Tech Prep – Celebration of student successes

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Tech Prep of the Rio Grande Valley will hold its second annual celebration of student successes with a reception and dinner at Knapp Medical Center Conference Center starting at 6 p.m. March 23.

Tech Prep is a non-profit agency that coordinates regional and state partnerships between schools, businesses, government and colleges to maximize education and career training resources. “Bright Futures Gala: Tech Prep’s Second Annual Employers and Education Forum Linking Education and Economic Development” will start with a silent auction and private photo session. Guests are welcome to bid on items donated by Tech Prep sponsors.

Featured speaker Tony Hill – former star wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, who also was a star student at Stanford University and is now a successful businessman – and Tech Prep leaders will be available for private photo sessions with contributors. It is the second consecutive appearance by Hill at the event. Dress for the gala is business casual. Donations allow Tech Prep to provide job-shadow experiences for high school students, create special training for educators, promote curriculum alignment, and offer student internships and scholarships. There are several sponsorship options including Table, reservation of eight seats to dinner, name in program and name on table, $600; Bronze, logo on program and newspaper advertisements, recognition at the dinner by the emcee, $1,000, and Gold, additional recognition and signage, $5,000. The top sponsor levels are Presenting for $10,000 and Silver at $2,500 to reserve more seats and other benefits. Individual seats are $50.

“Tech Prep has been blessed with increasing participation from colleges, schools, industries, businesses and government agencies. We cannot thank our sponsors and cooperating educators enough,” Tech Prep Executive Director Pat Bubb said. “The bond that unifies us is building better lives for the future generations. The success stories told by our graduates and partners truly motivated the audience. It also reflected the many ways that everyone benefits from improving academic performance to ultimately improve their quality of life. Tracking our students and graduates builds statistics that prove the positive effects Tech Prep has on communities.” Michelle Lee Galvez, a Los Fresnos native who graduated from Los Fresnos High School in 2006 as a Tech Prep Texas Scholar, was the Tech Prep featured alumna at the 2010 gala. She received a $4,000 Dr. Lauro F. Cavazos Scholarship from Tech Prep and attended Texas State Technical College Harlingen. She earned a 4.0 GPA as a Chemical-Environmental Technology major to become a Board of Regents Honors Graduate in 2008. Her first career opportunity brought an annual salary of about $50,000; today she is a quality assurance technician for Nestle Waters of North America in Pasadena, Texas “Tech Prep and TSTC helped me realize that my college and future goals were possible to accomplish,” she said. “They gave me an opportunity to learn skills that are critical in the work field. Words cannot fully explain how grateful I am for the kindness and generosity of people who helped me reach my goals.”She is enrolled in more college courses in Houston to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Naomi Perales, community relations representative for Texas Gas Service, told the audience at the 2010 gala that Tech Prep produces measurable results and she encouraged business leaders to review the Tech Prep performance record. The Tech Prep connections allow high school students to earn tuition-free college credit to save dollars and save time toward graduation, she explained, while giving businesses and industry input into the education process to develop a highly competent workforce.

Go online to www.techpreprgv.com for details about the activities, programs, resources and people involved with Tech Prep of the Rio Grande Valley.

Responses from individuals, agencies, organizations and businesses who wish to become part of the gala should be sent by e-mail (vicky.millhimes@harlingen.tstc.edu) or fax (956.364.5143) by March 4. Credit card authorization forms are available by calling 956.364.4509. For details contact Tech Prep Executive Director Pat Bubb at 956.364.4509, 800.852.8784, extension 4509, or pat.bubb@harlingen.tstc.edu.