Dozens of local students were among the 342 graduates that received diplomas Saturday from Career Centers of Texas-Corpus Christi. State Rep. Abel Herrero, D-Robstown, delivered the keynote speech at the graduation ceremony held at the Selena Auditorium.

The following October 2007 graduates earned diplomas in one of seven programs:

Computer Business Systems: Leslie Esquivel, Melina Flores, Robert Gonzalez, all of Robstown.

Medical Assistant: Jamie Bowers, Danielle R. Guajardo, Rebekah Jara, Jennifer Moreno, Joanna Pena, all of Bishop; Monica Leyva, Renata Paiz and Emily Santellana, all of Odem; Tami J. Adams, Consuelo Alcorta, Ashley Castillo, Lisa Charo, Amanda De Anda, Sylvia De Leon, Chriselda De Los Santos, Stephanie Garza, Malorie Guzman, Linda Holguin, Sarah Ramon, Billy Reyna, Jennifer Saldana, all of Robstown.

Medical Office Specialist: Kathy Brown and Nicole Frels, both of Bishop; Melissa Colchado, Odem; Roxanna Espinoza and Monica Garcia, both of Robstown.

Patient Care Assistant Technician: Anna Resendez, Banquete; Marissa Canales, Odem; Ashley Cano, Veronica Duran, Ashley Jacobo, and Valentin Sanchez, all of Robstown.

Upon graduation, students may be eligible for entry-level positions in their fields of study, many of which are in high demand. According to a report by the Texas Workforce Commission, medical assistant positions are expected to increase 58.6 percent and dental assistant positions by 53 percent from 2004 to 2014, while licensed practical and vocational nursing positions are expected to increase 24.8 percent form 2004 to 2014.

Career Centers of Texas-Corpus Christi is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges of Technology and is a branch of San Antonio School of Medical and Dental Assistants-San Antonio.

The campus currently offers eight diploma programs in fields including allied health, accounting, computer applications and vocational nursing, a new 12-month program that begins Oct. 22.

Maribel Gallegos Lara has received a Master of Arts degree in psychology from Texas A&M-Kingsville. Maribel is a 2000 graduate of Robstown High School and the daughter of Julian and Elisa Gallegos of Robstown. Maribel is also married to Reynaldo Lara and has a son, Masun Rey Lara.