Dream Big: Texas Celebrates GenTX Day

Hey, Texas: You Did It!

On May 20, 2011, Texas celebrated the first ever GenTX Day, a statewide celebration of Texas students. Community leaders, parents, students, schools, and businesses embraced the invitation to come together in solidarity and share the importance of education with the students of Generation TX.

Across the state, Texans traded their everyday clothing for college t-shirts, ball caps, sports jerseys and polo shirts. The familiar names and logos from colleges across Texas and the country showed up everywhere from elementary schools to city halls. The colorful array of college paraphernalia painted an inspiring picture we don’t see often enough: the image of communities united in their commitment to and belief in higher education.

“Helping students understand and articulate their dreams is what’s important,” says Jorge Elizando, H-E-B Vice President of Consumer Insights and Generation TX San Antonio board member. “Many of the perceived barriers come from the fact that we haven’t helped our youth articulate a dream that they should fight for.”

Dream Big, Texas

Helping students dream big is exactly what GenTX Day did. Celebrities like NFL quarterback Vince Young—whose GenTX video premiered on GenTX Day—and the Grammy-winning songwriting trio the Bama Boyz shared their stories of higher education with local students. These celebrities grabbed students’ attention and really drove home the message that college is a big deal—it’s a dream worth fighting for.

“I wish Generation TX was around when I was in high school,” said Vince Young, whose non-profit Vince Young Foundation partnered with Generation TX to bring GenTX Day to life. “Partnering with Generation TX allows me and my foundation to be part of a team dedicated to encouraging and preparing students to really commit to continuing their education.” The Vince Young Foundation’s Unity in the Community weekend hosted Family Fun Day as well as cheerleading and football camps where students learned athletic and etiquette skills, as well as the cooperation skills necessary for long-term success.

At San Antonio’s College Signing Day, Mayor Julián Castro charged students not only with going to college, but with sticking it out and earning a degree. “We’re going to ask you to take a pledge to complete your degree. Remember: that’s the end of the line. That’s the real goal.”

So true, Mayor Castro. And GenTX Day was another step toward reaching it.

Thank You

GenTX thanks the mayors in Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, and Corpus Christi, as well as the Texas House and Senate, who issued official proclamations declaring May 20 as GenTX Day.

GenTX sends out giant props to Texas-based supermarket chain H-E-B, who played a huge part in delivering the messages of GenTX Day by relaxing their dress code to allow over 50,000 employees to wear their college t-shirts for the day. Erika Prosper of H-E-B explains why the company was so excited to partner with Generation TX. “We are in every community in Texas. And because of that, we value the fact that education is what’s going to keep this state going forward. What we do is help feed Texas families. I don’t see the difference between us helping feed their stomachs and their minds.”

To everyone who breathed life into the first ever GenTX Day: You did it! GenTX Day was a huge success, and we give our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to making the day a real statewide celebration. GenTX Day offered one more way to invite everyone to join the Generation TX movement to help put all Texas students on the path to higher education. Together, we’ll create a culture of college and career education for all Texas.