Born to Ben and Jane Reyes, Jacqueline Reyes is the second of five children. The family moved to Devine in 1976, and Jackie graduated from DHS in 1979. Following graduation, Jackie attended St. Mary’s University, as her father had done, and pursued her passion for education and her desire to help others. While studying biology, she joined the Biology Club and Delta Phi Sorority.
After obtaining her degree in biology in 1983, Jackie went on to earn her Master’s of Science degree in Nutrition from the University of Incarnate Word. Since completing her initial studies in 1985, she has worked as a registered dietitian for over 25 years and as a certified diabetes educator for 17 years.
“Dietitians,” Jackie explains, “are registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration and are only able to use the label ‘Registered Dietitian’ when meeting specific educational and professional standards, as well as passing a national registration exam.” Not only are the academic requirements stringent, but students must also complete at least 1200 hours of practical, supervised experience before taking the registration exam. In Jackie’s case, upon completing her Master’s degree, she also completed a six-month internship program with the Baptist Hospital System. She passed her Registered Dietitian Exam in 1990 to become a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. Eventually, with an interest in the prevalence of diabetes, Jackie also became a Certified Diabetes Educator.
Jackie’s first job was in Laredo at Mercy Hospital, but she moved back to Devine as a single mom where she enrolled her two children in the Devine ISD. During this time, Jackie participated in the Devine Band Booster program, as her daughter, Jessica, was a member of the high school band. Jessica graduated in 2009, and Jackie’s son, David, graduated in 2012. Today, Jessica is a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, and David is currently studying at North West Vista College.
Jackie has spent a lifetime in serving. She has worked for the University Hospital outpatient clinic with diabetic patients and in Pediatrics at the downtown Santa Rosa Hospital. She explains that “helping people improve the quality of their lives through nutrition education” has remained a constant commitment.
A favorite experience was as Director of Food Nutrition Services where Jackie “crafted a team that was both fun to work with and entertaining for the staff” at the then South Texas Regional Medical Center in Jourdanton. She says that her section held themed Wednesdays and “made the best enchiladas in town.” She also participated in speaking events with the Healthy Woman Program, and she catered at hospital events. For her efforts, Jackie received a Nonclinical Director of the Year Award in 2011.
Turning her focus towards helping with renal and dialysis patients, Jackie now works with Dr. Brockway in his privately owned Kidney Treatment Centers, providing nutrition education to dialysis patients. Dr. Brockway has three centers in San Antonio, and the Texas Kidney Foundation recently featured the West Clinic and one of its patients who has been on dialysis for 30 years. Jackie says, “I have had the pleasure of seeing some of these patients through kidney transplants.”
Jackie also does contract work, providing consulting services to such institutions as assisted living facilities, adult day cares, and Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital in Kennedy, Texas.
Not only does Jackie serve the community in her chosen field, she also gives back in a personal way. She now lives in San Antonio where she is involved at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Several ministries have given her deep satisfaction – participating on teams with Westside Women’s ACTS Retreat, serving as a Eucharistic Minister, and working in the homebound ministry program where she makes home visits and takes communion to homebound parishioners.
Socially, Jackie enjoys keeping in touch with her St. Mary’s sorority sisters; she attends the annual St. Mary’s Alumni Baby Bake; and she enjoys travel. One favorite trip was to Washington, D.C. with her daughter and son where she visited the Vietnam and Korean Memorials – an experience that reminded her of her father’s service in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict.
Believing that there is much remaining to be done to help others obtain a better quality of life, Jackie realizes she is only affecting a small part of the world. Thus, she is hoping to have more opportunities to travel abroad and continue her passion of helping others. And very importantly, she wants to thank her “loving parents for all of their support,” adding, “Without their foundation, I would not be where I am today.”