Donna ISD’s New Real Estate Program Produces First Texas Realtor
Donna High School alumnus Michael Homero Garcia recalls the very moment when he knew what his calling in life would be.
The 19-year-old said when he was in eleventh grade, he heard that Donna ISD was planning to offer a Real Estate program his senior year. Without hesitation, Garcia signed up for the new Career and Technical Education program (CTE) and he is glad he did.
“I had been interested in real estate before and when the district announced at the end of eleventh grade that it was going to offer the program, I just knew I had to try,” Garcia said. “It seemed like a great opportunity and when I went to the class, I fell in love with real estate. I’m happy I was given the opportunity by Donna ISD.”
After successfully completing the Real Estate program and earning six real estate certificates, then passing state and national exams, Garcia became the first in Donna ISD history to receive his Real Estate License. “It was exciting, but it was a lot of studying,” Garcia said. “It’s really diverse. You learn about finance, economics and how the agency works. Agency relationship is one of the course works. It is a lot of studying, but I think it was definitely worth it at the end.”
Robert Cruz, who was Garcia’s instructor at the time, saw his dedication and determination. "Michael was an outstanding student who demonstrated discipline, self-motivation, and a passion for learning real estate,” Cruz said. “He is an extremely bright individual and an extremely fast learner. He completed 180 hours of coursework by taking six individual real estate pre-licensing courses. He has officially fulfilled all the necessary requirements to now be considered a Texas Realtor."
Garcia now works at Keller Williams Realty RGV in McAllen. “It’s just fantastic,” Garcia said. “It’s great meeting all these people and helping them as they begin to think about making big investments. It’s definitely a great experience.”
Becoming a realtor in such a short time was an incredible accomplishment for the young 2020 Donna High graduate. However, Garcia has even bigger dreams. Currently, he is attending the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with the hopes of moving on to pursue a degree in Real Estate law and becoming a real state attorney. He plans to save up to help with his higher education goals. “When I enrolled in Donna ISD’s Real Estate program, one of the courses was contract law and real estate law,” Garcia said. “It just seemed like something I really wanted to do and pursue.”
Donna ISD’s Real Estate Program is one of 38 CTE programs available in the district. While partaking in these courses, students are eligible to earn one or more of the over 40 certificates or licenses offered. Among the newest programs at Donna ISD (and not found in other districts) are Commercial Driver’s License (Class A/B), Commercial Drone Pilot, Barber, Veterinary Technician, Computer Technician and Real Estate License.
Garcia encourages students to consider enrolling in a CTE program of their interest. It could lead to a successful career right out of high school and provide a means to pay for college for those interested in furthering their education.
“I would like to thank Donna ISD for giving me this opportunity,” Garcia said. “The real estate program is fantastic and is helping me achieve my dreams.”