Ten Brady High School students traveled to Odessa this past weekend to compete in the Regional University Interscholastic League Academic State Meet. Matthew Fields placed second in computer applications and will advance to state competition at the University of Texas at Austin on May 2-3. Beth Ross placed fourth in newswriting, and Erin Rainey placed fourth in LD debate. They are both alternates to state. Other students participating were: Jamie Allen, Blake Andrews, Thomas Castro, Russell Dean, Lauren Pittman, Kayce Pollok and Clifton Tally. “Students who participate in UIL academics are as competitive and dedicated as any athlete or musician,” said Bobby Hawthorne, UIL academic director. “They devote untold hours to practice and invitational meet competition, and for many, these hours will be among the most important they spend during their high school careers. Over the years, we’ve heard from hundreds of students who claim that these contests were the most fulfilling and rewarding activities of their entire high school careers.” UIL academic contests range from feature writing to accounting and from computer science to poetry interpretation. Of the 2.2 million students who participated in UIL activities last year, 420,000 competed in one or more of the 22 general academic contests. The purpose of these contests, Hawthorne said, is to teach thinking and problem-solving skills. “In its own way, each contest’whether math or Lincoln-Douglas debate or editorial writing’is intended to teach the thinking skills students will need in college and in the work force. We know that employers want employees who can solve problems, speak effectively and write clearly. Each contest is designed to help students reach these goals.” Through participation at the state meet, students qualify for the Texas Interscholastic League Foundation scholarships. Since its inception in 1954, the TILF has provided $16.9 million to approximately 13,700 Texas high school students. This year, the TILF expects to award an estimated 700 new and renewed grants, valued at over $1.3 million. Grants and donations from foundations and individuals have funded these academic scholarships. Each dollar that the TILF receives goes directly for scholarships, and no administrative or other overhead expenses are deducted. For more information, contact BHS principal Preasley Cooper at 597-2491 or the UIL academic meet coordinator. For general information regarding UIL academic contests, contact Hawthrone at (512) 471-5883 or via e-mail at email@example.com.