Wednesday, April 24, 2024
  Community, Alumni, Athletics

By Amanda Alaniz

EDITOR’S NOTE: From the university’s first graduation ceremony in fall 2015, to its most recent in December 2023, more than 50,000 students have earned their degrees at UTRGV. Those Vaqueros are out in the community and beyond now, making a difference, having an impact on the world. So UTRGV is taking time to recognize its 50K milestone by showcasing stories about its alumni. This is one of those success stories.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – APRIL 24, 2024 – Jorge Medina starts his day at 6:30 a.m., teaching students about graphic design at the IDEA Public School in Mission.

Once the bell rings, though, the UTRGV alumnus makes his way to Alton to open his family-operated food truck, Tacos "El Profe," ready serve up tacos de discada.

food truck
UTRGV alum Jorge Medina, now a teacher at IDEA Public School in Mission, owns a family-run food truck called Tacos "El Profe” in Alton, Texas. (Courtesy Photo)
“I believe being a teacher and being a business owner is pretty similar,” the Mission resident said. “Once you’re in the classroom, you’re a leader for the kids, you’re a role model to the kids and the school. And once you’re in your business, it’s the same. People are watching you, people are around you, so you need to be a good person and help the community.”

Medina, born and raised in Monterey, Mexico, moved to Mission in 2012. He started his journey at UTRGV in 2014, and was goalkeeper for the UTRGV men’s soccer team.

Soccer was a big part of his college career all four years. Being part of the team gave him an abundance of opportunities, including the chance to travel all around the United States, he said.

Some of his soccer highlights came during his freshman year while he attended Wylie University in Marshall, Texas. Medina and his team had a record of 4 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses in 12 matches, with Medina making 25 saves and allowing only six goals.

Medina said he will always be grateful for his time with the team, which helped him grow as a person. He graduated from UTRGV in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, then earned a master’s degree  in Creative Writing with a concentration in Spanish from UTRGV in 2020.

utrgv alum jorge medina
UTRGV alum Jorge Medina is a graphic and multimedia art teacher at the IDEA Public School in Mission. (UTRGV Photo)

Essentially, Medina’s day job is being a graphics and multimedia art teacher at the IDEA Public School in Mission, where he teaches his students how to create logos and flyers and how to create content for social media.

His goal is to share his story with students, to use it as a tool for inspiration. He grew up in Mexico and his first language was Spanish, he said, but he didn’t let that stop him from pursuing his degree and career in the United States.  

“One of the things I enjoy the most is teaching the kids about life outside of school and what they could do after graduation,” Medina said. “So many of us don’t know what to do after high school, so I want to help the community and the kids, to guide them, to help them be successful in life.” 

Each day, when he finishes in the classroom, his workday continues and he heads to Alton to operate the food truck – Tacos “El Profe,” where he cooks up the bistek and tortillas.

food truck
“I wanted to start something new, in addition to being a teacher. And here we are here now, with the food truck,” Medina said. (Courtesy Photo)
His inspiration for opening Tacos “El Profe” was to help his family, he said, so opening the food truck seemed like a great opportunity to him. In 2013, he and his family had opened a taco stand outside a church, and customers always asked if they had a taquería. They didn’t have their own food business at the time, but it gave Medina an idea that would lead to the food truck.

“I love tacos,” he said, laughing. “I wanted to start something new, in addition to being a teacher. And here we are here now, with the food truck.” 

So, Medina gathered his savings, and with help from his mom, dad and sister, they worked to open the food truck. They decided on the name because “teacher” in Spanish is “profesor,” often shortened to “profe.” And that is where the name Tacos “El Profe” came from.


Medina credits his experiences at UTRGV for preparing him to be both a teacher and a successful business owner.

“I always had guidance from the professors, and I had the help from UTRGV to achieve my goals,” he said. “The skills I learned gave me the confidence to be successful in my classroom and in the kitchen.”

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to balance both jobs, Medina said, but it is possible to do it well.

“It is very rewarding seeing the kids learning new things in school,” he said. “And it’s rewarding seeing people who are hungry, when they taste the tacos, they have a big smile on their face.”

He is excited to watch UTRGV growing, with plans for a football team and a growing medical school, he said. UTRGV is a huge benefit to the Rio Grande Valley and is already central to life in the community. He said he is thankful for all the opportunities UTRGV gave him and happy that future Vaqueros have this resource so close to home.

“It’s time for UTRGV to be on the map, in the entire United States. It’s growing with the help from alumni, students and the Valley community,” he said. “We are doing amazing things.”


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.