San Antonio

The Do the Write Thing Texas Challenge (DTWTX)



National Finalists 2016 National Recognition Week

San Antonio Chair, Cordinators and National Finalists 2016 National Recognition Week Washington DC

“DO THE WRITE THING” (DtWT) Bexar County

Dear Friends,

The mission of the National Campaign to Stop Violence (NCSV), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization, is to reduce violence and its impact on the livesof youth. The primary initiative of the NCSV is the “DO THE WRITE THING” (DtWT) Challenge Program.

Our DtWT team is working diligently to revive the DtWT Program and give our BexarCounty youth the opportunity to accept the “Challenge”. Our team is so excited to update you on the amazing strides toward our goal, including our partnerships with the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SACADA), our Leader Readers, and Aric Bostick. We are fired up!

Judge Antonia “Toni” Arteaga with her DtWT Committee.

First, we have partnered with Vickie Adams, Coalition Director of SACADA, who has generously accepted the challenge of coordinating the reading of all essays submitted.

Second, we are so very proud to announce our prestigious Selection Committee or our “LEADER READERS”, a collaboration of law enforcement, community and judiciary leaders. Our Leader Readers will evaluate our student finalist entries to select our two National Ambassadors (one male and one female) who will represent Bexar County at the NCSV’s Recognition Week in Washington, D.C. this summer.

And finally...ARIC BOSTICK! This gentleman is one of the nation’s leading motivational speakers and is now on our team! Aric will “fire up” our team so that all students, school administrators and teachers return to their schools raving about the DtWT Challenge. With Aric on our team … well, let’s just say on the motivational speaker circuit, Aric is the equivalent of our Tim Duncan! Our team is fired up and we hope you are ready for this amazing experience on APRIL 26, 2016! Details will follow on your role as Leader Readers. Tentatively, we will bring you no more than 50 (one-or-two page) essays for your review in January or early February 2016.

4,401 essays entered to Bexar County

7th and 8th grade students submit essay on how has violent affected their lives and what can they do to change the problem  

  • 33 Bexar County schools participated
  • 4,401 essays entered — read by community members
  • 66 students recognized at local banquet
Leader Readers read final submissions  

Ambassador, boy and girl (parent/teacher) are awarded an all expense trip to Washington DC with an itinerary to visit many site, plus a banquet First Runner up – boy and girl were awarded a lap top Second Runner up – boy and girl were awarded a $250.00 gift certificate  

All 66 finalist were given a backpack filled with donations and a book was published with their entries

DtWT Committee getting FIRED UP with Motivational Speaker Aric Bostick who will also be the emcee at the Bexar County DtWT Awards Banquet on April 26th!!

Bexar County loves DTWT

LEADER READER 73rd District Court Judge David A. Canales with Bexar County Juvenile Probation Officer Cindy Gonzales
LEADER READER 45th District Court Judge Stephani Walsh with Bexar County Juvenile Probation Officer Cindy Gonzales
LEADER READER Bexar County District Attorney Nicholas "Nico" LaHood with Bexar County Juvenile Probation Officer Cindy Gonzales
LEADER READER San Antonio Police Chief William McManus with Bexar County Juvenile Probation Officer Melissa Ayala
Bexar County Juvenile Probation Officer Gilbert A. Perez with LEADER READER 386th District Court Judge Laura Parker and Bexar County Juvenile Probation Officer Adam Morales
LEADER READER District 124 State Representative Ina Minjarez with Bexar County Juvenile Probation Officer Elida Robledo

4,400 essays from students in middle schools all over Bexar County

We have surpassed our initial goal of 2,500 essays submissions. To date, we have received over 4,400 essays from students in middle schools all over Bexar County!

Bexar County Juvenile Probation Officers help read the essays

ARIC BOSTICK has accepted the DtWT Challenge

We are excited that the amazing ARIC BOSTICK has accepted the DtWT Challenge and will "fire up" the crowd at our upcoming April 2016 DtWT Awards Ceremony Banquet. Thanks ARIC!!!

San Antonio DtWT Committee meets...DtWT Challenge Accepted!!!

DtWT Committee Chair Judge Antonia "Toni" Arteaga (front center) with DtWT Committee from BCJPD and SACADA

Recognition banquet

We held our recognition banquet on March 22, 2014 at the Bright Shawl. Our national finalists were:

1) Zackary Ryan Durham, Eisenhower MS, North East ISD
2) Kyllista Mykayla Mata, Mark Twain MS, San Antonio ISD

Here two photos of the winners being presented their plaque by the Honorable Judge Susan Reed, Bexar County District Attorney and Chair of the Bexar County DtWT Challenge.

Left to right Wendy McClellan, Assistant District Attorney, coordinator, San Antonio/Bexar County DtWT
Cynthia Rubio, principal, Eisenhower Middle School
Dana Williams, teacher, Eisenhower Middle School
Mr. Gregory Durham, father
Zackary Durham
The Honorable Judge Susan D. Reed, chair, San Antonio/Bexar County DtWT
Catherine Babbitt, Chief Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Family Justice and Victim Protection Division
Jill Mata, Chief Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Juvenile Division

Left to right
Wendy McClellan
Mr. Christopher Castro, principal, Mark Twain Middle School
Ms. Catherine Babbitt
Kyllista Mata
Judge Reed
Jill Mata

Pictures of the event are photographed courtesy of Red McComb and available to the students. VIEW PHOTOSHOW

An excerpt from LA PRENSA (online newspaper)

by Arianne Villanueva

Both Megan and Martiza attended school together since kindergarten at Woodlawn Elementary School and are recent graduates of Thomas Jefferson High School. Both are first generation college students who have been with each other through hardships in life, always encouraging each other and reminding themselves that academic success can only be reached through hard work and dedication.

Both successful students found their path to college through the assistance offered by GenTex, a non-profit agency that supports college-ongoing mindset for the schools of San Antonio and its community.

Megan first became interested in her focused major, Political Science, in the eighth grade year while attending Irving Middle School. Her class was assigned an essay on how violence is created and affecting our lives as well as how to eliminate it.

"A couple of months later they called me into the principal's office saying that I had been a finalist for San Antonio and it turned out to be like a national challenge called, "Do The Right Thing," and I was a national winner for it," Megan shared.

Her essay ultimately took her to the national's award in Washington, D.C. where she was got the opportunity to see the Congress and Senate in action. She there became an International Ambassador for the Do the Right Thing and the National Campaign to Stop Violence. Megan's freshman year in college will begin fall 2013 at St. Mary's University.