Republicans in Texas are on to something. For several years, Texans have understood the dynamics of their State, are in flux, as the Hispanic population surges. The birthrate of Hispanics will ensure that in a few short years, they will be the majority.
For those Democrats who have long held the notion the Hispanic community belongs to them, after this week’s Republican National Convention, I would think they’re figuring out a way to keep their loyal Hispanics corralled, still arm-in-arm.
From Tagg Romney’s speech in Spanish, to Arizona Gov. Susana Martinez’s incredibly passionate speech about freedom and the American Dream, Democrat strategists must be wondering what’s going on in the Republican Party. They’re probably thinking, although they’d never admit it publicly, “ Are the Republicans just putting these Hispanics on stage for show, or are they really attracting more Hispanics?”
Florida Senator Marco Rubio spoke about the differences between a Communist Cuba and a free America. Over and over again, the theme of American exceptionalism was repeated, driving home the idea that we do have unlimited potential and we do deserve better than we’ve received the past four years under President Obama.
Now, the Delegates are on their way home, to Texas, California, Montana and every other state in the Union. Charged up and ready for November, they’ve just witnessed an incredible weekend filled with powerful speakers and patriotic messages. Many will immediately get involved in the Victory Center near them, making calls and block walking for local candidates and of course Mitt Romney.
But one thing I’ve learned as an Activist in the Republican Party, is not all Republicans are interested in, or able to block walk. Some are not “good on the phone.” Some don’t have the time, and others are looking for meaningful ways to contribute their efforts.
It is these people, the ones who want to make a difference, but aren’t sure how they can participate, that will soon become the most valuable asset of the Republican Party.
In Texas, a Republican Party of Texas Auxiliary, GOPisForMe, has partnered with Dr. Walter L. Bradley, a 42 year College Professor of Engineering and Department head at Baylor University. The Stepping Stones initiative, developed by GOPisForMe as a tool for Republicans to help reduce the number of high-school drop outs,has just been blessed with the addition of Dr. Bradley’s “Success 4 Students” program.
From learning to speed read to increasing memory, the program helps to prepare students for college life, including prioritizing and planning techniques.
Unlike the Texas Democrat Party’s “Promesa Project,” which aims at getting college students to be the “Democrat Representative” in the home, spreading the talking points of the Party, the Stepping Stones initiative takes education into the homes of people in our community utilizing Republican volunteers and mentors.
Rather than provide continued rhetoric, Republicans are marching into the community with a genuine interest in advancing education and impacting the lives of our current students while laying the foundation for a bright future in Texas.
Unfortunately, many of the students we meet are still struggling to get through high school. Dr. Bradley, whose public school curriculum has been used by countless teachers across the country to raise grade point averages, has agreed to develop a program more suitable to the students we meet.
To do this, the GOPisForMe Production studio will create multiple videos using Hispanic students from their Stepping Stones program to draw attention to the issues that matter most to aspiring students; financial aid and college enrollment. These videos, co-produced by Dr. Bradley, will serve as an online reference for students to reflect upon as they enter the academic world after high school.
Our goal is to reach as many students as possible, getting them started in the Stepping Stones initiative. Once enrolled in Stepping Stones and Success 4 Life, the student will be added to a 12 week email follow-up system, which asks them to complete a short survey, providing answers to questions based on the program use. From the time they enroll in the program, their progress can be monitored and compared against the database of 20,000 plus previous participants, yielding a chart mentors and coaches can use to help guide the student, ensuring they are on track to success.
Nothing like this has ever been done in the Republican Party of Texas; we’re excited about the potential to shift the course of the Hispanic community. We look forward to a time when hundreds of volunteers meet with thousands of students and parents, each week. Through our work, we will definitely change the perception being advanced by our Democratic opponents…that “Republicans don’t care.” Our proof will be in the students who advance and succeed, and that’s all that matters.
Education crosses all boundaries!