Karina Palacios

Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez, right, presents a $500 check and a certificate to Del Rio student Karina Palacios who is accompanied by her father Deputy Joaquin Palacios.

Del Rio student Karina Palacios received a $500 scholarship from the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas. Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez presented Palacios with the $500 check and a certificate designating her as a recipient of a Sheriffs’ Association of Texas academic scholarship for the fall of 2019.

Martinez made the presentation in his office Wednesday. Palacios was joined at the event by her father, Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joaquin Palacios, who has served with the sheriff’s office for about 12 years.

“The Sheriffs’ Association of Texas gives out scholarships twice a year to individuals who have some kind of tie to law enforcement or someone who is going into the field of law enforcement or criminal justice,” Martinez said.

He said Palacios’ scholarship award is the second one given to a student with ties to the Val Verde County Sheriff’s Office.

Palacios, a 2019 graduate of Del Rio High School, said she applied for the scholarship about two months ago.

She is currently attending San Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where she is pursuing a degree program in criminal justice.

Palacios said she is a junior at the school, even though this is her first semester there.

“I went through Early College High School here, so I plan to graduate from San Houston State next fall,” she said.

Palacios said she would like to go to work in the federal probation system once she has earned her degree, but noted that if she graduates next fall as she plans, she won’t be old enough to apply.

“Until I am old enough, I’m thinking about working with TDCJ, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, just becoming a jailer until I’m old enough to apply for a job in federal probation,” Palacios said.

In addition to her father, Palacios said she has two uncles in federal law enforcement.

“I’ve always been interested in law enforcement, ever since I was little, just trying to do something better for someone else,” she said.

“There’s not a lot of people coming into this career field, and it’s a pleasure to meet someone who has a lot of excitement about coming into the criminal justice field, no matter what or where, and at such a young age, Karina has already accomplished a lot. I’m proud of her, and I know her father is proud of her as well, and I know that he raised her right,” Martinez said.

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