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Golf tourney will benefit deserving low-income students

Aug. 2, 2017

It began as a way to help provide eye-opening experiences for students.

Last year, I had a conversation with a high school teacher who would take a handful of students on trips to visit universities around the country. I thought if we partnered up and provided the resources, we could grow it and get all our high schools involved.

That’s where the inaugural McAllen ISD Superintendent’s Golf Tournament came up as a vehicle to provide funding. This event will be on Saturday, August 19, at McAllen’s Palm View Golf Course.

The proceeds will benefit high performing, low socio-economic freshmen and sophomores. We want to take them to visit colleges across the country and give them experiences they may not necessarily be able to afford but definitely deserve.

We already have a lot of support from the business community. A lot of people are stepping forward because they know it’s for a good cause.

We have a teacher who is spearheading the college tours. Mrs. Vivian Tamez at McAllen Memorial has already taken some groups out including a tour of Texas schools in 2016. It was a conversation I had with her that really created this game plan. She has the energy and the willingness to make it happen.

In June, she took eight McAllen ISD students to visit 10 eastern institutions: Boston University, Boston College, Harvard University, Stonehill College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University, Brown University, Yale University, New York University and Fordham University. Our students met with admissions counselors from several schools and had student-led campus tours. They learned a great deal about different graduation requirements, the importance of AP/IB test scores, classes, the SAT, the ACT, resumes, community service and what makes a college essay stand out. We want more of our students to have these potentially life-changing experiences.

This tournament is a great community-engagement opportunity because most people love to play golf. It’s a fun environment which creates that synergy between the district and the community.

To sign up a three-person team, or to get your business involved as a sponsor, just contact our Office of Communications at 956-618-6023 or send an email to Norma Zamora-Guerra atnorma.z.guerra@mcallenisd.net.

In the end, this will produce dollars for a special cause. That’s a definite win-win. We hope to grow it as we move forward and take as many kids as we can who are performing at a high level.

We’re excited to have this tournament. We believe it’s going to become a tradition in McAllen.

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J.A. Gonzalez, Ed.D., is the Superintendent of Schools for McAllen ISD

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