Paving a Bright Educational Future


The PSJA Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides educational funds to the students and staff of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA ISD).

The organization prides itself in promoting excellence in education by developing and sustaining financial and nonfinancial support programs for PSJA students and staff.

“The [school] district and the foundation share the same belief that a successful education system must involve a team effort that includes the home, school and community,” said Marlen Lopez, vice president of the PSJA Education Foundation.

Each year the Foundation hosts a gala in the fall to fundraise for student scholarships and teacher grants.

“[The gala] brings the community together. It is a great networking event within our community in which simultaneously we raise funds and pave the way for educational opportunities and growth,” Lopez said.

The PSJA Education Foundation’s fundraising started with a golf tournament. Still, the board members decided to take it to the next level with an annual concert.

Hundreds of attendees enjoyed the 11th Annual PSJA Education Foundation Gala at the Bert Ogden Arena September 7, 2023. Attendees enjoyed popular 80’s music from the well-known “E5C4P3: The Journey Tribute Band.” The event began with a mixer for VIP members. The show started at 7:30 p.m. for all attendees to enjoy.

In addition to the concert, each attendee could participate in a live and silent auction with over 40 valuable prizes given by local businesses.

Top silent auction prizes included tickets to the University of Texas vs. University of Texas Tech football game in November, a photo booth rental, restaurant gift cards, a party bus rental, multiple luxurious two-night getaways, high-value shoes and purses, and more.

All proceeds from the event will go to student scholarships and grants.

This year, the Foundation recognized Velma De Leon as their Top Contributing Member and Memorial Funeral Home for being the Presenting Sponsor in loving memory of Chano Garza.

The board members of the PSJA Foundation work diligently all year to make this event happen. Because of the generosity of local business owners, alumni, private citizens, and PSJA staff, the foundation has raised and awarded over $2.2 million in scholarships and teacher grants since its founding in 2013.

“The pivotal role of the PSJA community in achieving this milestone is deeply appreciated,” Lopez said.

Last school year, the PSJA Foundation awarded $341,000 in student scholarships, $52,605 to teachers through 60 mini-grants, and a $14,000 grant toward literacy initiatives.

“We are blessed to be part of the PSJA Family,” Lopez said.

For more information on the PSJA Education Foundation, please visit or call (956) 354-2027. To view photos and videos from the 11th Annual PSJA Education Foundation Gala, visit their Facebook page at


Jillian Cameron