Lone Star College-East Aldine Center host Hispanic Heritage event

By: Royelyn Bastian
| Published 09/26/2023

Lone Star College-East Aldine Center held a Hispanic Heritage Month event highlighting five prominent leaders’ success stories. Pictured (left to right) are LSC-Kingwood Interim Vice President of Student Success Ernesto Valenzuela, LSC-East-Aldine Center Dean Reyna Tippetts, LSC-Kingwood President Dr. Melissa Gonzalez, Texas State Rep. for District 140 Armando Walle and LSC Chancellor Mario K. Castillo.

HOUSTON, TX -- The United States Department of State recognizes the significant contributions of the Hispanic Americans, Latinos and Latinas each year from Sept. 15-Oct. 15. Lone Star College celebrated these achievements at its Hispanic Heritage Month event Sept. 21 at LSC-East Aldine Center.

“Lone Star College is ranked as the fourth largest Hispanic-serving higher education institution in the nation, which reflects the rich and diverse community we serve,” said Mario K. Castillo, LSC chancellor. “Representation matters, and by hosting events such as Hispanic Heritage Month, students can see themselves in the college’s top leadership from dean to chancellor. This is an exciting time for Lone Star College and the community it serves.”

LSC welcomed 39,633 Hispanic students this fall, representing 45% of the total population.

The LSC Hispanic Heritage Month panel included Chancellor Castillo, LSC-Kingwood President Dr. Melissa Gonzalez, Texas State Rep. for District 140 Armando Walle, LSC-Kingwood Interim Vice President of Student Success Ernesto Valenzuela and LSC-East-Aldine Center Dean Reyna Tippetts. The leaders shared their journeys filled with success, challenges, perseverance and encouragement with LSC and Rose M. Avalos Pathways in Technology Early College High School (Aldine ISD) students.

“We all have individual stories that can hinder us, but whatever you strive in life to achieve, go do it,” said Texas Rep. Walle. He told attendees about his challenges with the State Bar of Texas, which he passed on his third time. “Do not let anyone tell you, you can’t be who you are. Believe in yourself.”

The panelists also stressed how education and academic services can open the door to opportunities resulting in brighter futures. They spoke about how their experiences with academic advisors helped shape their journeys.

“I am where I am today because of the guidance and support I received from my advisors in high school and college,” said President Gonzalez. “Now as a college president, I want to make the community aware of the resources, opportunities and partnerships available at Lone Star College to help them reach their personal or career goals. I want them to know that regardless of their background or where they are in life, the college is here to help them succeed.”

Watch the entire presentation at to learn more about each panelist’s story. Visit for a list of all upcoming activities taking place at LSC campuses.

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