Thank you Dr. Thomas and thank you to the good people of Tarrant County College for having us all here today.
I'd also like to thank the Fort Worth community, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and Generation Texas for your work.
This is a truly exciting moment for Texas students.
All over Texas, students are stepping up, finding their voices, and fueling the movement called Generation Texas.
Young Texans are joining with their families and their communities in elevating higher education as a shared priority.
As we reflect on this "Generation Texas" and its boundless potential we all have a role to play in their future success whether as parents and mentors employers and teachers. or simply as role models.
Working together, we can help them scale the heights of success.
Generation Texas is playing an essential role in that process inspiring young Texans as it informs them marking out a clear path for them to follow.
As part of Generation Texas, students become part of a community that spans the state united by their aspirations nd accumulating the building blocks of a sturdy future.
Generation Texas helps students figure out which classes and tests to take ow to apply to a college nd how to pay for school.
This emerging community is a clearing house of that essential information nd a place to connect with opportunity.
The nexus of this effort is the new Generation Texas website found at GenTex.rog.
This online community will leverage the strengths of social networking to guide its members to the resources they need to succeed.
Whether students need the dates and locations of upcoming entrance exams like the SAT or resources to help them prepare...they can find them here.
If they need scholarship information or access to financial aid forms, those are all just a click away at GenTex.org.
If they just need a shot if inspiration, students can take a minute to watch the videos of people just like them who have taken that bold step onto the path leading to college and career education.
To me, Generation Texas represents what is truly great about our state.
Here in Texas, it doesn't matter where you live how big your school is or how your last name is spelled there is opportunity available to everyone.
Education offers you the shot at a better life and higher earning potential for as long as you work. In the United States, the average income for a person with a high school diploma is about $31,000 a year.
With a bachelor's degree, that number goes higher than $56,000 with no limit on where you can go.
Even if college isn't part of your family tradition, it's time for you to blaze a new trail, and begin a new tradition of higher education.
In the process, you'll make a better life for you and your family and, who knows, maybe you'll inspire the next generation to attempt something great.
That is what it means to be part of Generation Texas.
As part of this movement, as part of this generation, you represent the future of our state.
In a few short years, you and your peers will be our doctors & lawyers, soldiers and firefighters, teachers & entrepreneurs keeping our economy strong and our communities safe. To compete for a job in the workplace of the future you need a skill set and the knowledge that are best developed at an institution of higher education.
You won't just be competing against your peers in your school, your town or even across Texas.
Instead, you'll be competing with people from over the world for jobs and success which is why more and more Texans are choosing college.
From the fall of 2008 to the fall of 2009, enrollment in higher education across our state jumped up by more than 100,000 students the largest year-over-year increase in Texas history.
I expect that trend to continue, and I am convinced that you can be a part of it as you take part in Generation Texas.
So, I encourage all young Texans to dream big and picture yourself taking the big step of college and enjoying the success that can follow. As you pursue that dream, you have the encouragement and support of your family, your teachers, your community, and your governor.
Here in the land of opportunity called Texas the future is yours for the taking.
Now, I'd like to introduce a man who has believed in Generation Texas from day one the person who planted the seed that has grown into this remarkable effort and championed the College and Career Readiness Standards that are shaping education in our state.
Please give a big, Generation Texas welcome to my friend and respected colleague Commissioner Raymond Paredes of the Higher Education Coordinating Board.