My first 100 days serving district 2 have been remarkable. I have truly enjoyed meeting members of the community. I have learned so much about D2 and remain grateful and thankful for the opportunity to serve.
I have spent a great deal of time writing about the level of educational attainment in district 2 over the past 3 months. The correlation between deficiencies in achievement in education and the persistence of generational poverty in D2 is intertwined. It is a condition that will not change unless we pull together and push the boundaries of addressing these disparities through innovative programs and initiatives.
A report released by the Higher Education Coordinating Board indicates that 39.7% of students entering Community College are NOT prepared for college. Subsequently, enrolling more D2 students in college is only half of the battle, establishing first class support and resources is the critical next step.
Recent remarks by retiring Texas Commissioner of Higher Education, Raymund Paredes, Ph.D, candidly stated that “Texas college going rates are especially low for males, particularly for African Americans and Latinos.” He goes on to say, and I quote, “poorly prepared students who enroll in Texas Colleges and Universities are generally placed in developmental education, from which they typically do not emerge successfully. Fewer than 22% of underprepared students complete either a degree or a certificate in six years.”
That means that current trends indicate that only 1 out of 5 students will earn a degree or certificate in six years. The Alamo Promise will bridge the divide towards access, but the fight is now going to tilt towards ensuring students succeed. In district 2, the war on ending poverty is being fought every day on multiple fronts. The fight begins at birth, extends into the elementary schools, through Secondary school, onto college, and into the workforce. Preparation and support are necessary throughout each step. The impact of earning a degree has a tremendous impact on an individual’s income. The graphs shown illustrate the earning potential a graduate can make over the years.
In response to these challenges, I have reevaluated my initial strategies and have incorporated greater community input on establishing a laser focus on winning the war on poverty in D2. The goal is to eliminate barriers that have chronically undermined student success and opportunity.
Over the next 100 days, I will pursue objectives listed below. Each objective is measurable. I believe all goals should have a level of accountability built into them to ensure we are being successful.
1. Increase the number of students of color enrolling at Alamo Colleges in 2020.
2. Initiate college readiness collaboratives focused on creating summer programming targeting middle school students within the Alamo Promise pipeline.
3. Improve student retention and student success indicators to ensure students are not dropping out and are succeeding in the classroom.
4. Develop greater opportunities and relevant workforce development programs that can be fostered through our education service centers.
5. Create and support second chance program participation for adults who were previously incarcerated.
6. Establish a vibrant African American studies program at Alamo Colleges.
7. Build a diverse portfolio of minority owned businesses working and collaborating with Alamo Colleges
8. Form an Alamo Colleges, D2 leadership/mentorship program for students interested in community engagement, serving in elected office, and mastering Public Policy.
I take my work as your representative very seriously, and I believe in getting results. I continue to look forward to working with the district 2 community and encourage you to call or text me directly at 210.386.0075.
As a reminder I will be hosting a community discussion on Education in D2 December 6th at 5pm at the Carver Library. I leave you with this inspiring proverb, that reminds me often the importance of community. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go Together.”