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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

La Joya, TX—Congressman Henry Cuellar delivered two grants, totaling $549,948, that will greatly benefit the residents of the Rio Grande Valley. Specifically, Congressman Cuellar announced $499,948 in federal funds to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and their work to establish and expand services for victims and survivors of sexual assault.

In addition, Congressman Cuellar announced $50,000 in federal funds to the City of La Joya, through USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant program, which will be used to generate statistical data of the size of its economy and identify opportunities for future economic development. 


UTRGV received $499,948 in federal funds from the Department of Justice’s Expanding SANE Services to Victims of Sexual Assault on Campus.

With these funds,  The South Texas Forensic Nurse Project (STFNP) will establish a program at UTRGV that will permit on-campus access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs). The effort is a collaboration between UTRGV’s campus-based advocacy office (Office for Victim Advocacy & Violence Prevention or OVAVP), Student Health, the School of Nursing, and other campus and community partners.

This program will increase the number of certified SANEs in the Rio Grande Valley and ensure adequate staffing to address events on campus. By increasing certified SANEs, the UTRGV campus will be able provide comprehensive advocacy for victims and survivors on campus. In addition, this initiative will promote forensic nursing as a viable career path for future nurses.

“Survivors of sexual violence are among the most isolated and vulnerable,” said Congressman Cuellar. “This SANE funding will allow UTRGV to create a number of highly-skilled registered nurses to care for students who are victims of sexual assault and help hold offenders accountable. I would like to thank UTRGV President Dr. Guy Bailey as well as the rest of his staff for creating a strong support system for students as they complete their college degree.”

La Joya

La Joya will use this funding to conduct research on the economic landscape of the city. Specifically, this research will help identify to how much economic activity is generated in the community and how much economic activity is leaving the community. Based on the research, the City will work to identify the best strategies to stimulate economic activity and recruit new businesses to the city, primarily along the Interstate 2 corridor. With 3,985 residents in La Joya, this funding will help to bring new business to serve the area.

“With right resources, rural communities can be creative entrepreneurial centers where small businesses thrive,” Congressman Cuellar continued. “This funding will allow the City of La Joya to do research that will help them create strategies for enhancing economic development in the region. I would like to thank the City of La Joya, including Mayor Isidro Casanova, City Commissioners, and City Council members,  and USDA Area Director Roel Gomez for their commitment to growing our community.”

Pictured: Rep. Cuellar Delivers $499,948 in federal funds to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Rep. Cuellar Delivers $50,000 in federal funds to the City of La Joya