HOT P-20: College is what’s next

(The Heart of Texas P-20 Council includes representatives from K-12 education, higher education and employers. They meet regularly to help coordinate efforts to launch our young people into productive lives as workers and citizens. This post is one in a monthly series of posts intended to share information about the work of this important group in our community. For more posts in this series, click here: P-20 education. – ALW)

By Christine Holecek

All across Texas, students are finding their voices, setting goals, and taking steps towards securing their own successful futures. Through these efforts, they become an integral part of a growing movement known as Generation TX. These students are what’s next for our state. They have the power to become the most successful generation ever.

What is Generation TX Month? Generation TX Month combines college admissions and financial aid application efforts into one. Generation TX Month events are designed to take place when schools and community organizations typically host college fairs, financial aid drives, and other college and career-related events. The Generation TX Month provides the perfect opportunity to build on these initiatives around college and career readiness, pull them together to make a broader impact, and expand their reach.

Generation TX Month focuses on getting students, especially those in middle school and high school, thinking about their future with a range of actions and next steps that they can take toward college and career readiness, including:

Prepare (Middle & High School Students)

  • Career Exploration
  • Finding a Mentor
  • Creating a Brag Sheet
  • College Visits

Apply (High School Seniors)

  • College Applications
  • Financial Aid Applications
  • College Scholarships

Download your planning guide today

The Heart of Texas P-20 Council believes that achieving college and career readiness allows students to reach their fullest potential. By accepting the GenTX challenge the council is acknowledging the focus on the future of our workforce and encouraging them to focus on their goals for college and career. GenTX also provides a college planning and financial aid guide to help parents and students make decisions about the future.

Download College Planning & Financial Aid Guide

Student Tools

  • ApplyTexas –  If you are applying to a public two-year or four-year institution in Texas, you will need to complete the ApplyTexas application. This application is available at Once completed, you can use this one application to apply to many schools across Texas.
  • Applying for Financial Aid  – The FAFSA  is the primary form you will need to apply for most financial aid
  • College Major – What College Major is best for you? Find out at MyMajors After taking this assessment, you will be recommended the top majors, colleges and careers based on your academic achievements, interests and personality.

Generation Texas Month supports the regional efforts and goals of the 60x30TX Texas Challenge to Reach Higher, an initiative to increase college applications, FAFSA completions, and college readiness across Texas.

This Act Locally Waco blog post was written by Christine Holecek. Christine is an Education Specialist at Education Service Center Region 12 in Waco. She has worked in the area of Adult Education and Career & Technical Education for the past 25 years. She earned an AAS degree from MCC, a BAAS and Master’s Degree from the University of North Texas and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Tarleton State University.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email for more information.



College Insights: Getting over that final hurdle

By Diego Loredo

Finally, after coming to University of North Texas, I am close to graduating with a degree in public relations. I first attended UNT in 2014 and now I am set to graduate next semester in May. The time has seriously flown by and here are just a few things that I have experienced and am dealing with right now.

Throughout my years at UNT, I have met many great people. I’ve met them in my dorm during my freshman year, in class, at work, or even just walking through campus or through downtown Denton. However, there’s a group of people that I especially am grateful to have met. I met these guys during my freshman year and what really got us together was soccer. We competed in outdoor and indoor soccer intramurals at UNT and have done it every semester ever since. Not only that, but we go out together a lot. Whether it’s to a party, to a restaurant, or even to go out of town, we’re usually together. These guys are more than my friends, they’re my brothers and having them by my side has made this senior year a lot less stressful.

One thing that I have realized is that time waits for no one. I’m almost at the end of my college career and I am in need of experience, work experience. I have attended a few college fairs and am also applying to several internships. This is something I wish I had done sooner because now I am kind of in a rush to get an internship for next semester. In the school I’m in we are required to intern somewhere in order to graduate. I could have done one during the summer but I was struggling financially back then so I decided to work instead. Now that I’m fine (financially) I am doing my best to find an internship that best suits my needs and what I want to do after college.

With senior year comes a lot of stress and this is something that I am currently dealing with. “Will I be able to graduate in time?” “Will I pass my classes?” “What about an internship? Is there anyone who will allow me to intern there?” These are all questions that go through my mind every day, along with many others.

Senior year can be scary. In less than a year, I’ll be out there on my own starting my own career. I get anxious whenever I think about it but I also get excited at the many opportunities that are available. Whenever I get stressed out, I talk to my roommates about it or I talk to my closest friends. It’s crucial to have that group of friends that you can always count on to help you when you’re feeling stressed out. Another way that I have dealt with it is going out, either to eat or to just get out of the house. This helps get my mind off of what is bothering me and has worked a lot this year and previous years as well.

Not everything is going to go your way in college. I’ve failed classes, embarrassed myself many times, struggled both academically and financially, and I’ve been discouraged whenever I see other people doing things better than me. But I’ve never let it keep me down. I’ve retaken those classes with the help of other friends, I’ve come to accept the times I’ve embarrassed myself and even joked about it a few times, I got over my financial struggle and am working to get over my academic struggle, and I now get motivated whenever I see someone in a better situation than me. You learn a lot about yourself during college. My goal now is to finish this semester strong and go home to enjoy the holidays with my family before I take my final semester at UNT. I plan on taking it day-by-day and make sure I take in every bit of “the college life” before I move on to the next step in my career.

Diego Loredo is a senior at the University of North Texas and is majoring in public relations. He is a scholarship recipient of the Brazos Education Foundation, otherwise known as “Brazos Scholars.”  He graduated from University High School in 2014. He plans on working in sports PR or for a nonprofit. He loves to play soccer and is a huge FC Dallas fan.