The Frank M. Tejeda Congressional Leadership Award is presented each year by the MCRA to a member of the Unites States Congress who demonstrates the qualities of leadership, self-sacrifice to one’s country and an unwavering commitment to a strong national defense so exemplified by Congressman Frank Tejeda.
Frank Tejeda was born in San Antonio, Texas on 2 October 1945. Growing up poor in the slums of San Antonio, he was an indifferent student, involved with gangs and heading nowhere, eventually he dropped out of high school and at the age of 17 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, which began to turn his life around. Following completion of boot camp, he completed MOS qualification training and deployed to combat operations in Vietnam. As a Sergeant he received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and due to his leadership, a battlefield commission to Second Lieutenant.
Following his service in Vietnam he continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve and attended Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio graduating in 1970. In 1974, he received his juris doctor degree from the University of California and was admitted to the bar.
Two years later he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, serving from 1976-1987 and in the Texas Senate from 1987-1993. While working in the Texas House and Senate, Frank received an advanced degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and an LLM from the Yale University School of Law.