HCC alumna Maria Rios honored during 2017 Hispanic Scholarship Council Luncheon

Oct 27, 2017

Maria Rios news image

Achievement and perseverance were celebrated as the heart of Houston Community College (HCC) during the 2017 Hispanic Scholarship Council Luncheon. The community gathered for the annual scholarship fundraiser, held Oct.13 at the Houston Sonesta Hotel, to honor Maria Rios, president and CEO of Nation Waste, Inc.

Rios, an HCC alumna, launched the first female Hispanic owned waste removal company in the United States. Rios began her U.S. journey emigrating from El Salvador as a child. Escaping civil war, her family came to the U.S. to pursue education and a better life.

During her comments to the audience, Rios recognized the impact that HCC had in her life as she recalled how her professors assisted her in putting together a business plan, which started with the purchase of a few trucks and has grown to become a $30 million company. Throughout the community, Rios is known for her reliance on faith, a relentless work ethic and steadfast determination, principles she put to work to build her own business.

“People told me that I looked too girly and that I was not cut out for this type of business,” Rios shared. “Business became my passion, and I could not be more proud that my company has generated salaries and wellbeing for many families."

In her remarks commending Rios, HCC Board of Trustees Chair Eva Loredo said, “Her tenacity. Her drive. Her pursuit to be the best in her field. These are the same admirable qualities we hope to nurture in the recipients of our HSC scholarship recipients.”

As one of the founders of the Hispanic Scholarship Council, Loredo went on to deliver an inspirational message to attendees on the importance of supporting the efforts of students, like Rios, who use HCC as the launch pad for achieving their dreams.

“Education is the key that unlocks a lifetime of opportunities and clears the path to achievement,” Loredo said. “With encouragement and financial support, our student success stories can be limitless.”

Speaking on the educational value HCC provides the community, Dr. Cesar Maldonado, HCC Chancellor, emphasized the institution’s commitment to supporting the area’s economic growth through workforce development.

“At Houston Community College, we are putting our collective effort into moving the needle forward in regard to student success,” Maldonado said, sharing how in the past 12 months HCC has established partnerships with global organizations like Apple, opened new campuses and established electronic textbook programs to help ease one of the financial burdens experienced by HCC students.

Calling upon the audience to support the fundraising efforts of the Hispanic Scholarship Council, he explained how scholarship programs like this “empower students to take a stand and fight for a better future for themselves and their community by acquiring their education.”

To contribute to the HCC Hispanic Scholarship Council, please contact the HCC Foundation at

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