Photo courtesy of Ileana Gonzalez
President of UTSA’s Student Government Association, Ileana Gonzalez, is a woman of many titles, and she just added a new one to the list.
The UTSA entrepreneurship major was appointed for a two-year term to the Ethics Review Board. She was nominated for the position by Ron Nirenberg, Councilman of District 8.
Gonzalez’s appointment is part of Nirenberg’s effort to get young residents, especially students, involved in leadership positions in the city.
“I believe strongly that young people are ready and willing to serve and make a difference in our community; we simply need to give them the opportunity to do so,” said Councilman Nirenberg. “It’s in everyone’s best interests to see that they get that opportunity since they will be leading out city, our nation and our world very soon, and they need to gain and sharpen those skills on a real stage right now.”
The idea came as a surprise, but after hearing Councilman Nirenberg’s reasoning behind her nomination, Gonzalez decided to apply for the position.
“He got me really excited about the opportunity,” Gonzalez said. “The more I thought about it, the more it meant to me since I am representing a vast majority of San Antonians.”
The excitement Gonzalez experiences, however, is not merely rooted in the actual appointment to the position, but is also a nod to the education she received from her family and the values they instilled in her.
“Being appointed to a matter associated with high morals and ethics is a compliment to the choices I have made and the way I have lived my life,” Gonzalez said.
It is clear her choices have made a big impression, since a lot of trust has been placed on her shoulders as she looks to focus on increasing access, transparency and trust that the people of San Antonio have in the local government during her term.
“My hope is that Ileana represents an unapologetic vision that future generations want for San Antonio, and an uncompromising standard of integrity we all should expect from public officials,” said Councilman Nirenberg.
With doors wide open and a bright future ahead, Gonzalez reflects on her time at UTSA and how quickly the journey is coming to an end. To her fellow students she offers some advice: To go at it with everything they’ve got.
“We sometimes don’t realize that one little push of extra effort can make a whole lot of difference,” Gonzalez said.
Like many other students who will graduate soon, Gonzalez has achieved great things during her time at UTSA, and she is grateful for the opportunities her college experience has given her.
“I feel completely blessed being able to represent the university that has given me so much and changed my life,” Gonzalez said. “I would not change anything about it; my challenges and failures have gotten me to where I am today.”