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Send message higher education is important

By BY DR. TOM BUTLER
May 2, 2013 at 12:02 a.m.

Tom Butler

ABOUT GENTX DAY

GenTX Day celebrates all students and their journey toward higher education. Congratulate this year's seniors as they get ready for college and careers.

• More than 30 Victoria businesses and organizations have partnered to make GenTX Day a success. These include Victoria ISD, Victoria College, the University of Houston-Victoria, the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, HEB Plus!, Chick-fil-A, the Victoria Advocate and DeTar Healthcare System along with other schools, nonprofits and retailers.

More than 170 college T-shirts have been distributed to students at Stroman and Patti Welder middle schools. The T-shirts were donated by HEB Plus!, UHV and Victoria College.

• To get involved, take a photo of your favorite people wearing college T-shirts and post it on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #GenTXDay. You can also upload your photo to VictoriaAdvocate.com's GenTX photo contest for a chance to win a FREE nugget party with the Chick-fil-A cow!

• Stay in touch with what's happening around Victoria with GenTX by following @GenTXVictoria on Twitter or like Generation TX Victoria on Facebook at facebook.com/GenerationTXVictoria.

Today is GenTX Day, a day set aside to celebrate the students of Generation TX, especially graduating high school seniors. As our students take their next steps toward their futures, GenTX Day reminds us to proudly applaud their successes and encourage them to go on to college and begin career training.

I once heard an 8-year-old child respond to the question, "Why should you go to College?"

"You go to college to have a good life," was his simple answer. What could be more true?

Going to college to earn an associate or bachelor's degree opens doors for you and powerfully improves your earning power. Just as important, it expands your knowledge and understanding of the world. What better way to take care of yourself, your family and your community?

Created by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Generation TX movement supports college enrollment in communities throughout Texas. This year's theme is "Take a Step on GenTX Day."

Locally, schools, businesses, industrial firms, nonprofit organizations and the media have taken a huge step to help create a college-going and career-ready culture. By participating in GenTX Day, the Victoria community is sending the message to our youth that higher education is important, within reach and - most importantly - can open doors to a better life.

Friday, everyone is encouraged to wear a college T-shirt so that students will see people throughout the community wearing them. This visible symbol of our support of higher education has the potential to spark conversations that can inspire students to attend college.

While sporting your college T-shirt on GenTX Day, there are other steps you can take to encourage college-going. Encourage someone you know to fill out a college application, take a college tour, or research and apply for college scholarships. And if someone you know has questions about college that you can't answer, our Victoria College advisors stand ready to assist.

Victoria and our region are blessed with the ready availability of higher education opportunities from Victoria College and the University of Houston-Victoria. Encourage someone you know to take the next step today.

Thank you to all of the GenTX Victoria partners who have come together this year to demonstrate our belief in the importance of higher education, and congratulations to the students of Generation TX. You are "what's next for Texas!"

To find out more about GenTX Day, visit GenTX.org.

Tom Butler is president of Victoria College.

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