For me STYC is an experience unlike any available to me. I feel fortunate to be a member of STYC.

Alyssa Valdez

STYC President, 2017-18.

Weslaco HS Grad. 2018

Now as an alumni of South Texas Youth Congress, my wishes and advice for the members are: Voice your concerns, finalize the change 21st century learners need, never doubt yourself, and embrace the ability and power you have as a student. To those STYC members who are new to this experience, I wish you the best. You will face many difficult meetings, a lot of brainstorming and brain farts, keen advice from Mr. Villarreal that you’ll soon understand, and which are all very wise and good.

Though the journey to success is hard, the final product is worth it. Always keep in mind that as a member of STYC you are among the few students from the entire nation to be doing this, You have the power to make change, use it wisely and focus on the good.

The South Texas Youth Congress symbolizes a way for students to create a leadership experience for one another. Learning from each other is the greatest way to find faith in one's community, and I only wish I could be one of these students in the STYC.

                                                                                    Zoe Alaniz

                                                                                    June 2013