Former Intern Sees Homecoming Opportunities
April 27, 2015

Last month, we were thrilled to reconnect with Delissa Villa at OC’s Partner Reception on March 19th.  Currently, Delissa is the manager of an H.E.B. Supermarket on Bandera Road in San Antonio, where she works with 240 partners (employees). H.E.B. Grocery Stores is a privately held supermarket chain based in San Antonio, Texas, with more than 350 stores throughout the state of Texas and northern Mexico.

delissa and simone elder
Delissa (right) converses with Simone Elder, OC Board Member and fellow intern alumnus, at the 2015 Partner Reception. (Photo Credit: Alphonso Rincon)

Back in 2009 when she was in college, Delissa interned for her hometown of Tulia, TX (the first OC Intern from Swisher County), and then completed two more internships through OC in 2010 and 2011.  Besides helping her to gain work experience, these internships had a more lasting effect on Delissa. “The internships served as an invitation. Before…I did not believe there were opportunities for me in my hometown but now I do. Also, it was an opportunity for me to learn more about entrepreneurship.  Even though I work full-time as an H-E-B Grocery Store manager, I have started my own business: Laridel Properties.”

It is easier to summarize the objectives that an intern accomplishes, than to know the deeper and more long-term impacts. Reflecting back on her internships, Delissa identifies a spark that many alumni can relate to.  “On a personal level I do see my main accomplishment as having sown a seed in Tulia, TX, that will bear fruit in the future. That seed is the knowledge that I will one day be back to drive and support educational growth in Tulia.”

Delissa also attests to the fact that, to realize their dreams, it is often necessary for our youth to go out in the world and away from our hometowns:

“For me, it was important to go out and gain what I couldn’t get here, and then to bring it back.  But I plan to return to the Texas Panhandle area to grow my real estate business. God willing, with financial growth in my business, I will be able to give back to my hometown of Tulia. I want to better the education at the high school level, and also have fitness and nutritional programs for the community.  Youth need to learn that there are opportunities.”