At NHI at Tip of Texas, “we believe that leadership is a skill like any other in that progress comes from practice,” said Jorge Lee Ochoa, the Assistant Project Administrator of the region. “Among our main objectives is to provide Latino youth with opportunities for such practice—opportunities that are not merely empty titles or busy work, but rather ones where the decisions they make matter,” he added. It is in that spirit that each year, the region selects one individual to serve as its Head Coach.
After reviewing students’ applications, conducting interviews, and deliberating extensively, it is with great pleasure that we announce that the panel has selected Stephanie Vela to serve as the Head Coach of the National Hispanic Institute at Tip of Texas for the 2021-2022 season.
Stephanie Vela is the Third Honor Student of the senior class at Veterans Memorial High School, where she participates in multiple extracurricular activities including the National Honor Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Technology Students of America. She has been involved with NHI at Tip of Texas since her freshman year when she participated as an Elite Eight Finalist at the 2019 Texas Great Debate. In 2021, she participated in the California Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session, where she earned the “Most Outstanding Legislator” award. She has served as a coach in Mock Trial throughout her high school career and as a John F. Lopez Fellow and Director of Judges at the 2020 and 2021 GDx.
"I want to thank the Tip of Texas region for trusting me with this honor,” Vela said. “As Head Coach, I will serve this team to the best of my abilities and ensure that we have a successful, productive year for our coaching staff and new participants” she added. “After two years of doing the Great Debate virtually, I am excited to return to the in-person program and eager to see what the future holds for Tip of Texas."
Jorge Lee Ochoa shared one last message of optimism: “Our community is lucky to have Stephanie, and we are excited to see how she advances the interests of the region and our community through this role.”