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College Week Aims To Remove Barricades From Higher Learning

GenTX San Antonio

The city is in the middle of a week-long list of events to motivate residents of all ages - from elementary to high school and beyond - to go to college.

On Monday, Mayor Julián Castro reminded people on the steps of City Hall about the city’s commitment to education.

"San Antonians set a bold goal," he said. "That goal was to make the biggest turnaround in educational achievement any big city has seen in a decade."

Darryl Byrd, president of SA2020, said there is a battle to get people to believe they can go to college.

"The challenge is helping create access to college and helping remove the road blocks where folks can see college as a reality and a possibility," said Byrd. "The intellectual talent is certainly there among our young people, it's just giving them access to it."

Mark Vargas, who serves as the chair of the Youth Commission, said the statistics about high school dropout rates are changing.

"Many people, they shy away from the thought because it's too expensive. They don't think that they can get in because of their background- don't worry about it. I say college is a very expensive investment, there's no doubt about that, but it is an investment that is worth it," Vargas said.

SA2020 supports the idea that college culture is changing in San Antonio by touting findings from the American Community Survey, which said that in 2011 more adults over the age of 25 in San Antonio held a 2- or 4 -year degree than the year before.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.