Blog Author: Amy Anthony, Counselor, Throckmorton Collegiate ISD
As a parent, we are always quick to brag about our children. We are always excited about the new tasks they are involved in and cannot wait to tell others. Although we definitely think our children are great, our ultimate goal is for others to think as much of our children as we do.
Rural students are not given enough credit in my opinion. When there are 12 seniors and it’s a state year for band, we expect these students to rise up and be leaders, not get burned out and quit their senior year. But…. then we need them to be leaders in basketball, football, track, cross country, National Honor Society, UIL, FFA, campus leaders, oh and will you go ahead and graduate with your associate’s degree before high graduation also.
These students do not shy away from the challenges. They take the expectations and run with them.
At the beginning of the school year, all of the junior class was on track to graduate with their associate’s degree. When August came we had two new junior students added to the class, zero dual credit hours. These students came in and went to work. Taking double the course load as the others in their class. Rising to the challenge and taking another course in December to get one more out of the way. At the end of the year, they too were on track to graduate with their associate’s degree. We think about the academic course load these students are taking and know they can handle them no problem. We sometimes forget about 5:30 a.m. arrival at the gym to lift weights for football, then practice in the evening until 6:00 p.m, youth group on Wednesday, helping out with siblings at home and suddenly these students have a full plate. Do we hear them complain at school? Not at all. We hear “what can I do to help you”, “what is next”, “how are my assignments looking?”
Rural students need to be commended! They defeat many odds. Dr. Alexander made a quote in his blog post a while back that I am not sure people take to heart. “Only 13% of Rural Texas High School Graduates earn post-secondary credentials, leading to gainful employment opportunities.” 13%! That is a low number. Our goal, as a Collegiate Edu-Nation school, is to take this number and make it 90% by 2030. A task that is large but obtainable.
We are here to support OUR children along the way and help all rural students be set for success in their future. We however can not take credit, we can only have bragging rights. These rural students put in the blood sweat and tears to make this happen. Ultimately, it is their hard work that gets them that certification and degree, and they deserve all of the bragging and celebration that we can give them. They need to know, I beat the odds and I deserve to be recognized!