Vista College To Honor Four Outstanding Graduates From El Paso Campus

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Graduate Awards recognize students who have shown tenacity, determination, and community involvement.

Four El Paso residents will be honored with prestigious Vista College graduate awards at commencement ceremonies. The New Horizon Award will be given to one student representing individual education fields for demonstrating leadership during his or her study and involvement in the community. The Vista Summit Award recognizes graduates who have gone on to be successful within their community and field of study. The Student of the Year Award is the top honor among the graduating class. The Vista College El Paso recipients are as follows:

Jorge Soto - New Horizon Award for Vista College’s Network Administration Program - A single father, Soto, of Horizon City, juggled many obstacles, all while maintaining high grades and demonstrating the understanding that comes from careful study and working closely with instructors and classmates.

Paula Palacino – New Horizon Award for Vista College’s Medical Assisting Program – In April of 2011, Palacino’s mother was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and given 30 days to live. She lived for five months before passing away. Seeing her mother fight this disease made Palacino realize what she had to do for her son. She enrolled in Vista College in the Medical Assisting program. While at Vista, Palacino, of El Paso, became vice president of the campus chapter of the National Technical Honor Society and president of the evening students’ Medical Club. Her hardships and struggles along with her faith and family have made her into who she is today. Palacino is employed as a medical assistant at Montwood Medical Center.

Victor Alvarez - Student of the Year – Alvarez, of El Paso, proved to be a very dedicated student not only to his studies but also as a positive motivator to his peers. Prior to attending Vista College, he worked as assistant manager in the produce department of a local grocery store for 15 years. When he became a casualty of company-wide layoffs he took a number of small jobs. One day, Alvarez made a list of goals for the future, and one of those goals was to go back to school and get an Associates Degree in Business with a focus on Human Resources. While at Vista College, Alvarez showed natural leadership skills and an ability to motivate his fellow peers in a positive manner. He has also excelled at his place of employment, PLS Financial, earning employee of the month honors. In less than six months, he was promoted to overnight supervisor and will soon be promoted to assistant manager.

Erik Frescas - Vista Summit Award – Frescas, of El Paso, graduated with honors from Vista College’s Network Administration program in 2010, and within four months, he obtained his Comptia A+, Networking+, and Security+ certifications. He became a support specialist at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center, contributing to the IT upgrade that allowed the hospital to transfer real time EKG readings from an ambulance to the ER. From there, Frescas became an IT Specialist at Diverse Mobile Technologies, a local business specializing on resolving network issues and installing and maintaining small computer infrastructures. In addition, he started his own small business, Southwest Computing, which supports small businesses throughout El Paso.

WHEN: Saturday, June 15, 2013, 3 p.m.

WHERE: El Paso Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, El Paso, Texas 79901

About Vista College

Vista College is a network of private, post-secondary career colleges offering a variety of training programs including: healthcare, business, and technology, legal and vocational/trades. Vista College offers online programs and has seven on-ground campuses in Texas (Amarillo, Beaumont, El Paso, Killeen, Longview and Lubbock) and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Vista College is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE). Consumer Information may be viewed at For Vista College’s El Paso Campus, call 877-502-1059.

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Elizabeth Lenart
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