Helping others becomes
Dr. Nancy Vera’s passion
Alexandria Rodriguez / Reporter
Dr. Nancy Vera, president of LULAC Council No. 4444, has overcome many obstacles in her life to become one of the city’s prominent activists.
“I went to Del Mar, and it was a point in my life where I was very poor,” said Vera, who was raised by her grandparents. “I made it through Del Mar College with one pair of pants and a couple of blouses. That made my determination even stronger.”
Vera, a Moody High School graduate, received her doctorate from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
“I wrote a dissertation on Mexican-American leaders for my doctorate,” Vera said. “I saw that there were other leaders that hadn’t been highlighted or brought to the forefront.”
She began teaching at Miller High School, where her eyes were opened to the needs of the students there.
“At the time I was there Miller had a 40 percent illiteracy rate,” Vera said. “It was a very challenging and difficult but wonderful place to work.”
During her time at Miller, Vera met Gloria Hicks, a frequent volunteer at schools across Corpus Christi.
“Gloria Hicks helped me a lot in raising money for the kids there, because there is such a need out there,” Vera said. Both women did many things to help students with supplies and clothes. Vera would go on to lead the effort of naming a new school after Hicks. Her efforts paid off when an elementary school was constructed and named after Hicks.
Vera also helped get the print shop at Ray High School named after a local publisher and editor, Rodolfo Zepeda Mirabal, who had a passion for the printing business and advocating for the civil rights of Hispanics.
“Rosie Mirabal called me after she had written a book about her parents, and she wanted my help to name a school after them,” Vera said. “She told me her story, and I love stories of our past, and found the magnificence of her parents’ stories and what they did for the community.”
The passing of Vera’s aunt became an important component of her life when the priest failed to use the correct name at the funeral. It was then that Vera decided no one else would be forgotten.
“No one, no one is going to forget us. We have already forgotten three-quarters to half of our history already,” Vera said. “That’s how I came up with Inspirational Voyages, my virtual museum of Mexican-American history in Corpus Christi, and it was then that the opportunity with the Corpus Christi Community Radio station came up.”
Besides her work with the League of United Latin American Citizens, Vera also serves as vice president of The American Federation of Teachers and a member of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times Hispanic Advisory Committee. She also teaches English at Carroll High School.
Vera recently teamed up with Corpus Christi’s newly established radio station, Corpus Christi Community Radio, and started her own radio show, “Cuentame,” which can be heard by going to cccomradio.com. She also established Inspirational Voyages, an ongoing project that enlightens others about the history of Mexican-Americans in Corpus Christi.
“To expand to the colleges would be a nice thing, and that’s next,” Vera said.