KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.
Today’s Champion is Gabriel Estrada! Gabriel assists with community organizing and school improvement efforts. He worked for the Austin Independent School District for 20 years, 19 of those as a 5th and 6th grade teacher at Zavala Elementary in East Austin. While there, he was an active member of Zavala’s renaissance as a nationally recognized community-based school reform model. His efforts in Zavala’s turnaround included leading educator development, house meetings over issues brought forth from community members and teachers, and actively initiating programs that enriched the education of students. Currently, Gabriel is the Youth and Community Facilitator for Austin Voices for Education and Youth, a group that’s been working with Eastside Memorial, the high school featured in KLRU’s An Eastside Education.
The recognition letter submitted by the community said: “In his 20 years of teaching, Gabe shepherded many a student and quite a few families to a pathway of academic success. Most of these families are Latino and low-income, and Gabe’s role as a mentor and trailblazer was significant. He believes in public education and its promise to give everyone the opportunity to be successful.”
Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.