A person can learn a lot in the classroom and plenty from textbooks. But it’s often the hands-on experiences that teach the most.
Through his volunteer work, University of Houston-Victoria student Jose Troncoso has taken away firsthand knowledge he can carry with him forever.
The Port Isabel native began volunteering several years ago in Bloomington, working with the area’s fire department.
“That was my first career choice,” he said, explaining that medical issues kept him from pursuing it as a career. “It’s something I have always had a passion for, and I wanted to give back.”
Troncoso said he underwent training and joined forces with other volunteers. Together, they answered fire calls, medical calls and more.
“It means a lot to know you have actually helped someone,” he said. “You might have saved a life. You’ve made a difference.”
Heavy course loads might mean Troncoso has cut back on his time with the fire department, but he finds other ways to volunteer. He remains active with St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Bloomington and spends time with United Campus Ministries at UHV and Victoria College and the UHV Mexican American Student Organization.
“I keep busy throughout the year,” he said. “I enjoy it.”
Troncoso is from the Rio Grande Valley but first made his way to the Crossroads while visiting his older brother. He decided to stay in Bloomington and earned an associate degree from Victoria College before making his way to UHV.
He is now working toward a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Looking ahead, Troncoso said he hopes to graduate in 2013 and find his place in the business world, although he doesn’t yet know what type of company he hopes to join. Later on, he would like to continue studying for a master’s degree.
“I want to start slow and build my way up,” he said. “I guess we’ll see what the Lord shoots my way.”
He urged students looking to get involved in the community to go for it.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “You’re giving of yourself, but you get back 10 times more. It’s very rewarding.”
The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.