AC’s ‘Fast Trax to Success’ Initiative Caps Inaugural Year with Awarding of New Car, Vacation

Program Sought to Boost Student, Faculty Engagement

AC News Service

Earlier this month, Angelina College capped its inaugural “Fast Trax to Success” initiative launched back in the beginning of the fall semester. How did the college wrap up the big event?

By awarding a student a brand-new, 2024 Chevrolet Fast Trax car – in AC blue, of course.

Additionally, by awarding a faculty member with an expenses-paid, five-day vacation in a beach house.

The college created the “Fast Trax to Success” initiative in 2023 to help generate more student and faculty engagement campus-wide. With more than 200 selected events available – spanning all areas from athletics events, arts (galleries, concerts and plays) – attending students and faculty members could scan a QR code at the door to chronicle their participation. Each event earned a certain number of points, and the students with the most accumulated points had their names entered into a drawing for the car, while faculty members saw their names entered for the vacation drawing.

The winner of the new car was AC student Isaac Estrada. The winner of the vacation package (donated by attorney Wayne Haglund) was staff member Janice Huffman.    

J.M. Chevrolet owner J.J. Weibe and his wife Marcy donated the car back in the fall, and Marcy was there at the end to draw the winning name.

J.J. Weibe lauded AC for its commitment to the community and its students, and cited the college’s impact as his reason to want to participate in the event.

“Marcy and I love to give back, and I can’t think of anything better to give back to in our community than Angelina College,” Weibe said. “We’re very privileged in our town to have AC here, from the sports to all the other programs. More than anything, having something like this college so that young people can get involved and start their long-term education plans is so important.

“I’m so excited how all this turned out, and I’m thankful Krista approached me and allowed us to participate.”

The program’s goal, according to AC Associate Vice President of Student Services Krista Brown, was “to empower our students to reach their full potential by leveraging the resources and opportunities available on our campus.”

“This initiative has been more than just a program,” Brown said. “It’s been a catalyst for change, a beacon of opportunity and a testament to the power of community and collaboration. Fast Trax to Success was designed with one simple, yet profound goal: To empower our students to reach their full potential by leveraging the resources and opportunities available on our campus. Through a strategic blend of incentives and engagement, we sought not only to encourage participation, but also to cultivate a culture of success and growth.”

According to Brown, more than 3,500 students participated in the initiative.

“In total, our college organized more than 200 events spanning across sports, arts and professional development,” Brown said. “Each event was a testament to the vibrant tapestry of Angelina College life.”

AC president Dr. Michael Simon shared how research has proven the importance of student and faculty engagement outside the classroom.

“Although it’s always fun to give away a brand-new car or a vacation,” Simon said, “student engagement is a cornerstone of scholarly research on student retention and credential completion. As far back as the 1980s and 1990s, researchers were finding that if students were engaged on the campus, they were more likely to complete their degrees and certificates and graduate on time.

“They also found that when students noticed faculty and staff at events, the students were also more likely to be successful. So this isn’t just a fun thing to do, but it’s really grounded in more than 50 years of research on what it takes to get students across the finish line and graduate.”

On May 10, AC awarded degrees and certifications to more nearly 700 new graduates.

For further information, contact Krista Brown at

Photo captions:

Dr. Michael Simon, J.J. Weibe, Isaac Estrada and Krista Brown:

Angelina College student Isaac Estrada (seated) poses in his new car after winning the inaugural “Fast Trax to Success” drawing at AC. The program sought to boost student and faculty engagement campus-wide. Pictured with Estrada are (L-R) AC president Dr. Michael Simon, J.M. Chevrolet owner (and car donor) J.J. Weibe and Associate Vice President of Student Services Krista Brown. (Gary Stallard/AC News Service photo)

J.J. Weibe and Isaac Estrada:

J.M. Chevrolet owner J.J. Weibe (left) poses with Angelina College student Isaac Estrada following the recent drawing for AC’s “Fast Trax to Success” initiative. The program, launched to increase student and faculty engagement on the AC campus, culminated with Estrada winning the car donated by Weibe and his dealership. (Gary Stallard/AC News Service photo)

Wayne Haglund and Janice Huffman:

Attorney Wayne Haglund (left) poses with Angelina College’s Janice Huffman, who won Haglund’s donation of a five-day vacation and beach cabin as part of AC’s ‘Fast Trax to Success” initiative. The program’s goal is to boost overall student and faculty engagement on the AC campus. (Gary Stallard/AC News Service)