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College Access Network urges students to finish strong & reach post-secondary goals

By Hermann Pereira

I grew up around sports and have always revered the role of the coach. The coach sets the tone and is always focused on making sure their players are prepared to begin well and to finish strong.

In local education, we have a group that functions as community coaches — McLennan County College Access Network, which is a network of professionals who work in the K-12 and higher education space. They meet monthly to discuss how they can support students and families as they look to make college and career access more equitable across our county.

Members of this network serve as coaches of our McLennan County students and are urging students to finish strong and reach their postsecondary goals. I have complete faith in our community coaches in this space, but I want to encourage you to become an honorary assistant coach along with us. A couple of key conversations that you could help with are:

— Have active dialogue with any high school student about their future. Share with them how you got into your career and what lessons you have learned.

— Remind students to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

— Share with students the higher education opportunities that exist in McLennan County. Between Baylor University, McLennan Community College, and Texas State Technical College students can find just about any degree they are interested in.

— Encourage students to meet with their high school counselors. Counselors play a pivotal part in this process and just about all of them are available by phone, email, Zoom, or in person.

I hope you will step up and become an assistant coach with us because community-wide issues require community-wide involvement. If you have any questions or would like to hear additional ways to get involved please reach out to me at

Hermann Pereira is Prosper Waco’s senior content specialist for education.


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