Austin ISD seniors basked in the glow of accomplishment at Central Texas College Signing Day, a community-wide celebration that brings together 1,000 college-bound seniors from school districts throughout the region.
Inspired by the NCAA’s National Signing Day, College Signing Day reinforces the idea that excellence in the classroom should be given as much attention as excellence in athletics.
"It means a lot," said Eastside Memorial senior Mayra Orduna-Jaimes, who's headed to Texas A&M-International. "I feel I have a big role in my family because everyone looks up to me. I'm the first in my family to be born here [in America] and graduate high school, so I take it as a big responsibility."
The pep rally featured speakers, admissions advisers and college mascots welcoming students, and relay races for participating districts.
Above all, it was a salute to the hard work that's making dreams come true, said Akins senior Deyfilia Mora, who's headed to UT-Austin to study nursing.
"Ever since I could remember, this was my dream school," she said. "I've always wanted to work in the medical field, and it's so exciting to meet all the people that are going to be with me on campus."