David Ayala

Not getting an education was “not an option” for David Ayala and his three siblings.

Ayala was born March 3, 1949, in Pharr, Texas, to Marcelino and Ana Maria (Guajardo) Ayala. After he graduated from high school in 1967, he attended Pan American University in Edinburg, hitchhiking the 15 miles from home to campus. His mother always made sure he had a plastic bag with him.

“She didn’t care about me getting wet,” Ayala said, “but she wanted to make sure my books didn’t get wet if I got caught in the rain.”

Teodoro De la Rosa

By Anna Wong

Evident in his service to the United States, Teodoro De La Rosa is a man who’s proud and loyal to his country.

De La Rosa was born in the humble surroundings of Pharr, Texas. His father, Gregorio De La Rosa, was a migrant farm worker; his mother, Beatriz Cavazoz De La Rosa, a housewife. They didn't own any property, but as long as they worked at the farm, the family had a place to stay, De La Rosa said.

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