HAEF Partners in Education luncheon raises $57K for students and teachers

The Harlingen Area Educational Foundation hosted its annual Partners in Education Luncheon in September.

“Thank you so much for being here, and thank you so much for your donation,” HAEF President Belinda Cavazos Zapata said as she addressed the community members in the audience. “We appreciate everything you do because everything goes back to the students and HCISD. 2022 has been a fantastic year for HAEF and HCISD.”

Last year, HAEF donated $110,000 to the Transition Academy, $42,000 in teacher innovations grants to 11 campuses, and $51,000 in scholarships to 51 students at their first scholarship banquet.

Individuals and groups of students representing the HCISD academies were showcased throughout the Partners in Education event and several student groups provided music and entertainment.

“My experience in welding has given me the opportunity to have a career choice,” Harlingen High School South senior Santian Torres said. “I am glad I decided on pursuing the welding career pathway. It is a really great hands-on experience, and I am ready to go out and work. With my NCCER certification in hand, I plan to seek employment at a welding company or refinery, and I will also be expanding my knowledge and obtaining additional certifications.”

Superintendent Dr. Alicia Noyola expressed her gratitude for the support of the community and HAEF’s dedication and hard work.

“I want to thank our amazing Harlingen community for supporting us on this,” Dr. Noyola said. “People continuously step up and step forward. They do things to ensure that our district is successful so that our students can be as well. I would also like to thank our Harlingen Area Educational Foundation, those grants and scholarships they put together have changed lives.”

The Partners in Education Luncheon is one of the two major fundraisers that HAEF hosts each year.

“And we are not finished,” Cavazos Zapata said. “We still have lots of projects on the horizon. In the spring, we host Friends of HAEF. We choose two local celebrities, and they, along with our amazing superintendent, raise money for HAEF that we then later use for scholarships and teacher innovation grants.”

The following individuals, groups, and organizations were the Partners in Education for this year’s event.


Frost Bank



Titan Fuel, Harlingen Pediatrics Association, Dr. Parada and Dr. Sanchez, Charlie Clark Nissan, Amanda Saldana, City of Harlingen


Junior Varsity

Sam’s Club, Zinthia G Loya/KW LRGV, Walsh Gallegos Law, VC Design and Build LLC, Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen, UTRGV, TSTC, SpawGlass, Rio Vista Dentistry, L&F Distributors, Green Rubiano & Associates, First Community Bank, Dr. Linda Burke, Century 21, Boggus Auto Group, Belinda Cavazos Zapata Agency LLC, Harlingen Rejuvenation and Wellness



Tropical Smoothie, Texas Regional Bank, Rose Snell, RGV Credit Union, R&R Financial Group, Pooches Corner, Peacock Construction, Payne Auto Group, Roel Rodriguez-New York Life, Megamorphosis, Harlingen High School, Harlingen High School South, GMS Architects, Dunkin and Associates, D. Wilson Construction, College 1st Program, Chris and Anita Boswell; Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, LLC; Dr. Art Cavazos