HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — At CBS 4, we are highlighting the good in our community with our Pay It 4ward series.

Hannah Orendain, 23, is a law student who is anything but average.

“I am in law school, a 2L, I run a non-profit organization, I also work as a research legal assistant at a firm in San Antonio,” Orendain said.

Orendain calls McAllen her home. The McAllen native is committed to progressing not only in life but in the community.

“Ever since I was little we’ve been so involved with our church, we ran the church food pantry, my dad was on the board of the Food Bank RGV, so I was raised to give back,” Orendain said. 

That’s when her nonprofit organization, RGV Gives Back was born.

“During 2020, amid the pandemic, my mom and I wanted to give back so that is how we got started,” said Orendain.

Hannah and her mom founded RGV Gives Back, a local nonprofit organization that focuses on taking care of those that care for others.

“We crowdfunded to raise money to give back to front-line workers, they would tell us who they wanted to give back to and we would make it happen,” Orendain said.

In the last 24 months, she’s been able to raise over $10,000 and donated to hundreds of first responders and front-line workers in different community service events.

“Everything that I am is because of my parents, I’m thankful that they raised me to be so giving and be aware of not only what’s in my community but in the world,” Orendain said.

RGV Gives Back also hosts multiple scholarships and fundraisers throughout the year.

“We have two big events that we do, we have an annual Thanksgiving event in November so we can feed 500 RGV residents,” said Orendain. 

She’s looking to make that a reality once again in 2022.

RGV Gives Back is also committed to helping college students.

“We have our student scholarship reception in May, when we started we gave to four students, last year we gave to seven students, and this coming year we’re trying to give back to 10 students at least,” Orendain said. 

It’s hard to believe Hannah has time for a full-time job and studying in between all the volunteering but she makes it happen.

As for what’s next, Hannah says finishing law school is first and foremost.

“I just want to pass the bar. I have to finish law school, that’s the next step. I have two more years then the bar. I want to come home and practice law here, criminal defense and personal injury,” Orendain said. “This is home. This is the community that gave to me and in return, I’d like to give to it.”

To learn more about RGV Gives Back, visit them on their social media platform.

If you know of a standout in the Rio Grande Valley that is paying it forward, send Sydney an email at Submissions@KVEO.com.