Friday was National College Signing Day, but not the one involving high school football players, that happened back in February. It was the day to celebrate students who didn't perform on the playing field but rather, in the classroom.
It had the look and feel of a college pep rally with cheers and dancing mascots. More than 800 graduating high school seniors from Central Texas school districts packed into Gregory Gym at UT Friday morning for National College Signing Day.
"You know how all everyone is talking about football right now, this is what we want everyone to be talking about is kids going to college and having that excitement,” said Organizer Christine Bailie.
Several universities and colleges from across Texas sent representatives to the event. Among them, Texas A&M. That’s where Reagan High senior Leonel Martinez will study engineering next fall. He’s counting the days.
"It makes me feel special, you know, getting out of high school … I’m just waiting for high school to be over."
Out of state destinations were also celebrated. Jania Zenon, a senior from McCallum High School, will spend the next four years hitting the books in New Orleans.
"I’m actually going to study Environmental Science and Biology, so I can be Pre-med, because I want to be a Pediatrician."
Together, all the soon-to-be college freshman promised to complete their higher education journey.
"Most of the students that came, we had 830, most of them were first generation, so they were the first in their family to go to college. It’s going to be something very powerful for them and their family's future,” said Bailie.
With a loud cheer, the group of college bound kids showed off their new school spirit. After the sendoff, 500 8th grade middle school students, who also attended the event, signed their own pledge banner. It’s their own promise to stay in school and to always reach higher.