NFL great joins students to celebrate college

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It was a banner day at Mount Auburn Elementary School as NFL great and Dallas ISD alum Tim Brown returned to his former elementary school for a college-themed pep rally to encourage students to include college in their plans for the future.

As part of Education Go Get It Week, Brown gathered with students from Mount Auburn, J.L. Long Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School to talk about the importance of college.

“Don’t ever think it’s too early to start thinking about college,” said Brown who challenged students to “Conceive it. Believe it. Achieve it. You can all go to college.”

Brown, who attended all three schools as a student in Dallas ISD, was joined by Commissioner of Conference USA Britton Banowsky and College Football Playoff Chief Operating Officer Michael Kelly.

The event was part of the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers initiative designed to provide training and resources for teachers and promote college awareness. To help accomplish this goal, the CFP Foundation embarked upon a campaign to donate and hang college banners in 500 elementary schools across North Texas. Fifty college banners were raised at Mt. Auburn.

The highlight of the day came as Brown raised the banner of his college alma mater, Notre Dame, where he played football, won the coveted Heisman Trophy in 1987, and graduated.

In the true spirit of the day, students donned college t-shirts and displayed signs indicating the colleges of their choice. Teachers and other staff dressed in their own college t-shirts while cheer squads from J.L. Long and Woodrow pumped up the crowd. Woodrow’s drum line joined in the excitement with their own high-spirited performance.

The event was designed to continue building a college-going culture throughout the school. Through Destination 2020, the district strives to graduate 80 percent of its students on time and ready to enter college or a career by the year 2020.

Principal Maria Martinez described the event as a great opportunity to emphasize college to her students and thanked Brown for returning “home” to challenge students to achieve.

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