It all started at TSC: childcare alum credits college for success

TSC Childcare program alum Lourdes Rodriguez.

Texas Southmost College laid the foundation of education and success for Childcare and Development alumna Lourdes Rodriguez.

The 58-year-old was a first-generation Mexican American and college graduate back in 1982 with the American dream in her sights and an associate degree.

“My parents came from Mexico and instilled in us the importance of a higher education,” said the Los Fresnos native. “And the one thing I never lacked was their support. My dad always said, ‘Education is something that can never be taken away from you.’”

Despite a language barrier in elementary and middle school, Rodriguez never let it get her spirits down.

In high school, she was an active volunteer with the Head Start programs in Brownsville; sparking her interest in childcare development, and fortunately for Rodriguez TSC offered a program in which she could pursue a degree.

“TSC was close to home, affordable for our family and a place where I found comfort knowing I was a name, not just a number,” said Rodriguez. “All the success I have found is because of TSC. This is where it all started.”

After earning her associate degree, Rodriguez worked at the TSC Raul J. Guerra Early Childhood Center for a couple of years before going on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Childhood Development from Corpus Christi State University, now Texas A&M Corpus Christi University.

Still holding a special place in her heart, she returned to TSC in 1986 as a part-time childcare instructor and as a full-time teacher for the TSC early childhood center.

“TSC is where I learned everything I know,” said Rodriguez. “To this day I am still applying processes and concepts that I learned because of the real-world experiences I was given and the hands-on training they provided.”

Since her time at TSC, Rodriguez has climbed in her professional career, serving a six-year stint with Childcare Management Services before being hired by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Childcare Licensing Department as an inspector and now supervisor.

Rodriguez has served within the state of Texas for 24 years.

“I can honestly say I don’t think I’d be where I am today without TSC,” she said. “They exposed me to everything I’ve needed to know. They gave me confidence and instilled in me the self-esteem I needed to continue my education. I found opportunities because of it.”

To this day, Rodriguez is actively involved with TSC’s Childcare Development program as an advising member of the program’s advisory committee, keeping the department up to date on industry standards.

She also remains active with Workforce Solutions Cameron and the United Way of Southern Cameron County.

“I remain active because I want younger generations to know that everything and anything is possible, despite challenges and barriers,” she said. “I’m proof that you can achieve anything with hard work and determination. All you need is that first step, and mine was at TSC.”

For more information about TSC’s Child Development program, visit