Monday, February 25, 2019

SpaceX Works Toward Completion of Starship in Brownsville, Texas

Guiding D & M Leasing in Dallas - Fort Worth, Micheal “Mike” Albert Hernandez III is a longtime automotive leasing executive who built up one of the leading auto leasing companies nationwide. With family roots in the Gulf Coast city of Brownsville, Mike Hernandez III has focused on boosting the region’s social services and economic potential through the political action committee OP10.33. 

One recent bright spot in the local tech sphere has been the seaside community of Boca Chica Beach. It is situated east of Brownsville and was selected in 2014 as the rocket development and launch site for SpaceX. Elon Musk’s space transportation company is currently on work on “Starship Hopper,” a craft that is intended to fly around the moon before ultimately being used for manned flights to Mars. 

With the facility having been expanded throughout 2018 to include fuel tanks, a solar array, tacking antennas, and a temporary hanger, work began on a prototype just before Christmas. Capable of non-orbital vertical takeoff, the prototype has three liquid-oxygen/methane-powered Raptor engines and is involved in testing toward planned June completion of an orbital Starship with 31 Raptor engines. 

As reported in the Brownsville Herald, a former Brownsville Economic Development Council executive described this history-making project as representing “a big win for Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.”

Friday, February 8, 2019

Homework Help Offered by St. Vincent de Paul Society of North Texas

With his roots in Brownsville, Mike Hernandez III has enjoyed professional success as the founder and CEO of D & M Leasing, a Dallas-Fort Worth-based company. Committed to philanthropic efforts that positively impact the community, Micheal Albert Hernandez III donates to multiple non-profit organizations, including the St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP) of North Texas.

Among its many programs serving the community, SVDP of North Texas provides an after-school tutoring and mentoring program for K-8 students called StudyTime. In addition to eating a nutritious snack, students receive help with their homework as well as reading, writing, math, and socio-emotional skills from experienced staff members and volunteers. The program incorporates technology and strives to keep a low student-to-facilitator ratio.

Running from September to May, StudyTime serves nearly 100 students each year at locations including Santa Clara of Assisi church and SVDP thrift stores in Dallas and Plano. Donations in support of StudyTime are gladly accepted. Learn more details about the afterschool youth program by calling 214-520-0650 Ext. 113 or emailing

Saturday, January 19, 2019

One Way to Break the Cycle of Generational Poverty

The CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth area company D&M Leasing, Micheal (Mike) Albert Hernandez III is a native of Brownsville, Texas. A philanthropist who focuses his philanthropic energy on anti-poverty initiatives, Mike Hernandez III founded the OP 10.33 organization to help lift Cameron County, one of Texas’ poorest counties, out of a cycle of generational poverty. 

One of the proven ways to break the cycle of generational poverty is to provide increased access to preschool education and related services. Universal preschool advocates have estimated that each dollar spent on early childhood intervention saves communities eight dollars in the future on costs such as entitlements, education, and spending on Medicaid and other social services.

In addition, participation in high-quality early childhood education programs has been associated with reduced risk for criminal activity and greater educational achievement, particularly for children from homes that struggle with poverty and food insecurity. High-quality preschool also increases future wages and college attendance rates. Given the benefits, it seems a clear necessity to fund greater access to high-quality preschool to reduce the effects of generational poverty.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Brownsville Scholars Benefit from Living-Learning Community

Brownsville, Texas, native Micheal Albert “Mike” Hernandez III heads D & M Leasing in Dallas. In addition to his business accomplishments, Mike Hernandez III supports anti-poverty and education initiatives including the Brownsville Scholars Program.

Dedicated to increasing access to higher education for South Texas residents with low incomes, the Brownsville Scholars Program offers comprehensive financial assistance to attend Texas A&M University. In addition to a four-year tuition scholarship, the program provides stipends for internships and enrichment activities, as well as funds for travel costs, a fish camp retreat, and housing in the university’s “Living Learning Communities” dormitory.

Identified as a “high impact” practice by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, learning communities like those at Texas A&M encourage students to build connections with people who have shared interests or backgrounds. With a focus on small group interactions and mentorship programs, these communities have demonstrated the capacity to increase student engagement and academic performance.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

OP 10.33 PAC Aims to Reduce Cameron County Unemployment

The chief executive of D & M Leasing, Micheal Albert Hernandez III has run the Dallas-Fort Worth based vehicle leasing company since 1984. Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, Mike Hernandez III works to reduce poverty in economically depressed Cameron County.

Through the political action committee OP 10.33, which aims to dramatically improve economic conditions in Cameron County by October 2033, Mike Hernandez III helped to establish the Cameron County Education Initiative (CCEI). CCEI offers vocational education and training to help residents prepare for in-demand jobs such as construction worker and medical assistant, encouraging economic self-sufficiency. 

CCEI offers both online training and a classroom facility. Located in Brownsville, the facility features computer and technology labs, tactile learning classrooms, and a student resource center, in addition to traditional classrooms and administrative offices. Ongoing funding for the program comes from workforce investment programs, corporate tuition reimbursement, and charitable donations. Tuition assistance is available for eligible students.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Cameron County Education Initiative Debuts Construction Training Class

The chief executive of the Dallas-area company D & M Leasing, Micheal Albert “Mike” Hernandez III has decades of experience in the vehicle leasing industry. In addition to running a successful business, Mike Hernandez III focuses on philanthropic work and supporting nonprofits such as the Cameron County Education Initiative (CCEI).

CCEI recently partnered with Workforce Solutions Cameron to develop a pre-apprenticeship construction training program in Cameron County, Texas. With enough funding to help 25 people become job ready, the program will teach basic skills for using hand and power tools, reading blueprints, and completing required measurements and math equations on a construction site. Students can opt to receive training in first aid and forklift driving depending on their job choice.

The pre-apprenticeship construction training program is funded by a $50,000 Texas Industry Partnership grant through the Texas Workforce Commission, along with a matching donation from CCEI. To learn more, contact your local Workforce Solutions office or visit

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Impact Texas A&M Foundation Giving Has on Students

Michael “Mike” Albert Hernandez III has led D & M Leasing in Dallas, Texas, as chief executive officer since 1984, and parent company Hernco, Inc., since 1990. Beyond his work as an executive, Mike Hernandez III supports community groups, such as CCEI in Brownsville and the Texas A&M Foundation.

The impact a Texas A&M Foundation donation can have on a student's life cannot be overstated. Financial aid has the potential to free students from the responsibilities associated with part-time jobs and related stresses, thereby allowing individuals more time to study and pursue character-building extracurricular activities.

Contributions can be made to an annual scholarship fund or established as an endowed gift, ensuring future learning opportunities in perpetuity. When making a donation, individuals may elect to specify a particular major or field of study they would like to support. Contributions can also be directed to students from a certain geographic region or to students enrolled in either graduate or undergraduate programs.

Endowed scholarships are particularly impactful at Texas A&M, as the foundation makes sure to invest endowed funds in a manner that ensures optimized growth with minimal risk to the principal. Only earnings are distributed through various or select scholarships, guaranteeing continued financial support to future generations of Texas A&M students.