Today we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday in San Antonio with the 30th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March. One Facebook post said this: "This how we do it in the 210. The Largest MLK March in the world. 30 years strong. What you see is only three blocks with 25 more still marching."
What I witnessed was a crowd having--for the second year in a row--a chance to see signs encouraging young people to consider Tier 1 Universities! Sam Houston High School's Student Council President, Jason Orosco, and Vice-President Tierra Starks cheered the marchers as they passed us at the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and Walters St. The sign they held showed colleges that they have visited through Students On The Rise trips funded by the SAISD Foundation. Both seniors have applied to colleges and universities that they visited this past summer or fall.
On Sunday evening, the day before the March, I had the privilege of driving Yahterie-Anne Sykes Ortiz and her mom, Anne, to the airport. Yahterie-Anne was headed back to Indiana for her freshman year second semester as a member of the University of Notre Dame's Class of 2020. Yahterie-Anne is a 2016 graduate of Sam Houston High and creates an Eastside San Antonio presence at Notre Dame from ZIP code 78220. While at home, she visited her alma mater and bumped into, Elizabeth Cabrero, a classmate now studying at Texas A&M College Station.
We dream of seeing young people in our ZIP code and students in SAISD prepare for and apply to Notre Dame and other top national universities. This past August, some SAISD students went to visit colleges in the Midwest. Roger Palacios was one of three seniors on the trip to visit and tour Notre Dame, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University. He is taking the most rigorous courses available to him at Lanier High School and through the Alamo Academies. Over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Anne Ortiz, Yahterie-Anne, and I joined his mom and two sisters in celebrating Roger's application to two of the three top national universities he visited in August. He allowed me to review his application packets. Once again, I see evidence that the "Rock Moves!" Some of our high-achieving students from low-income families are rewriting the script. They dare to Dream Big and are demonstrating that:
You can learn more about the American Talent Initiative by clicking the graphic below: