If you walk down the hallways of Conrad High School, you’ll hear as many as 35 languages being spoken. Most of the students at the northeast Dallas school are refugees who fled violence in their home countries to resettle in Texas. Many of them will be the first in their families to attend college, and school leaders try in ways both big and small to encourage students to shoot for top colleges.
One of those small ways: painting college murals on the walls. On Aug. 2, 10 members of the Texas Exes Dallas Chapter spent about five hours painting burnt-orange murals at Conrad High School. The project started when Conrad graduate and Dallas Chapter scholarship recipient Charles Gee, now a UT student studying education, visited the school and saw murals for schools like the Dallas Art Institute and the University of North Texas. Gee then got in touch with the Dallas Chapter, whose volunteers were more than ready to put some UT logos on the walls.
“I think it’s a way to plant a seed in students’ minds that UT is a place they can aspire to,” says Rosa Hernandez, BS ’95, Life Member, the chapter’s co-chair for community engagement.
The group painted a Longhorn logo and the Texas Exes logo on two walls in a well-trafficked hallway, returning two weeks later for final touch-ups. The project was such a hit that Hernandez says they may return to do another mural later on. “We were thinking maybe the Hook ’Em sign,” she says.
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