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Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA selected for national program to address financial concerns: America's Future initiative promotes financial responsibility, civic involvement

NACOGDOCHES, Texas-Students at Stephen F. Austin State University will have the chance to be part of a solution to America's current economic crisis.

SFA was recently selected as one of nine institutions to participate in a new initiative called America's Future: Protecting the Fiscal Health of Our Democracy, a program of the American Democracy Project. The project is a national effort to promote civic engagement sponsored by over 230 universities of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

The initiative aims to involve universities and their surrounding communities in civic programs and to better prepare college students to assume leadership roles in the future. America's Future in particular will focus on the financial crisis in America and the importance of fiscal responsibility.

In the midst of the financial uncertainty in today's economy, the program is highly relevant and a unique opportunity to help initiate change, according to Dr. Steven Galatas, SFA's program coordinator.

"The time to solve the financial crisis is not 20 to 30 years from now when things get worse. The time is now to have a dialogue about the problem and offer solutions," said Galatas.

The program, a collaboration of the American Democracy Project and Public Agenda, was created to educate university students and local citizens about bipartisan solutions to various problems facing democracy.

"The America's Future initiative will give SFA the opportunity to explore important public issues and be connected with other universities," said Dr. Richard Berry, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Individual campuses will develop and implement programs, monitor the results, and share the findings with other universities and leaders in Washington, D.C.

"The program gives SFA the chance to develop a national model for civic engagement of students and the community," Galatas said.

SFA faculty and staff members on the committee will discuss ways to incorporate topics on fiscal challenges into the core curriculum. Student participation and input will also be critical for success of the initiative. Special programs and events to connect the SFA campus and East Texas communities are also in the works.

For further information on the America's Future: Protecting the Fiscal Health of Our Democracy program and ways to get involved, contact Dr. Steven Galatas at (936) 468-2003 or e-mail galatasse@sfasu.edu.