Peers inspiring peers: local high school students share importance of college

Peers inspiring peers: local high school students share importance of college

Posted By Greater Austin Chamber | Oct 17, 2017
Chamber, Education and Talent Print Article Peers inspiring peers: local high school students share importance of college

High school seniors win tickets to ACL Festival by promoting higher education in their networks


For two weeks, students from Central Texas area high schools took to their social media platforms, not to share selfies, but to communicate the importance of going to college to their friends and classmates.

During the fourth annual ACL Financial Aid Social Media Contest, students shared more than 1,100 tweets encouraging their peers to take advantage of early FAFSA completion events held on local high school and Austin Community College campuses. The effort is part of a partnership between the Greater Austin Chamber, C3 Presents, and the Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival, to help students transition from high school and afford postsecondary education.

More than 800 students signed up and so far 400 attended free College Insight Financial Aid Saturday events held over the past two weeks. These events will continue to support early FAFSA completion until Spring 2018 to help families pay for college. 

Winners of this year’s social media contest—Akins High School, Hutto High School, and Ann Richards High School—received ACL passes for Weekend 1 and Weekend 2. For their hard work, student leaders from each school were provided a backstage tour of the iconic ACL Festival grounds. They also had the opportunity to pick the brains of the C3 Presents backstage crew on the importance of continuing education post-high school.

“My advice to you is don’t wait for someone to let you do something,” said Ben Wintle, Festivals Community Manager at C3 Presents. “The only thing preventing you from doing what you want to do is you.”

For the past ten years, the Greater Austin Chamber has advocated for quality education of students and the workforce in the Central Texas region. The Chamber, through its Opportunity Austin initiative, has spent nearly $15 million–about a third of its overall budget–on increasing education and talent efforts in the area.

“We are so proud of our local area students,” said Gilbert Zavala, Vice President of Education and Talent Development. “Education is so critical to the future success in the region because it provides students with the knowledge they need to compete for good jobs and different perspectives on ways we can make our communities better.”

The Chamber plans to host free Financial Aid Saturday events throughout the area in partnership with local school districts and colleges. For a complete listing of locations and times, click here.

For more information on the Chamber’s education efforts, click here.


Blog image: pictured (left to right), Ebheni Henderson of Ann Richards High School; Annabel Martinez Valle of Ann Richards High School; Anisah Aguilar of LASA High School; Joanna Ma of LASA High School; Mia Czarnecki of Austin High School; Bella Castillo of Austin High School; Kayla Ford of Akins High School; Jennifer Quach of Akins High School; Daniela Castillo of KIPP Academy; and Ricardo Balderas of KIPP Academy.

Greater Austin Chamber staff—(left) Gilbert Zavala, Drew Scheberle, (far right) Zhelun Chen, and Alfonso Lucio—pose with local high school students during ACL backstage tour. 

Greater Austin Chamber

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce focuses on how the Austin Region works. We serve as the voice of business for 2,800 organizations representing a combined workforce of about 330,000 employees throughout Central Texas. Our mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for members.