Posted on November 7, 2019 by Michelle Skidmore

(Nov. 8, 2019) — Meet Jaida Sloan, a driven young woman who is passionate about educational policy and social justice.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Jaida is on her way to help her community thrive thanks to the wonderful donors of the Henry B. Gonzalez Endowed The Honorable Charles Gonzalez with Jaida Sloan Scholarship. Jaida is the very first recipient of this prestigious award that honors the life and legacy of the late Congressman who made a tremendous impact to policy and politics. Jaida is a transfer student from San Antonio College, majoring in Public Administration and seeking a minor in politics and law. Now, she will have the ability to purse her dreams of becoming a lawyer and improving the lives of underserved populations.

As a high school student, Sloan enjoyed being part of the debate team, researching topics and presenting arguments. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at San Antonio College. Jaida did not know she really wanted to dive into public service until she got to college. She volunteered with youth from low socioeconomic backgrounds and grew a profound interest in educational policy. Her mom, who is a teacher, incurred much debt as she worked hard to attain her degree. Jaida is grateful for the scholarship to supplement her cost of tuition so that she can graduate and accomplish her goals. The scholarship also afforded her the chance to learn more about the late Congressman and the values he stood for.

"The scholarship reminds me that no matter where you came from, you can be anything you want to me," said Sloan. "It's great to see that Henry B. Gonzalez and I have a few things in common: we both attended San Antonio College, took great pride in education, developed an interest in politics and law, and worked with the youth."

Sloan plans to pursue a joint master's program in public policy and law. She will apply to a 4-yr track program, and when completed, she will have received her Master's in Public Policy as well as her Juris Doctorate. Jaida takes an interest in immigration law, environmental law, and educational policy, which are topics very important to her career goals.

“My father would be proud to know a UTSA scholarship bearing his name is helping a deserving student such as Jaida to pursue and achieve her dreams,” said the Honorable Charles Gonzalez, son of the late Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez.

Sloan is thankful to UTSA for the many opportunities that enabled her to succeed.

“I am especially grateful for Dr. Francine Romero for giving me the opportunity to meet and thank the Honorable Charlie Gonzalez and everyone involved in setting up the endowment,” stated Sloan.

“I also thank my professor Dr. Trevino for informing me of the Public Policy & International Affairs Junior Summer Institute, in which if accepted, I will take a summer course to prepare for my master in public policy.”

After she completes the program, she will receive special scholarship opportunities of prestigious master programs around the nation that are affiliated with the program.

In her spare time, Jaida enjoys reading classical literature, listening to political podcasts, and watching movies on empowering women.

The Henry B. Gonzalez Scholarship provides a springboard for UTSA students pursuing a degree in either Public Administration or Criminal Justice to fulfill their academic goals. It is a stable vessel of support for fostering student success. The late Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez became a trailblazer who left a lasting impact on his local, state, and national community.

— Michelle Skidmore