Working Her Way To College

Jackie Mijares, a 2019 El Campo High School graduate, prepares to sell Mexican snacks at her booth for Prairie Days. A student at Wharton County Junior College, Mijares raised money in order to pay for her tuition.

Wanting to raise money for college tuition, Jackie Mijares didn’t shy away from the challenge of running a food booth at Prairie Days. She and her mother, Margarita Rivera, sold a variety of Mexican foods including nachos, and tamales to hungry festival goers.

My mom is “always making food for others,” Mijares said, including her famous gorditas.

The booth did well, and they hope to sell food and treats at next year’s Prairie Days, Mijares said.

Mijares attends Wharton County Junior College for nursing. She was inspired to enter the medical field after taking an EMT course at El Campo High School, her alma mater.

She chose to pursue nursing because she loves helping others, Mijares said.

Mijares was a Derby Doll at ECHS and a member of AVID before graduating in 2019.

She is the first of her family to attend college. Rivera has always been a passionate supporter of Mijares’ education, but Mijares and her family did not have experience applying to colleges or for financial aid.

“Without AVID and other programs, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today,” Mijares said.

Mijares’ family is not wealthy, but Rivera taught her to work hard. Mijares’ little sisters now look up to her and want to work hard like she does, even though they’re still young, Mijares said.

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