Community Column: Resilience will carry us forward in 2021

January 19, 2021

Dr. Robert Garza

The year 2021 has arrived and with it a new opportunity to look to the future. Undoubtedly, the year gone by has tested us all, but it has also taught us important lessons on resilience — a quality that will carry us forward in 2021.

As a beacon of hope for the South Side community since 1985, Palo Alto College remains committed to keeping students first as they work to fulfill their educational goals. While we cannot know what 2021 will bring, we can control our attitude, approach, and response. Our faculty and staff continue to come together to provide strength and resilience as our students and community look to us for hope and opportunity.

As the first institute of higher education south of highway 90, Palo Alto College has helped over 150,000 students obtain a college degree or certificate. Our decades of dedication to our students have not gone unnoticed. Palo Alto College has risen to be named one of the top community colleges in the nation and the best in Texas — receiving recognition as a “Rising Star” award winner of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and one of the top 150 colleges in the country invited to apply for the 2021 Aspen Prize.

We were recently honored with an eight-figure gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott — a monumental achievement that has once again put our college on the national stage. This generous donation will allow us to enhance support for students in different areas, including scholarship assistance, student and community advocacy, and continued access to higher education.

These designations and our perseverance propel us into the new year as we continue to provide our students with a first-rate education and connect with our community. We welcome you to learn more about our college, how we can be of service to you and your family, whether through our virtual after school programs, a virtual theatre performance, or just figuring out how to get back in school. We are here to help, no matter where you are in your journey.

Each semester, a growing number of people trust Palo Alto College to educate and prepare them for personal and professional development. If you’re interested in exploring our programs and continuing your education, visit or call our Welcome Center at 210-486-3100.

This column by Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College, was originally published in the San Antonio Express-News' Southside Reporter and