AUSTIN, Texas, April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, May 4th, Generation TX (pronounced "Generation Texas") asks everyone in Texas to celebrate GenTX Day by wearing their favorite college T-shirts in a united show of support for building a college-going culture that encourages Texas students to continue their education beyond high school.
Longhorn football hero Vince Young, statewide business partners H-E-B and college outfitter Neebo, state and local elected officials, and media outlets across Texas are helping to spread the word about this statewide grassroots event.
Governor Rick Perryis on board. Not only has he officially declared May 4 as GenTX Day across Texas, but he recently tweeted, "Higher education is the key to Texas' future, show your support by wearing a college T-shirt on #GenTXDay, Fri. May 4, GenTX.org/GenTXDay"
Mayors across Texas from El Paso to Abilene to Nacogdoches have issued proclamations in support of GenTX Day. San Antonio Mayor Castro states, "San Antonio is a proud partner of the Generation TX movement." Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell adds, "The success of our communities and the success of our students are one in the same. No community can grow without a skilled workforce with the career and technical skills gained in 2-year and 4-year degrees."
The Generation TX grassroots movement comes to life on GenTX Day in communities across the state. Highlights include:
Lubbock students and parents will gather at College Signing Day at Citibank Coliseum featuring Guy Bailey, president of Texas Tech University, with $50,000 in scholarships being awarded to 50 students representing 28 high schools. These scholarships will be matched by Texas Tech and South Plains College.
Austin area pep rallies at local high schools will reach over 3,000 students with college messages from Vince Young, Council Member Mike Martinez, AISD Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen and other special guests.
Edinburg and UT-Pan American will host 200 high school students at a GenTX Day High School G-Force Leadership Conference, which will kick off with an arial photo of UTPA President Dr. Robert S. Nelsen and university faculty, staff, and students all wearing their college T-shirts in front of the campus' Visitors Center.
Houston Independent School District, the largest public school district in the state, is encouraging district-wide participation of their staff and students in wearing college T-shirts.
El Paso will bring over 7,000 high school students to the UT-El Paso campus for Opportunity Days on May 2-3 building up to GenTX Day on May 4.
Longhorn football hero, UT student, and NFL quarterback Vince Young returns as the statewide spokesperson for GenTX Day making media and personal appearances to promote GenTX Day in Houston and Austin. Young is enthusiastic, saying, "I believe so strongly in this movement and its message to Texas students about the importance of a college education and career path. That's why I have stayed with the GenTX team, and plan to wear my UT shirt proudly on May 4."
San Antonio-based grocer H-E-B is back for a second year with 50,000 of its Partners (employees) in nearly 300 stores across the state donning college T-shirts for GenTX Day. H-E-B stores are recognizing the graduating high school seniors of their staff as part of GenTX Day. Jorge Elizondo, H-E-B's Vice President of Customer Insights, says, "H-E-B is Generation TX, and we are proud to continue our participation as a statewide business partner. At H-E-B, we strongly believe that education is the key to a vibrant Texas economy for the future of our state, our Partners and our communities."
Neebo, a college bookstore and outfitter, joins GenTX Day as a statewide sponsor this year. Neebo's 32 stores across Texas will all wear college T-shirts and are offering a special 25% off sale on any college T-shirt May 1-4 in honor of GenTX Day.
GenTX Day media partners Univision, Belo Corp. stations KVUE (Austin), WFAA (Dallas) and KHOU (Houston), the Texas Association of Broadcasters, and numerous local media outlets around the state are airing GenTX Day public service announcements.
"We're talking about shifting a culture," says Texas Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes. "And that means that students and families have to get this message about the importance of higher education not only in school, but everywhere they go."
Paredes emphasizes, "Imagine if every person across Texas wears a college T-shirt on GenTX Day. Students will see people all around them united in their belief in higher education. Wearing a college T-shirt invites conversations that could inspire and change a student's life. That's how culture happens."
Nora Vasquez, a recent University of Texas graduate who serves as a college adviser at Mission High School near McAllen, has promoted GenTX Day to her students and says, "It sounds so simple to ask everyone to wear a college T-shirt, but the students really love it. It makes them see how many people around them support higher ed, which makes them think about their future, their identity and how their college and career path will define them."
About Generation TX Generation TX is a statewide initiative supported by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board focused on creating a college-going culture across the state. Through GenTX Day and other seasonal promotions, Generation TX is clarifying the path to college for Texas students and families by providing information on college readiness, college application and financial aid in a fresh and engaging manner.