Longview High School TSA 'takes the capitol'
By Uwa Ihionkhan
LHS Senior Class President
Upon our arrival to the great city of Austin, we entered a bustling room full of officers from other student organizations from such varying aspects of industry and knowledge as business, marketing, community, health, and agriculture. Although we were among wide variety of individuals, we were all invested in the common goal of raising awareness for the need of more career and technical education.
Our first keynote speaker was Ilissa Nolan from the Texas Department of Agriculture. With her encouragement — and that of others who spoke — by the end of the afternoon we felt prepared to represent our organizations in a professional and persuasive manner.
At the crack of the dawn the next morning we embarked on our mission at the State Capitol building. We formed groups of officers from different organizations and set out to knock on every door in the building and reach out to every receptive ear. We told the state representatives and legislators about our experiences and asked for legislative support and funding.
Later that night we hosted the members of the State Board of Education at a formal dinner prepared by local high school culinary students. We again rallied for support of Career and Technical Education (and related student organizations) through casual conversation over a rather delicious meal.
Towards the end of the night our very own Jaime Martinez delivered a captivating and humorous keynote speech emphasizing the impact this kind education can have on the life of a young immigrant student.
Jaime spoke of the opportunities that TSA has offered him, ranging from the ability to travel to helping him find his place at Longview High School. We concluded the night on this lighthearted note and rested assured that we had succeeded in delivering the message that Career and Technical Education is essential to an innovative and progressive future.
The next day we attended a meeting of the State Board to propose a resolution supporting Career and Technical Education. When the gavel knocked and the decision to adopt the resolution was made we knew our mission had been accomplished.
In short, this opportunity to network amongst officers from other student organization to spread support for Career and Technical Education, while professionally representing TSA was an invaluable and unforgettable experience.
TSA truly took the capitol.