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‘Agents of change’ RGV Millennials aims to bring young professionals together

The Rio Grande Valley Millennials is a nonpartisan organization that seeks to positively affect the community by bringing together professionals and community members from South Texas.

Founding member Blanca Davila, who graduated from UTRGV legacy institution UT Brownsville with a master’s in public policy and management, said the group will host the RGV Millennials Summit March 23 at the Edinburg Conference Center.

Davila and Alberto Espinoza, a graduate student in public administration at UTRGV, founded the organization on Oct. 4, 2014.

“The goal behind our agenda is to really empower millennials,” said Davila, who is a post-secondary success coordinator for United Way. “We want to let them know that there are opportunities out there. We just have to go out there and get them, and take charge of our future.”

The summit will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and topics to be discussed are civic responsibilities and engagement, transforming passion to action, education, entrepreneurship and technology. Several discussion panels and guest speakers will present a wide range of information to participants.

Discussion panels will consist of three speakers and a moderator. Participants will be able to ask questions by posting
them to social media during the discussion.

The keynote speaker will be Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“His office is located in Washington, D.C., but he is a native of the Rio Grande Valley,” Davila said. “So, his story and unique experience spoke out to us, his journey to becoming president and CEO, especially someone from the RGV. He had to overcome challenges and barriers to obtain an education and become successful in his career.”

Davila and Espinoza approached John Sargent, a professor in the UTRGV College of Business and Entrepreneurship, shortly after founding RGV Millennials.

“This is an organization that I think, that hopefully, we can maintain a relationship with the leaders that are emerging from the university who are really trying to make a difference in the Valley,” Sargent said. “RGV millennials might be a good place for graduates to go, where they can be around like-minded people, maintain a relationship with the university and have an opportunity to be leaders in the community and make a real difference.”

Sargent and other faculty help facilitate some of the events and social gatherings that are sponsored by RGV Millennials.

“I’m very excited about the RGV Millennials and the idea of people, recent graduates and young professionals taking an active role in the community,” he said.

“It’s a win-win for us and exciting. So, we are here to do anything we can to help.”

The RGV Millennials is an open organization and does not charge dues. Students, graduates and young professionals are invited to participate and join. The group can be reached through its Facebook page at facebook.com/rgvmillennials.

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