Panola College faculty and students visited the Texas Legislature in Austin on Jan. 29-30 to participate in Texas Community College Day. The event was funded by a grant from the Panola College Foundation.
“This was the first time we were able to bring a full bus of students to Community College Day,” Brian Naples, government professor and Student Government Association adviser, said. “The grant support from the Panola College Foundation allowed us to have a stronger presence among our East Texas regional colleges like Navarro and Trinity Valley, which regularly bring a bus of students to the rally.”
Community College Day provides students with the opportunity to meet personally with legislators and attend a legislative session. Student governments from 50 community college districts across the state convene at this event to promote legislative support for community college education.
The students met with State Representative Chris Paddie and State Senator Bryan Hughes while at the Capitol. Both legislators were able to spend time with the students, providing details of their work and answering questions.
“This activity helps students recognize the importance of citizenship and participation in local, state and federal government,” Naples said. “It shows government in action instead of just sitting in the classroom.”
In addition to the State Capitol, the two-day tour included tours of the Dr. Pepper Museum and the Texas Ranger Museum.
SGA sponsors Naples and Jody Harris accompanied students Jasmine Ryan, Addison Pope, Emily Robinson, Tony Jeter, Shelby Watson, Hannah Williams, Peyton Proffitt, Tailer Chong, Abigail Parish, Hannah Ramirez, Jamie Gonzalez, Yvonne Combs, Thaynara Godoi, DL Apolinario Correa, Eder Nunez, Jose Torres, Allyson Woodworth, Hailey Woodworth, Yareli Salinas, Chailey Norton, Maria Mejia, Catalina Zoyoquila, Ben Bridges, Daniel Gillis, Timothy Rushing, Michael Mize, Makayla Campbell, Erin Phillips, Adjalon Bowers, Madison Lee, Hieu Le, Bryan Whitaker, Loren Caserta, Melonie Caserta, Sheli Caserta, Taylee Caserta, Madison Davis, Cody Grindle, Kyle Smith, Madison Spence, Emma Harden and Drew Diverdi.