Student Spotlight: From Mariachi Performer to Jaguar Ambassador, Ruben Reyes is Thriving at A&M-San Antonio

Student Spotlight: From Mariachi Performer to Jaguar Ambassador, Ruben Reyes is Thriving at A&M-San Antonio

As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, we’re spotlighting A&M-San Antonio students who have worked hard, overcome challenges, and are now successfully chasing their dreams. This is the second of five student spotlights. 

Ruben Reyes has made the most of his time at A&M-San Antonio, from serving as a Jaguar Ambassador to performing with Mariachi Los Jaguares del Sur. Being involved in these and other activities has allowed Reyes to build a strong bond with the University. 

“Prior to starting here, I always thought it was weird that people built such a close relationship with the school,” Reyes said. “But when I came here, I finally understood, and I love the school with all my heart. They’ve done such amazing things for me, and I’ve had so many opportunities here that I didn’t think would ever happen.” 

Reyes grew up in Edinburg, Texas—located in the Rio Grande Valley—in a family of four. Reyes attended several different elementary schools, often staying with his grandmother, as his parents both had busy work schedules. They impressed upon Reyes the importance of a college education.  

“My parents instilled in me that I would be going to college, regardless.”

Determined to make his parents proud and get a head start in his journey toward college, Reyes worked hard in high school, obtaining enough credits to earn an Associate of Science in Mathematics from South Texas College.

He said one of the factors that convinced him to attend A&M-San Antonio was pleasant memories from when he and his family visited the Alamo City. 

“We would make the drive up from Edinburg on a Saturday and go back Sunday evening,” he said. “It was always a really nice trip. I felt comfortable in San Antonio compared to other cities. San Antonio seemed like a good option.” 

During his time at the University, Reyes has forged many friendships and connections. As an Honors Program student, he’s engaged with campus events and initiatives, most notably as a Jaguar Ambassador, which enables Reyes to attend high-profile university events and ceremonies where he serves as an escort for VIPs and special guests. His duties also include providing tours of the campus to distinguished visitors. 

Reyes has also worked with Student Success and Engagement, which develops programs and services that encourage success in classrooms, careers and communities. And he’s served as a mentor with Achievement Initiative for Minority Males, an organization that seeks to increase retention, graduation, engagement and overall success of ethnic minority males by providing life skills training and improved educational experiences.   

Rubes Reyes performs with mariachi band.

As for his musical talents, Reyes played in the orchestra in both middle and high school, first playing the viola. He then picked up the violin and was a member of his high school mariachi band. Reyes said he’s now thrilled to be part of Mariachi Los Jaguares del Sur, which is dedicated to honoring and preserving the art of mariachi music and celebrating Mexican culture. The group plays at campus functions and local events, including festivals and community concerts.

“San Antonio is kind of like the mariachi hub,” he said. “It’s a very special culture here on the music side of things. It’s pretty cool to be part of that.” 

Reyes, a computer science major, plans to graduate in 2025. While he doesn’t have firm plans yet beyond college, he said he’s exploring career options in computer programming or cybersecurity. 

“Honestly, as long as I work with computers, I’m good.”  

Ruben Reyes 

Age: 19 

Major: Computer Science 

Expected Graduation: 2025