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GenTX motivates area students to think beyond high school

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Tyler, TX (KTYX) -- A movement swept through Texas high schools on Friday. Known as "Generation Texas Day," it aims to empower students to think about life after graduation.

"I've loved Alabama ever since I could walk," Len Holland, a senior at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, said.

That dream will soon become a reality in the fall for him, but it didn't come easy. "I had to keep up my grades, that's been one of my biggest things," Holland said.

Educators want more students to follow his example. For GenTX day, students wore college t-shirts and took pictures to show their plans after high school.

Seniors also took part in a reality fair put on by the Kelly Credit Union, to understand what expenses they may have to consider.

"When you're about to live on your own for the first time, and are confronted with all the expenses and everything that it takes, you may not know what to do," Scott Rose, CEO of the Kelly Credit Union, said.

Counselors say the biggest obstacle for many students is finances.

"We are working with all of our students no matter what income level, to get them to the next step," George Ann Reed, a counselor at Robert E. Lee, said.

For many students, it's simply taking the time to fill out FAFSA forms and apply for scholarships. 

"We want our students to go forward and take a real initiative and look at what they need to be successful in what their particular interests are," Reed said.

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