Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has been keeping true to his campaign promise — he has been a real partner to Houston area schools (click). Turner visited Hoffman Middle School on Friday, Nov. 30 to take part in the school’s “Dare to Dream Big” rally. The campus shares the building with YES Prep Hoffman. The partnership (click) between the two institutions focuses on preparing students to succeed in college. Eighth graders from both “schools” attended the event.
Aldine ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney kicked the rally off. She congratulated Hoffman MS for attaining academic gains in three areas — math, science and English language arts — during the first nine weeks of school. She led students and staff in chants repeating “We are Hoffman” and “Growth and Greatness.”
Goffney went on to share her story and the challenges she faced growing up. She emphasized the importance of getting an education.
“When I went to school, that‘s when opportunity was opened up for me,” Goffney said. “With an education, you can go anywhere and be anybody that you want to be.”
Turner presides over the fourth largest city in the United States. He shared with the students his rise from humble beginnings in the Acres Homes neighborhood. He credits his teachers for believing in him. Turner earned a law degree and went on to serve in the Texas House of Representatives before running to be Houston’s mayor.
He reminded students that he grew up in the same area as them and that he still lives in the neighborhood. Growing up he had to overcome challenges. Many of these challenges may possibly be the same ones the eighth graders are facing in their own lives today. He advised them to believe in the power of positivity and that “tomorrow will be a better than today.”
“When we dream high, we make things happen,” said Turner. “If anybody can do it, it‘s the individuals that I‘m looking at right now. It‘s people like you and you (as he pointed to students in the crowd).”
The Mayor did not mince words. He told the captive audience that it takes hard work and that at times the students may not like the work they need to do to get them where they want to go in life. However, if they are hungry enough to achieve their goals and dreams, they will do the work, learn the skills and achieve their dreams and possibly have the chance to give back to their community.
“I need you to help me make a better city,” said Turner. “I am looking at you to make a difference. I want all of you to dream big to make things big things happen in your life and your community.”
Hoffman Middle School Principal Jeana Morrison-Adams and YES Prep Hoffman School Director Chase Sander organized the event.
Administrators from Aldine ISD and YES Prep as well as members from the community also attended. They included AISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney, Deputy Superintendent Selina Chapa, and Assistant Superintendent Mable Holt. Mark DiBella, CEO of YES Prep Public Schools, also joined in on the celebration.
Director of Public Information Aldine ISD
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