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Children’s Book Explains Road To Higher Education


KXAN-TV 36 News  (01/17/2003)

By KXAN-TV News reporter

A professor from Southwest Texas State University and some high school students from Hays County are trying get more Texans to go to college.

The students are targeting children as young as eight years old with a new book.

“They said I was capable of writing a book and they chose me,” student Angel Saucedo said.

Angel Saucedo is one of 13 high school students chosen to help create a children’s book about going to college.

It’s part of a state effort to get elementary age students in Texas to think about college, years before they take the SAT.

At the same time, these teens apply and work through their own college-related fears and expectations like Angel’s lack of motivation.

“The motivation in my house wasn’t that big. They didn’t tell me, ’Well, you might want this.’ They told me,” You don’t really need it. “So having my own parents tell me I don’t need it was like, OK, if you’re doing pretty good why do I need to further my own education,” Saucedo said.

In 10 or 15 years it’s expected 300,000 college-age people in Texas won’t go on to higher education.

The project’s director says that can mean serious consequences for them and the state.

“Without a college degree,” Director of Creative Writing Tom Grimes said, “Your chances of competing for jobs in basically any field above menial services will be nil. The state will find itself falling behind in job creation, in tech development. Basically we’ll be lagging behind the rest of the country.”

Angel changed his mind about going to college. Now he hopes to pass along the positive.

“I hope the content of the book will help younger kids, like my younger sister, say this looks pretty good. I think I could do this,” Saucedo said.

The children’s book will go for approval this summer and should be available in stores next year. Those high school students also benefit from this project.

Among other things, they could get scholarship money and college credit, plus they’ll be published authors.