The adventures for Kristina Ingles are only just beginning as she drove off into a golden Borderplex sunset in a new Jeep Gladiator Overland Truck on Friday, Aug. 11.
Ingles was randomly selected as the winner of the Jeep Gladiator raffle, announced via Facebook Live as part of the university’s 10-year anniversary celebration. Casa Auto Group generously provided the 2022 Texas Tech Raider Red, four-wheel-drive Jeep truck, with all raffle proceeds going toward student scholarships at the university.
The first-year Foster School of Medicine student was in class when her name was drawn. Within minutes, she learned via text message of her good fortune and raced from class to claim her prize.
Having purchased a single ticket, Ingles was quick to praise the over 1,000 donors who contributed to the raffle for their investment in students. In addition to being a medical student, Ingles is completing her Ph.D. in educational psychology from Texas A&M University.
“Thank you, El Paso, for contributing to the lives of medical, dental and nursing students,” the mother of two said. “This is such an amazing blessing.”
The raffle, administered by the Paso del Norte Community Foundation on behalf of TTUHSC El Paso, was a resounding success, raising $102,060 toward scholarships since its launch on April 4. This initiative proved once again that our Borderplex community is always willing to come together to help the educational advancement of future health care leaders.
“The win is so incredibly timely,” said Ingles. “It will change my life and those of my children. As a mom of two teenagers, the Jeep alleviates a huge stress for our family. I couldn’t afford to buy more than one ticket but I felt I was doing my part to support scholarships. I never imagined I’d actually win!”
“We are overjoyed that Kristina, a medical student and a hardworking mom, won.” said Andrea Tawney, Ph.D., vice president for the university’s Office of Institutional Advancement. “It was the perfect way to celebrate both our 10-year anniversary and our community of supporters. I think every person who purchased tickets can feel good about the outcome of this raffle. We extend our sincere appreciation to Casa Auto Group for always stepping up, without hesitation, to help us grow our community’s next generation of health care leaders.”
Our Borderplex region faces a critical shortage of health care professionals, a challenge to which TTUHSC El Paso has responded to by growing our own health care leaders. Remarkably, 43% of TTUHSC El Paso students hail from our Borderplex region itself. Many of these students and others wishing to pursue a career in health care are worried about the increasing costs of a world-class health care education.
Community partnerships play an important part in solving health care education costs. Since 2020, Casa Auto Group has played a valued role in supporting TTUHSC El Paso students.
“At Casa Auto Group, we believe community partnerships are vital, and investing in the education of our future health care leaders is a profound way for us to contribute,” Casa Auto Group CEO Ronnie Lowenfield said. “Our motto is ‘Redefining the car business through community collaboration, serving others, doing what’s right, and valuing people.’ We recognize our role as a business transcends mere transactions; our relationships with the people and community organizations around us are our greatest assets. We will continue to forge partnerships and strive to serve those in our community any way we can.”
Lowenfield and the Casa family of dealerships have long been partners with TTUHSC El Paso, helping to grow our own future health care professionals. In 2020 and 2021, Casa Auto Group offered two Hunt School of Nursing students a free one-year vehicle lease.
For the Hunt School of Nursing’s 10-year anniversary in 2022, Casa Auto Group donated a 2021 F-150 truck to one lucky raffle winner.
Casa Auto Group is a family of dealerships that includes Casa Ford Lincoln, Casa Nissan, Casa Kia, Casa Buick GMC and La Casita Used Cars. They have been a trusted part of the El Paso community for over 50 years and are committed to redefining the car business by serving others, doing what is right, and valuing people.
Over the past decade, TTUHSC El Paso has achieved significant progress in expanding academic programs, growing enrollment, and fostering clinical partnerships with local hospitals and health care entities. Since its establishment, the university has successfully graduated more than 2,000 health care professionals. A substantial number of these graduates have elected to remain in the region, directly contributing to the local community and addressing the need for skilled health care providers in our underserved area.
In attendance for the announcement were several medical, dental and nursing students. Although they hadn’t purchased tickets, they wanted to thank the team at Casa Auto Group and express their appreciation to all who purchased tickets. The funds raised through the raffle will significantly ease financial burdens for students, facilitating their pursuit of vital health care careers.
Second-year medical student and El Pasoan, Valerie Sanchez who attended the drawing was thrilled to see not only a fellow student win but also the amount of money raised for scholarships. A scholarship recipient of the Student Empowerment Fund, Valerie appreciates the fact that donors personally invest in her dream to pursue a medical degree in her hometown.
“Without my scholarship, I’d be living on a very tight budget,” said Sanchez. And a tight budget means more stress that would definitely interfere with my studies.”
Her scholarship has already inspired her to give back after graduation. Her first gift will be to remain in El Paso to practice medicine.
“I see my scholarship as a contract,” said Sanchez. “The community gave to me to support my education. I will, in return, give back to the community.”
To learn more about how community support is improving lives and empowering generations at TTUHSC El Paso, visit ttuhscepimpact.org.