Active, first-generation UHV student sets example for peers, family

Belinda Cardenas

The political process can be a whirlwind. From forums, to speeches and election night chaos, it takes many people to pull off a campaign.

Belinda Cardenas prides herself on being part of a team that does just that. The University of Houston-Victoria student said she doesn’t classify herself as a political person but enjoys working behind the scenes.

“I’m kind of a campaign guru,” she said with a laugh. “I love to help through the whole thing, especially marketing.”

She has assisted with races for county commissioner, to Democratic Party officers and more. Sometimes it’s for pay and other times just for the experience.

“You really learn a lot,” Cardenas said. “It’s hectic and busy, but I love it.”

The 36-year-old might not envision herself a political leader, but she leads in her own way on campus.

She serves as president of United Campus Ministries at UHV and Victoria College, and she is vice president of the UHV Mexican American Student Organization. Away from student organizations, she’s also always willing to lend a hand to other students in need.

She also knows the importance of having people around who care.

“People have a better chance if they have positive support around them,” she said. “In the right environment, anybody can succeed. I just want to encourage them.”

Cardenas was born in Beeville but moved to Victoria with her family when she was young. She began her college career at VC and later enrolled at UHV to pursue a degree in accounting.

A first-generation college student, she enjoys taking what she learned in school and applying it in big and small ways, from helping with her aunt’s business plan, to showing someone how to burn a CD.

“I’m an example for everyone in my family,” she said. “It makes me proud.”

Cardenas is excited about the prospect of completing her coursework and finding her place in a career that suits her. No matter where she goes, however, she won’t forget where she came from. After all, it led her to where she is today.

“I think you have to accept your past and move on,” Cardenas said. “If you don’t accept it, you’re never going to get anywhere.”

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.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Allison Miles 361-570-4342