Texas A&M University
A Dallas-based philanthropist who is semi-retired from his role as the CEO of D & M Leasing, Michael Albert “Mike” Hernandez III supports his alma mater, Texas A&M University. His contribution of more than $1 million enabled the institution to start the Brownsville Scholars Program. Through the support of Mike Hernandez III, the university has opened its doors to first-generation college students from his hometown.
Brownsville, which is situated in South Texas, is among the poorest cities in the nation. Moreover, about 20 percent of the city’s eighth-grade students will graduate from college within six years of leaving high school.
One important component of the Brownsville Scholars Program is that it facilitates internships. The program invites local business leaders to offer internships at their companies with the goal of providing students with firsthand workplace experience.
In the current era, it is increasingly difficult for new college graduates to find well-paying jobs. Internships offer them the chance to gain job skills, build their resumes, and create strong networks of professional contacts. All of these efforts are particularly valuable to first-generation graduates and will give them a running start in the highly competitive job market.
Recent research shows that about two-thirds of students who have completed paid internships obtain employment offers after graduating. They also tend to earn significantly higher salaries than their entry-level peers who did not have similar opportunities.
Texas A&M University
Michael Albert “Mike” Hernandez III is the semi-retired CEO of D & M Leasing in Dallas and an alumnus of Texas A&M University (TAMU). In 2016, Mike Hernandez III made a gift of over $1 million that established the Brownsville Scholars Program at the university and funded its first round of scholarships for students with financial hardships, all of whom come from his hometown.
TAMU’s student body currently comprises close to 70,000 people on the main campus and at branch campuses within Texas and the country of Qatar. The university has developed into a world-class research institution and is one of Texas’s three Tier One schools.
The “A” and “M” in the school’s name refer to its origins as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, the first public facility of higher education in the state. Founded in 1876, the institution would achieve recognition as a full-fledged university almost 90 years later. At that time, officials would elect to retain the “A&M” designation as a lasting reminder of its roots.
The beginnings of the institution owe a lot to the Morrill Act of 1862, which allowed Texas and other states to access public lands to establish institutions of higher learning. The residents of Brazos County donated almost 2,500 acres for the site of the new school, which was officially formed following state legislation in 1871.
In the 1960s, TAMU began to accept African American and women students, and today, its campus culture is the result of continuous focused efforts to recruit and retain a diverse group of students and faculty.
Brownsville Scholars Program
Michael Albert “Mike” Hernandez III, now semi-retired as the principal of D & M Leasing in Dallas, remains connected to his South Texas roots. An active philanthropist and community leader, Mike Hernandez supports a range of efforts to improve the lives of people in the Brownsville area where he grew up.
Among these is the Brownsville Scholars Program through the Texas A&M University Foundation. Mr. Hernandez started the program with a donation of more than $1 million in 2016. Funds are designated to provide four-year tuition at the university’s College Station campus for Brownsville-area students with demonstrated financial hardships.
At the conclusion of the program’s first year, inspiring student stories emerged. One of the new Brownsville Scholars chose to go into medicine because she had witnessed how family and friends in her community had to seek care in Mexico because of the high cost of health care in the United States. Now a biomedical student, this scholar hopes to become a pediatrician and work with the children of Brownsville. Another student, majoring in sports management, wants to work with underserved youth through coaching Brownsville sports teams. Both these students are typical of Brownsville Scholarship recipients in that they are the first in their families to attend college.
Texas A&M Foundation
Dallas-based D&M Leasing CEO Micheal “Mike” Albert Hernandez III is actively involved in several philanthropic pursuits in Texas. Mike Hernandez III recently donated more than $1 million to the Texas A&M Foundation as part of the Brownsville Scholars Program.
The Texas A&M Foundation is dedicated to raising funds in support of Texas A&M University. The foundation works in collaboration with alumni, partnering corporations, and a wide range of supporters to fund scholarships, enhance student programming, and update buildings and infrastructure.
When making contributions to Texas A&M, donors may decide how their gifts are to be used. By selecting “student impact,” donors help fund scholarships, fellowships, and other assistance programs that directly touch the lives of current and future students.
Donors who choose to establish endowed scholarships can help even more students. The A&M Foundation invests these funds to maximize growth, allowing a gift to help generations of students in perpetuity.
Cameron County Education Initiative
Micheal “Mike” Albert Hernandez III serves as the CEO of D&M Leasing in Dallas. Alongside his involvement in the auto leasing company, Mike Hernandez III is a respected philanthropist in the Brownsville, Texas, area. He is responsible for creating the OP 10.33 PAC and the Cameron County Education Initiative (CCEI).
The CCEI recently obtained a 12,000-square-foot venue in Brownsville that will serve as a workplace training facility. Participants will have access to GED test preparation services, adult literacy programs, ESL classes, and other employment readiness services.
All of this training will be available at no cost to students, thanks to CCEI and partners at community initiative OP 10.33. CCEI hopes to expand programming beyond basic career readiness in the near future.
Training programs in allied health, such as certified medical assistant and electronic health record technician, are on the horizon at CCEI. The organization also hopes to provide training support for information technology and manufacturing careers in the hope of expanding services to Brownsville residents.
Guadalupe Regional Middle School
Michael Albert Hernandez III serves as the chief executive officer of D&M Leasing in Dallas. Outside of work, Mike Hernandez III remains actively involved with the community where he grew up in Brownsville, Texas, by supporting a number of initiatives, including the eponymous Hernandez Foundation. Recently, he donated $250,000 to the Endowment Fund of Guadalupe Regional Middle School through the foundation.
The school has a proven track record of success helping students succeed academically while receiving the social support they need to continue performing at their peak. In addition, Guadalupe Regional continues to provide services to students through college to encourage success. However, because the school operates without tuition from students, its financial solvency is in question each year. This gift will allow the school’s endowment to grow and provide protection for its programs in times of economic difficulty.
Additionally, the Hernandez Foundation has promised a matching grant for the 2017-2018 academic school year. Individuals who would like to help the institution reach the matching gift goal can make contributions online at GuadalupePrep.org.