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School groups, businesses to take part in college T-shirt day

April 27, 2013 at 9:04 p.m.
Updated April 26, 2013 at 11:27 p.m.

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Crossroads residents are encouraged to wear their favorite college T-shirt in support of higher education on GenTX Day on Friday.

Generation TX, or GenTX, is a statewide initiative started by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to encourage an entire generation of Texans to attend a two-year college or four-year university.

The Victoria GenTX Day is a joint effort between Victoria College, the University of Houston-Victoria, Victoria school district and area organizations and businesses.

Students across the state will be wearing their favorite college T-shirt to raise awareness about attending college. Community members are encouraged to participate as well.

Victoria College President Tom Butler said community participation is the key to making GenTX Day a success.

"We have the opportunity to send a powerful message to our youth - that we support them, we believe in them and that higher education or career training should be in their plans for a successful future," he said. "With area businesses and organizations participating in GenTX Day, there will be many opportunities for conversations about going to college - conversations that may inspire a student."

The GenTX Day Victoria committee said Crossroads area residents should wear a college T-shirt Friday and encouraged everyone to do one of three things:

Fill out a college application.

Take a college tour.

Be a college mentor.

University of Houston-Victoria President Phil Castille said UHV is participating in GenTX Day.

"We are asking students, community members and individuals in civic organizations to show their support for our future leaders," Castille said. "Higher education is important for the future of our community, culture and economy."

Crossroads residents can participate by wearing a college T-shirt on GenTX Day and encouraging employees, family members and friends to do the same. Free promotional materials are available for businesses interested in participating. On Friday, participants can upload photos of GenTX Day to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GenTXDay.

GenTX Day also celebrates graduating high school seniors as they get ready for college and careers.

Victoria school district Superintendent Robert Jaklich said the initiative is an example of how the district strives to enhance its 612-square-mile district.

"Victoria ISD is excited and honored to be a part of this worthwhile endeavor," he said. "Our teachers and staff members are committed to supporting the mission of GenTX and our focus on making sure every child in every class every day has the same opportunities no matter what school they go to."

The VC Bookstore has VC and UHV T-shirts on sale for $9.99 for those wanting to purchase one for GenTX Day. There is also a recycle bin near the bookstore for those who want to donate a slightly used VC or UHV T-shirts to those who need one for the day. The bookstore is in the VC Student Center, 2200 E. Red River St.

"We hope that students will wear a UHV or VC T-shirt, but we're encouraging people to participate wearing a T-shirt from any university," Castille said. "I might wear one from my alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - if it still fits."

Besides GenTX Day, the initiative provides resources for students about career paths, financial aid, college planning tips and inspirational success stories. For more information about GenTX, visit gentx.org.

To get involved in the celebration in Victoria or to request free GenTX Day promotional materials, contact Darin Kazmir, VC director of marketing and communications, at 361-582-2417 or darin.kazmir@victoriacollege.edu.

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