Jessica Hoyos (BS '20)
A college professor could write a lengthy dissertation on the importance of sharpening Spanish and English skills in schoolchildren, but Jessica Hoyos can sum up her position in short order: “I want young people to think of Spanish as a strength, not a weakness.”
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Hoyos, a Texas Woman’s University senior interdisciplinary studies major with a concentration in bilingual education, is passionate about becoming a teacher.
The first member of her family to attend – and soon to graduate – college, Hoyos has poured a lot of energy into paving the way for other students to pursue bilingual education as a profession, too.
“I want there to be more people who are teaching that look like me,” she said, adding that she eventually would like to teach at the elementary school level. “I see the opportunities that are out there for people who speak Spanish.”
I want there to be more people who are teaching that look like me. I see the opportunities that are out there for people who speak Spanish.
She is an officer in the Bilingual Education Student Organization (BESO), which supports students who speak two or more languages and encourages them to participate in activities related to advancing bilingual education. BESO is among the oldest Latina student organizations at Texas Woman’s, and it launched after the university initiated one of the state’s first bilingual teacher preparation programs.
Since becoming BESO’s public relations officer – a position created specifically because of her boundless energy and her uncanny ability to promote – Hoyos has expanded the group’s social media outreach, added biographies to the organization’s social media platforms, planned and hosted networking events and actively recruited students into the organization.
Additionally, Hoyos serves as a mentor for the collegiate G-Force organization, which encourages high school students to pursue higher education. As a G-Force mentor, Hoyos visits area high schools and engages in one-on-one conversations about college with students. She also helps guide high school students through the application, financial aid and orientation processes.
This isn’t just about the students – it’s about the parents.
Hoyos grew up in California and Nevada before moving to Texas as a child. Her mother is from Mexico, and she has been speaking Spanish since she was a child. She graduated from high school in Carrollton. Her initiative and passion for the bilingual teaching profession have caught the attention of at least one TWU educator.
“She is destined to be a leader in the bilingual education field,” said Jorge Figueroa, an associate professor in TWU’s Teacher Education program and the adviser to the BESO group.
Hoyos said many people don’t fully appreciate how important it is to strengthen bilingual education. She noted that many young Latinos and Latinas serve as a bridge for their parents to the English-speaking world.
“This isn’t just about the students – it’s about the parents,” Hoyos said.
I want young people to think of Spanish as a strength, not a weakness.
Assistant Vice President, University Communications
Page last updated 11:02 AM, October 1, 2019