PHOTO GALLERY – Budding Port Arthur students paired with influential businessmen, education highlighted – Port Arthur News

Memorial High School seniors Victoria Nguyen and Eduardo Ceja had the opportunity on Tuesday to sit down and talk with professionals in their chosen career fields.

Nguyen plans a career in engineering, while Ceja plans to become an architect. They were paired with a table sponsored by Soutex surveyors and engineers at the Port Arthur Education Foundation’s Pathway to Success luncheon at the Carl Parker Multipurpose Center.

Nguyen said it was a great opportunity to meet people she wouldn’t normally have access to for one-on-one conversations.

Ceja said it was reassuring for him to see someone with the future he wants.

His senior colleague Jacob Garza sat at the Valero-sponsored table and was able to get some resume and career advice to help him as he works toward a process operator degree.

The Parker Center was packed with more than 440 people who purchased lunch tickets while supporting the education foundation.

Keynote speakers Port Arthur Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Porterie, State Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) and Lamar State College Port Arthur President Dr. Betty Reynard highlighted the importance of education while on the podium.

Porterie told the grim news of the war in Ukraine and how the citizens of the United States should be grateful for their freedoms.

But being educated is essential to being free, he said.

“Unless you can read, unless you can write, unless you can understand, you’re not going to stay a free country unless we start taking education seriously,” Porterie said, adding that knowledge of reading and writing is imperative for making one’s own decisions.

“With an education you can move mountains, you can do whatever you want and that’s what we have to tell our kids every day.”

He said that an individual is imprisoned without education.

“And no matter what color you are, no matter what ethnicity you are, if you are a man, a woman, you have to be educated and that is what we have to tell our children every day,” said he declared. mentioned.

Creighton spoke about the challenges the state faced during last year’s winter storm Uri, the stress on the power grid and how Texans rose to the challenge.

He was recently called to the office of lieutenant governor, where he was named chair of the education committee while remaining chair of the higher education committee.

The senator received an award at the luncheon for his leadership and support for higher education.

The mission of the education foundation is to improve academic excellence in public schools in Port Arthur by supporting innovative educational projects, according to information from the foundation.

Jack C. Nugent