STARS honors 30 UTHSC students

Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa celebrates with Joe LaMantia Jr., Steve LaMantia, and several successful South Texas scholars at the STARS Luncheon held Aug. 29 at the Health Science Center.

They are stars for attempting what many of us would never dream of doing: embarking on a career in the health professions or research.

On Aug. 29 at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 30 Health Science Center students from South Texas counties were recognized through a scholarship program called STARS – South Texas Academic Rising Scholars. Each received a $3,500 scholarship for 2006-2007 from STARS Founder and Chairman Joe LaMantia Jr. and Health Science Center President Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D.

STARS has donated more than $250,000 to Health Science Center student education, assisting 150 students from counties not including Bexar County. The Health Science Center matches every dollar that STARS provides.

“STARS and its board of directors are encouraging young students to follow their dreams to become dentists, physicians, nurses, researchers and allied health professionals,” Dr. Cigarroa said. “We are encouraged to know that as the years progress, we will have more and more South Texas students applying to our schools. The support of STARS will help them meet the growing financial requirements of their education.”

In the past year, country singers Brooks & Dunn and war hero Gen. Tommy Franks helped STARS raise $2.9 million at extravaganzas in the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi and Laredo.

STARS, established in 2002, is dedicated to providing successful futures for South Texas students by offering equal opportunity for advancement in higher education. Scholarship recipients must have a permanent South Texas address in one of the following counties: Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Cameron, Duval, Goliad, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Hidalgo, Karnes, Kenedy, Kleberg, La Salle, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, San Patricio, Refugio, Starr, Webb, Willacy or Zapata.

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