Thursday, May 28, 2009

TDA gives urban students a rural experience

On Wednesday morning, I met with a group of students who have been selected to be the first participants in TDA’s new Texas Rural Internship Program. The program, which officially starts on June 1, will provide much needed connectivity between urban and rural Texas, and help develop some of today’s talented college students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Rural Texas faces many challenges and we must be proactive in developing leadership and finding solutions to the dilemmas facing our communities that in many cases preserve the heritage of this great state. Job growth, community planning and relationships between rural, suburban and urban Texas are essential to the future prosperity of the Lone Star State.

We are grateful to Dr. Gene Theodori, director for the Center for Rural Studies at Sam Houston State University, who helped us spearhead this unique internship project giving the following six SHSU students an outstanding opportunity in rural Texas:

Left to right: Raven Payour, Katie Goodwin, Lauren Robinson, Mercadi Crawford, Mercy Lane and Brittany Dennis.

The communities taking part in the internship program are Brady, Hamilton, Levelland, San Juan and Van Horn. The Texas Rural Internship Program is a pilot initiative this year; our goal is to expand the program to serve more students and rural communities in 2010.

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