Mother’s investment paid big dividends for daughters’ education

Scotts Candy Mageluzzo, center, and her daughters Brandy Vasquez, left, and Kingsley Scott began their higher education at Victoria College.

Having worked in the finance business since high school, Candy Mageluzzo knew the best investment she could make for her two children was their education.

“I bought the Texas Tomorrow Fund for both of them when they were babies,” Mageluzzo said of her daughters Brandy Vasquez and Kingsley Scott, who were born nine years apart. “Victoria College was always going to be in their higher education plans, because I bought the two years of community college and two years of university.”

Scott, 23, recently graduated from The University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in government and a minor in communication. She is pursuing her master’s degree in business administration at the University of Houston-Victoria. Vasquez, 32, returned to school after a nine-year hiatus and recently earned her bachelor’s degree in general business from UHV.

“I am amazingly proud of them,” Mageluzzo said. “Kingsley graduated in four years, and that’s almost unheard of these days. I know it wasn’t easy for her at UT. She put in a lot of hard work, and it paid off. I was on Brandy for years, so I was glad she decided to go back and get it done because I knew she could do it.”

Scott and Vasquez attended Victoria College together in 2014-16. Scott made the Dean’s List at VC her freshman year but didn’t begin enjoying the college experience until she became more active in on-campus organizations and events.

“I would just go straight home after my classes,” Scott said. “My second year, I got involved in student government and volleyball, and I met so many people. I made a lot of lifelong friends. It’s important to get involved.”

Scott said she missed the intimate setting at Victoria College when she attended The University of Texas.

“You get to really know your teachers at Victoria College,” said Scott, who works in the Information Technology Department at the University of Houston-Victoria as an office assistant. “At UT, you’re lucky if they recognize you in class. You need little poster cards with your name on it so they can call on you.”

Vasquez took dual-credit classes at Victoria College while attending Calhoun High School, but she moved to Austin and joined the workforce after graduation.

“After so many years of working, I really wanted to go back to school,” Vasquez said. “My younger sister was going to school, so I thought I needed to go back. Kingsley inspired me. She was my role model. She was the push I needed.”

“I was very proud of her because she was able to come back to school after that much time away,” Scott said. “I know that had to be a difficult transition going from working to going back to school.”

Vasquez earned her Associate of Science degree from Victoria College in 2016.

“My main goal was to just get my associate degree,” Vasquez said. “Then once I achieved that, I felt like I needed to keep going. Victoria College provided that nudge to make me go farther and do better.”

Mageluzzo began working at Cal-Com Federal Credit Union in Port Lavaca as a junior in high school.

“They needed someone to stuff envelopes,” Mageluzzo said.

Mageluzzo attended Victoria College in 1978, but discontinued her higher education for two decades until she began taking night classes at VC while working full time at Cal-Com.

“I loved VC because I learned a variety of subjects – literature, math, science,” Mageluzzo said. “I wasn’t just learning about the credit union business. Taking all these other classes made me more well-rounded.”

Mageluzzo earned her associate degree in 2000 and went on to obtain her bachelor’s degree in business administration at UHV in 2005. She retired from Cal-Com in 2010 as an executive vice president after working for the company for over 32 years.

“VC gave me a feeling of self-accomplishment,” Mageluzzo said. “Even though I was successful at work and moving up the career ladder, I wasn’t happy with myself because I did not have that degree.”

Scott and Vasquez are happy their mother invested in their academic futures and insisted they begin their higher education at Victoria College.

“VC really provided me a solid foundation,” Scott said. “Students who graduate from high school and don’t know what they want do should still go to VC to get their basics out of the way. They need to get something under their belt to show themselves they can do it.”

“VC gave me a second chance,” said Vasquez, who is considering a career in finance. “I didn’t take the traditional route, but VC made it easier. VC was the right place and provided the perfect environment for me to make that adjustment in my life.”