EDINBURG - PSJA Sonia Sotomayor Early College High School, a special purpose campus committed to ensuring young mothers continue and complete their education, hosted its 4th Annual Women's Empowerment Conference at the Social Club in Edinburg on Thursday, Nov. 15. 

As part of the conference, over 60 students got to participate in various breakout sessions focused on topics such as overcoming adversity, barriers and handling relationships. Speakers during the conference included KRGV News Channel 5 Anchor Gabriella Garza, Hidalgo County Judge Renee Betancourt and City of Pharr Municipal Court Judge Marissa Carranza Hernandez, and model Melanie McJannet. 

“We put this conference together every year to motivate our students to continue working hard and to come to school,” said PSJA Sotomayor ECHS Principal Rosie Rakay. “Our conference addresses topics that are important to our students such as domestic violence, enduring difficult situations, and relationships. We want them to know we are here to help and support them.” 

For Yulissa Ibarra, a junior at PSJA Sotomayor Early College High School, attending the conference was inspiring. 

“This conference has helped me feel more confident about myself,” said Ibarra who’s been attending PSJA Sotomayor ECHS for the past year. “Thank you to PSJA for offering these opportunities for students like us.” 

Conference sponsors included The Social Club, Atlas, Clark Knapp, Lexus, Starbucks, Shop 112, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Commissioner Eduardo “Eddie” Cantu, The Queen’s Kitchen, Dei Lou Modeling Agency, Christina Garza and Top Golf. 

According to Rakay, she hopes the conference empowers students to believe in themselves and is grateful for the support her campus receives year-round. 

“We want our students to know that they are able to do anything that they set out to do,” said the principal. “We are very lucky that PSJA ISD offers this campus to serve our students and provide all these resources that they may need.”